FANS of the pocket-sized Observer's reference books will be travelling from all over the country to Easter Compton for an annual fair.

The specialist event on Saturday, April 5, is now in its ninth consecutive year, with enthusiasts set to arrive from as far away as Scotland, Humberside and Cornwall.

A large number of local visitors will also be heading to the village hall for a frantic two-and-a-half hours of trading and swapping of thousands of vintage collectable books.

An auction at the end of the event will see some of the rarer books going under the hammer.

Organiser Richard Edwards said "The prices raised can be unpredictable, starting as little as £1 each. But you never know. Last year a 1942 Observer’s Book of Airplanes sold on an internet auction site for a record £850 - not bad for a book that originally cost just four shillings (20p).

“The event continues to go from strength to strength, with an increasing number of visitors each year. Although the membership of the fair’s society is nationwide, we attract an awful lot of local people who are curious to find out more about the books they can remember from the past.

"The well-known Observer’s pocket series was the catalyst for starting these fairs but there are many other collectable series that now feature, including Ladybird books, Wayside and Woodland, Penguin books, New Naturalist, Collins Nutshells and a wide range of books on natural history and transport."

Mr Edwards said Nick Baldwin, a transport journalist and enthusiast who was author of the Observer's books on commercial vehicles, trucks and tractors from the start of the 1970s, would be special guest at the fair, which runs from 10am-12.30pm. Admission is free.