The Charity Auction!

The scene at 20:30 Friday evening, in Allendale Village Hall

By Friday evening, Allendale Village Hall was filled to the gunwales with everything that’s anything under the sun. It felt like more amazing stuff than ever, more than the last couple of years certainly.

Some decided treasures, some dross naturally, but you never really know what folks might need, or be inspired by. I think just about everything, apart from the great items brought in specifically by folks themselves, went through my own purview on Thursday and Friday, so I have a pretty good idea of what’s on offer today. In many ways, this Charity Auction is a public service in and of itself, clearing folks’ garages of those good things that just aren’t needed anymore.

What’s offered this year? Well, lots more china/crockery/glassware . . . lots more. Quite a substantial number of table lamps as well as standard floor lamps. And pictures, a great quantity. The normal electronica . . . quite a few of what you might call display cases: furniture in which to display that crockery, or, as we call it in our household, nickety-nackety-noos. Some intriguing vintage children’s toys, like the hobby horse. A great plastic curlew. A lot, a huge lot of what we jokingly called men’s things, namely nuts and bolts and screws and plastering things and spanners and saws. Lots of garden implements, including an electric shredder. At least 3, maybe 4 tents, and a canopy for dancing under. Rather fewer children’s toys, but to supplement that, 3 large doll’s houses with lots of furniture and decorative items. Some brilliant furniture, including a lovely round table wind-out extendable with perfect leaves. At least three working fridges, one only 2 weeks old. An absolute cornucopia of brasses, including cannons, eagles, an elephant and a tiger. A few cloth-type items like curtains, but not much. A couple of lovely matching single, maybe 3/4 beds, and many many chairs. A very few sofas, but one extremely lovely leather bedroom chair.

So many many things, and at last count an additional 63 pledges of delight to bid for. Viewing kicks off at 9:00am today, and the auction itself starts at 11. Allendale Lions members have been busy throughout the week, but especially over the past two days, collecting items from the store which have been donated over the year, and going out to households for other brilliant things. Somebody said it’s the original recycling idea, and it’s certainly true that what goes around comes around . . . some things we’ve definitely seen in previous auctions, or at least their identical cousins, and they’re still searching for a good home! So many things are still in perfect condition, just no longer wanted by their original owners.

It will be a long day (the Lions will probably have got to bed by about 2am this morning, after everything has been carefully arranged and lotted). Thank goodness the Allendale Sports Club are putting on a brilliant catering effort, to keep everyone’s spirits high throughout the day. The problem will be to accommodate the catering tables in with all the overflow from the auction items, in the New Hall! But it will all be managed nicely, I’m sure. As for the auction itself, it’s all for good local causes which the Lions are delighted to support, in this their major fund-raising event of the year.

And for entertainment, the auction can hardly be surpassed. Our son’s family is expected to attend, all the way from Edinburgh, with the children taking breaks out in the park while bidding proceeds on items they’re not interested in. I expect to be helping Doug Ness on the brown-shirt detail, holding up the more portable items of interest while the bidding takes place around us. We hope we’ll not be the subject of too many of Nigel’s awful jokes, but no doubt we’ll all be in for a robust community roasting.

It’s going to be great fun today, with some incredible bargains to be had. The best thing to do is to view carefully at 09:00, register your bidding card at the front desk, and then prepare one’s desiderata before the kick-off at 11:00. Then, take your places, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, for the auction of the year!

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