Saturday June 18th 2011 was a hot day and a hot night in the town of Warkworth Ontario. The 55th Annual Warkworth Donnybrook Sale and Auction packed the Fair Grounds with bargains and bargain hunters of every description.
The material is collected in mass donations, and then sold in rummage sales and at auction in the town community center / hockey arena
The action started in the northwest red barn at 5pm. The event now dominates the entire Fair Grounds; it has outgrown the hockey arena. There are two additional venues full of stuff. the two red barns at the west end of the Fairgrounds are filled with boxes full of stuff
At 5pm there were over three hundred people waiting out front of the red barns. This is where the evening started. At age 55 the event has grown larger than the hockey arena - the clothing, books and toys are now kept in this separate venue which is first to open to the public and thereby heighten its ';early attraction' status
Here’s the crowd sorting through the toys, ceramic bookends, knickknacks , insulated drink cups, clock radios, PS2 gamer controllers, VHS tapes, BugsBunny underwear
Hamburgers were $4.00 each and came with optional (free) fried onions. Proceeds are donated to The Scouts - no longer are they just 'boy' scouts.
HOW THE DONNYBROOK WORKS
Weeks before the annual event, the Warkworth Community Service Club spreads the word in newspapers and meetings. Residents of the town and surrounding area are encouraged to donate goods they no longer want or need * but still in good working order and of some value to someone. After 55 years pretty much everyone knows the drill and most farm families donate something as the closing of act of their own annual spring cleaning ritual. When cleaning their houses and barns, local townspeople and farmers make two piles – one for the dump and the other for the Donnybrook.
Members of the service club drive their trucks around and pick up the material that people leave curbside on a particular night - or more rural participants can drop off material that same night at the arena.
The old electronics equipment sells for a premium in Toronto antiques stores to scores of well paid IT staff who marvel at how downright simple things used to be.
The rest of the hockey arena floor was littered with furniture of all descriptions, sofas perfect for the cottage, wall units, tables and chairs, electronics, household goods, sporting goods,
At 7PM THE AUCTION STARTED
For 30 minutes before the auction started a man in a red shirt droned on over the PA system,
‘The Auction starts at 7pm’
‘You don’t need to be registered to bid in the auction’
‘Just pay a service club member in a red shirt’
‘The antiques and collectibles are along the north wall of the arena, under the clock’
Marshall Gummer was there and acting it up as The Appraiser
The fellow who purchased the side table is Jim Connor from Campbellford, an astute and knowledgable collector. The item was a late Georgian or Early Victorian paper mache serving tray with mother-of-pearl inlay. The base was probably a later addition but did not fool Jim in spotting a treasure. His $60 purchase is probably worth $300-$400 !