A DISPUTE has broken out between the organisers of a fair and some of its traders, amid claims that the event was under-advertised and 'no-one came'.

Pennines Wildlife Rescue, situated in Carrshield, attended Wolsingham Antique and Salvage Fair on Friday, April 8 and Saturday, April 9.

Organised by events company Durham Promotions North East, the fair was held at Wolsingham Show Ground.

Pennines Wildlife Rescue paid £269 for their deposit and for their stall table.

Anthony and Ute Johnson, who run the rescue, said the show was a 'flop' and are seeking a refund.

Ute said: "It was terrible. We were lost for words."

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"It was poorly advertised offline and online, so no-one came. There was less than 80 visitors the whole day on Friday, significantly short of the 8,000 promised.

"We left at 2pm on the Saturday because it went dead."

A trader who wished to remain anonymous said: "He failed to advertise it enough. He spent some time and effort in selling to stall holders - shame he didn't do the same to the public."

Shannon Graves, owner of children's clothing Cosy Little Ones, said: "The little promoting only ever seemed to mention antiques and salvage."

Shannon paid £100 for her deposit and cost of her table. She estimates 40 traders attended the fair. "Our combined takings for all three days was £83, this didn't even cover the cost I had paid for the table, nevermind the material costs of my items," she said.

She emailed the company to receive a refund.

Anthony said: "I was making nest boxes for months in minus 12 degrees out in the barn. There's a lot of work gone in to preparing for it."

But Ken Besford, owner and founder of organisers Durham Promotions, said: "The antique dealers were quite satisfied. We had everything that should've been there, we had a coffee trailer, a bar, and toilet facilities on site.

"We had local signage up for about a 10 to 15 mile radius around Wolsingham. Some traders made up to four figures."

He added: "If traders can't sell their products to that amount of people it's not my responsibility.

"The projections we had might've been optimistic, but that was not surprising since we had bad weather conditions and sub-zero temperatures. If traders notified of their intent to not attend the event they would be refunded."