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Canberra Swap Meet
Sunday, 3 November 2013

- report by Peter Toet


Once again the VVCMCC has run a successful Canberra Swap Meet, and it really does get a bit harder every year. This year we were again fortunate to have the Gummeroo Pavilion. We also did not have the Computer Fair in the Fitzroy pavilion again this year. We had Oktoberfest, but we probably got a bit of patronage from their punters. We were able to mark out on Friday so this was good, although we had some Swap Meet Caravanners arrive on Friday despite being told not to do so. We were able to fence off Drovers Square on Friday, which ensured that we didn't have Farmer's Market visitors taking up sites as our Vendors arrived.

This year again the Swap Meet did not coincide with the change to Daylight Saving, however it was still up at 4.00am for our 5.00am start. The Swap Meet started to wind down around 1.00 PM as per last year so at around 1.30pm, we stopped charging punters and closed the kitchen.

The Kitchen had sold out of egg and bacon sandwiches by about 9.30am and we went through 10kg Bacon, 10kg skinless franks, 15 dozen eggs, 500 sausages, 15kg onions, trays and trays of bread (around 85 loaves and 300 bread rolls), etc. which was about the same as last year.

Despite the above and a few other complications, we managed to produce an excellent result for the Club and this will be reflected in an increased number of Club funded BBQ's and other functions during the coming year.

And again we see the same tireless workers behind the scenes in the following tasks:
PUBLICITY OFFICER: Ann Toet. This task consists of many hours of updating Community Noticeboards, related industry magazine and newspaper advertisements, contacting previous site holders for intentions at the forthcoming Swap, a mail-out, organising flyers and hassling people to distribute them, taking many phone calls, plus allocating sites, including providing site plans and obtaining moneys for same. Ann also has to collect site fees on the day, assist site holders to their site and determine pre-bookings for next year.

PROPERTY OFFICER: Geoff Nicholas. This onerous task involves making sure that we have the necessary signage, kitchen hardware, gate jockeys, etc, for the task. Nikko does a lot of work making signs, putting them out or arranging same and his signage crew this year were Ray Scott, Trevor Fowler, the Boyds, Phil Sell and the Toet's. The Nature strips are as hard as 2020 MPa concrete and it certainly takes some effort to erect the signs. Between the Nature Strip Police, the winds, and the mowing, some of the signs did not last long.

GATEMASTER: Dave Phillis. Dave was on his feet all day and the point of contact and organiser of the gate crews, who filter patrons, site holders etc into the Swap Meet. He was ably assisted by at least 20 Club Members including (please forgive me if I don't mention you, tell me at the next meeting!)
Ray Scott, Greg McFawn, Craig Mill, Jim Greethead, Mike Gilmour, Phil Thompson, Peter East, Greg Carmody, Tom Ault, Bill Lewis, Geoff Nicholas, Marty Van Sebille, Paul Dunster, Allan Boyd, Steve Keough, John Simpfendorfer...To those of you who did the dawn patrol - a big thankyou.

TREASURER AND DISPLAY CO-ORDINATOR: Col Hill . Col was very hard working within and behind the scenes providing floats, gate duties, display bikes etc on the Swap Meet days. The Ariel Register had a very good site and drew lots of attention. There were a number of other Clubs with sites providing details of membership etc and it appears to be an increasing trend, in that Swap Meets are moving over to Social Meets.

MARKING - OUT TEAM: This is usually carried out on Friday afternoon and this year involved Ann Toet, Dave Phyllis, Paul Dunster, Marty Van Sebille, Geoff Nicholas, Alan Boyd and Jim Greethead. There is a lot of basic mathmetics involved in this exercise and when it gets out of whack, the walkways are very confusing.

THE KITCHEN CREW: Lisa Mill. Lisa organised all the food and was there at 5AM to start making the salad rolls and get the show on the road and was also on her feet until 5PM. Kath Richards always turns up super early as well to help out and stays for the full day. Geoff, Waine and John were also there at 5AM to get things organised and set up and start cooking the bacon and eggs. The entire crew made a formidable team and achieved great results in terms of value for the punter and return for the Club.
The Crew:
BBQ Cooks: Geoff Nicholas, Waine Summerfield, John Simpfendorfer (a club member from Cootamundra who likes to help the VVC out), Ian Faulkner, Alan Boyd, Geoff Duddy, Phil Sell, Ray Scott, Colin Whittaker, Colin Markland.
Canteen Helpers: Natalie Markland, Phil Sell, Nerida Barges, Kylie Ault, Chris Hillbrick - Boyd.

Thanks also to those who donated baked goodies to sell, always very popular and the cookies, cakes and slices always sell well.

THE CLEAN-UP CREW: One of the worst tasks is cleaning up after a Swap Meet. The bins tell part of the story as about double this rubbish consists of unsaleable goods which are abandoned at the site. We had to do two trips to the rubbish skips and at least this year we did not get harassed by the Oktoberfest people for using "their bins" Highlights of the clear-up, taking up to about 4pm, notwithstanding that there were many items to be delivered to the shed at Peter Davey's, and the signage to be retrieved, etc, were efforts by : Peter Davey, Thomas Ault, Bob Courtney, Marty van Sebille, Geoff Duddy, Peter East, Lisa Mill, Craig Mill and Col Hill. The weather throughout the day was very mild.

THE SUMMARY: We were very pleased that the Swap Meet attendance was close to last year with around 2,000 punters and 120 outdoor sites. Many of the vendors commented that they did quite a bit of trading this year. We were again competing with Classic Yass and the Hall Markets, although many would have made it to both functions. This 2013 Canberra Swap was very good considering the large number of competing events/ circumstances having some affect on the day. I'm sure that I have left some helpers out so I do sincerely apologise, but a big WELL DONE!!!, to all those involved. We must also thank Renee, Trevor and the other helpful staff from EPIC who really do look after us with the Swap Meet and the Annual Rally.
See all at the next VVC run.

Peter Toet

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