The famed-Fryerstown Antique Fair had a unique atmosphere, as hundreds of people packed into a tiny town surrounded by bushland.
The organiser of the Campbells Creek Collectables Fair is hoping to recreate that atmosphere but in a new setting, after the Fryerstown fair closed.
The Campbells Creek fair is expected to bring more than 2000 people to the locality over the Australia Day long weekend, which will be the second time it has run.
Organiser Ken Smith believes the event is a boon for the town. Over 200 antique and collectables dealers will take to the grounds in and around Campbells Creek community hall.
It’s being marketed as a chance to “fossick in the goldfields” and spend a weekend in the area.
“I believe it means a fair bit to the community, the flow on effect. [Visitors] are going to buy petrol, a pie,” Mr Smith said.
Mr Smith had an inkling the Fryerstown Antique Fair might be in its last few years.
So he began a new event in 2018, to fill the void for collectors and dealers. It was fortunate he did, because the Fryerstown event closed that very year, due to fire risk.
Antiques and collectables: what’s the difference?
It’s simple. An antique is over 100 years old. Obviously, this brings new objects into the fold of antique-dom each year.
But it’s not the only thing about the business that keeps moving.
Trends in the antique and collectable trade are changing.
Mr Smith has seen young people’s taste in collectables move much more towards the industrial, the retro and vintage.
Minimalism is now the go.
But someone will want just about anything.
In his line of work, Mr Smith meets people who collect everything from pens, to matchbox lids, to old Nokia phones.
Tastes may be changing, but the truism remains applicable: one man’s junk is another’s treasure.
And many people have treasures. Mr Smith believes collecting is often sparked by an early interest.
“They have some identity, some relationship, there’s something in their background [that drives collecting],” Mr Smith said.
“People collect something, they gradually become interested in it.”
- Campbells Creek Collectables Fair at Community Hall, Elizabeth street, Campbells Creek, admission $5 per person, January 26, 8am-5, January 27, 8am-3pm.
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