HISTORICAL HOBBY: Keith Midgley at the Gladstone Rotary Swap Meet and Car Boot Sale held at Calliope River Historical Village.
HISTORICAL HOBBY: Keith Midgley at the Gladstone Rotary Swap Meet and Car Boot Sale held at Calliope River Historical Village. Matt Taylor GLA100819SWAP

Passionate collector keeps coming back to swap meet

IT WASN'T quite Antiques Roadshow, but collectors and bargain hunters from across Central Queensland descended on Calliope Historical Village on Saturday to snag a bargain.

The annual Gladstone Rotary swap meet and car boot sale has been running for nine years, attracting stallholders from across Central Queensland.

It also drew thousands of buyers, helping to raise money for organisations like the SES, Quoin Island Turtle Rehabilitation Centre and Relay for Life.

Tannum Sands resident Keith Midgley has attended the event every year as a seller since its move to Calliope River Historical Village from the Showgrounds.

This year, along with his wife, the pair had a range of goods for sale including collectibles, tools, antiques, plants and more.

An avid collector of antiques, furniture, kerosene lamps and guns, Mr Midgley has always had the passion, a "disease” he believes he got from his sister, who was a buyer 40 to 50 years ago.

He said his love for swap meets and car boot sales started with a pump he picked up from a garage sale.

"When I retired I picked up a pump and figured out something must've driven it, and it turned out it was a stationary engine,” Mr Midgley said.

"Talking to lots of people, I started collecting stationary engines and restoring them and this is an offshoot from that.”

It's the social aspect of the hobby that he loves, learning from others through the trading process, and has had plenty of time also having attended the Rocky swap meet for 23 years.

Mr Midgley admitted most buyers were in it for cheap prices, with two different types of customer easily recognisable.

He said there were those looking for something specific, as well as those arriving late looking for quick bargains as sellers are packing up, with the universal appeal of snaring a valuable item on the cheap.



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