Vintage items to stir memories at swap meet

WHETHER you are searching for that missing car part for your vintage car or a one-metre-tall anchor taken from a boat in Port Adelaide, you can probably find it at the Bendigo National Swap Meet.

The committed trash and treasure finders will queue up as early as 5am to get first look at what’s on offer.

Yesterday thousands of swap-meet junkies set up their sites at the Prince of Wales Showgrounds in readiness for the onslaught.

David Sweetman has been making the three-day trip driving down from Brisbane collecting pedal cars along the way.

It’s the way he has travelled to the swap meet for the past 10 years. 

“Someone tells you something and you follow that up, then that leads to something else,” he said.

Mr Sweetman said he tried to fund his trip down by on-selling his purchases.

But there are some things he can’t give away.

“I’m always trying to find those ones you always keep,” he said.

Melbourne’s Damien Harris also has an impressive collection of pedal cars but is always on the lookout for more.

“I come here to unearth some things and to find pieces in as original condition as possible,” he said.

“I love the history behind every piece.

“There’s three to four generations of childhood memories. 

“I think that’s what we all get hooked on.

“It’s great to find people who come along and see something from their childhood.”

But there aren’t just cars on display. There are chandeliers, vintage petrol bowsers, old cash registers and everything in between.

Alexander Huser is hoping someone will buy his anchor taken from an old Port Adelaide boat.

“It’s just a boy thing,” he said.

Some site holders are from Canada and England, plus a planeload who came from New Zealand.

But not everyone travelled as far and wide to get to the meet.

Dale Nicholls made the trek from California Gully with his dad Dick to set up yesterday.

Despite being so close to home, Dale said he was still going to camp overnight at the showgrounds with his cousins, who were travelling down from Mildura.

PRIZED: Melbourne’s Damien Harris with a 1920s pedal car.Picture: PETER WEAVING

PRIZED: Melbourne’s Damien Harris with a 1920s pedal car.Picture: PETER WEAVING


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