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Cash from Trash.

It's hard to find many good things to say about 2020, but looking back at sales during the year there are some bright spots. We raised well over £1000 during the year, lower than usual because there haven't been many garage clearances, but still well worthwhile.

Elektra Beckum wood-turning lathe The biggest item was an Elektra Beckum wood-turning lathe in nice condition which went for £210. There was a lot of interest in it, and it's always fun to watch the bidding frenzy during the last few minutes of an auction.

Nothing else has come close to that price, but a lot of small items do mount up. Planes always sell well, and we have shifted quite a few this year. The more common ones like the Stanley No 4 tend to go for £20 to £40, but rarer models will attract much more, and it is surprising how many of them have gone to buyers in Europe, mainly France and the Netherlands.

One thing we have learned from the internet is that no matter how peculiar your tastes may be, you are not alone. And sometimes those tastes are quite respectable. Who could object to a passion for collecting oil cans? There's probably a word for it. There's certainly a Facebook page.

Vintage oil canIn one of our garage clearances we acquired two vintage oilers – see pictures below. They were both well-used, and not in great condition, but I thought they might appeal to somebody.

Vintage oil canThe conical one was so crudely made that I thought it must have been an apprentice's exercise, but under the magnifying glass I could just see the very worn remains of a Marples shamrock trademark. This design was known as the "walnut whip", for obvious reasons, and it fetched £10.

The one with the long spout, made by Braime of Leeds, had a manufacturer's logo with a nice period feel, and seems to be regarded as a classic of the genre. I was surprised to see how much interest it generated and the final bid was a very rewarding £35. But perhaps I let it go too cheaply. There's a similar one on an American site this week with an asking price of £300.

Ridgid Tools advertisement Vintage tools are often sought after by collectors. We had a couple of unusual US made adjustable wrenches from the Ridgid Tool company. I looked them up and found the firm was well-known for its workshop calendars, with scantily clad models extolling the benefits of a Ridgid Tool. Aren't you glad we've grown out of that sort of thing?

Vintage pen set Some sales have come from our own members' donations. Thank you to Chris H for some fishing and sailing items and to everyone else who donated. Turning out my own loft, I found some of my school fountain pens that haven't been touched for over fifty years. These were old enough to be considered collectable, and sold very easily for £24. I'm sure everyone has a few items like that, gathering dust, so if you'd like them to raise money for a good cause, you know where to bring them.

During the coming year, keep an eye on our Facebook page for snippets of news about some of our more surprising sales.

Richard Bunce

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