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Gone clubbing … fifty-something style

Being fifty-something, the thought of joining a new club is at once daunting and exciting.

Recently I accompanied my friend W to our first (for both of us) meeting of the Geelong Bottle and Collectors Club.

I was uneasy, unsure whether I’d meet the club membership requirements. I’m not a fanatical collector. I have more of a whatever-takes-my-fancy-and-is-cheap kind of bower bird approach. Anything shiny really. Doesn’t even have to be blue.

In pursuit of a clutter-less environment, I’ve sold off most of my collections. I’ve kept the smaller ones that I can manage in tiny spaces. Like these:

And these:

And these:

Nothing here to excite a serious collector.

Still, I’d promised W we’d set out on this “clubbing” venture together. We had no idea what to expect. Each armed with little more than a passion for all things old, antique and vintage, we headed out on a Monday evening to a darkened council-owned venue.

We’d made a loose pact to just check it out. No commitments. No sign-ups. Just a look-see.

And look-see we did.

The club was a small group of less than a dozen. What they lacked in numbers they made up for in know-how. Gender-wise, our visit doubled the female ratio. Age-wise, we were smack bang on the money.

Otherwise the club members were totally eclectic, no categories, no stereotypes … just a great mix of people. If you want to read that as “quirky” then so be it. And so be me.

The night began with an official order of business … you know the drill, committee reports, business arising and all that jazz. Unlike some other meetings I’ve participated in of late, there was no pretension, no over-the-top egos and no fuss.

Then it moved on to “show and tell” where each of the club members showed off a favourite or new or interesting piece from their collection.

Amongst the mix was this little guy, a vintage Guinness bar advertising figurine standing menacingly close to 30cm tall:

And this. A vintage enamel Teacher’s Whisky Water Jug. I’ve never seen one of these before. I didn’t even know they existed:

And these rotary telephones:

In the true spirit of ”show and tell” it was not simply displaying the piece, it was sharing its history, provenance, importance, quirkiness, whatever. This was fascinating. Without exception, each shared their knowledge with generosity. Then everyone got to vote on a winner for the night.

Then it was on to hot bevies, lamingtons, friendly conversation and an informal swap and sell (in a discrete corner away from the action).

W and I didn’t commit to membership (we didn’t want to appear too keen, even though the $20 annual fee seemed a gift). We said we’d be back next month.

I’m not sure where I’ll fit in with this club, but I’m certain I’ll be taking more than I give in terms of experience and knowledge of collectables. Apparently, that doesn’t matter to these lovely folk.

To balance things out a little I’m planning to help out with the set-up and security (!) for the club’s big event coming up later this month (see below).

In the meantime, if this is how fifty-something clubbing feels, I’m leaving my clubbing shoes on!

And here’s an unashamed plug for the next big event on my newest club’s calendar (because that’s how I roll):


(inc. 2012 Victorian State Show)



Friday 26th (set up) 2pm – 7pm

Saturday 27th, 9am – 4pm

Sunday 28th, 8am – 2pm

Geelong Showgrounds

79 Breakwater Road

Stallholder Cost:

$15 per metre with display entry

$30 per metre without display entry

Public entry $5


David Ph: 03 5243 4306 Mob: 0419 434 306


9 thoughts on “Gone clubbing … fifty-something style

  1. This gives me a great idea for an evening with a few friends–bring one of your collections to show off and talk about. (and hope that one of those collections is fine bottles of red wine that beg to be uncorked).

  2. I read clubbing, and immediately thought the “night out” kind of clubbing. This sounds a great deal more interesting.

  3. I nearly didn’t read this one…not interested in Lamby’s, Eureka or Home House….funny how we make the connections.
    I have so, so many little collections that are all now wrapped in paper and stored in boxes….until I get back to them!!!

    1. Spoken like a true Geelong local. I have no interest in those “clubs” either … much happier with my little collections. Yours will be waiting for you when the time is right. 🙂

  4. Aaah funny how the word ‘clubbing’ conjured up a different picture in my head! (as did Karron it seems) though the thought of actually ‘clubbing’ at dare I say it ‘our age’ is daunting! I love the vintage Guinness bar advertising figurine…sooo cute. 🙂

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