UNDER THE HAMMER: A saddle up for grabs at a previous Allora Community Auction.
UNDER THE HAMMER: A saddle up for grabs at a previous Allora Community Auction. Sophie Lester

Allora auction a treasure trove of antique goodies

WHETHER you're after beautiful antiques, quirky collectibles, something a little more practical or just a great day out, the Allora Community Auction is the place to be this weekend.

The annual event, which has been running for 44 years, is a huge undertaking, with around 150 volunteers from 25 local not-for-profit groups working to book items for sale, assist auctioneers and feed the hungry crowds.

Vendors from far and wide take part.

President of the Allora Show Society Mark Pillar has been working with the auction for six years.

"As president of the show society I have proudly committed myself to the auction for a few years and it does not hurt if I get to grab a bargain at the same time,” he said.

There are plenty of those bargains to be had, with around 80 vendors expected to sell to around 2000 attendees.

"The kind of stuff you see here is unlike any other auction, there will always be something totally out of the ordinary,” Mr Pillar said.

"A lot of it is bought from estate sales after a family member has passed so it is unique stuff you would only find rurally. Some of it is 100 years old.”

Mr Pillar recalls one particular year when someone brought in a 70-year-old amusement park ride which had buyers both excited and a little confused.

While the auction is a premier event the show society understands times are tough.

Brett Bender is a member of the committee, which decided to reduce commission for the vendors.

"We understand times are tough for farmers in drought so we have reduced the commission to 12 per cent to keep sellers engaged,” Mr Bender said.

Working with the show society is just a part of living in Allora for Mr Bender.

"I see it as a community service. Allora is a small town so everyone needs to play their part,” he said.

"The auction is nostalgic for a lot of people now. Some of them have been coming since the first one so it is an opportunity to catch up with old mates once a year.”

Forty per cent of the auction's sales go back into the local community through the schools, churches, scout groups and more.

"Our average amount of funds raised can come anywhere between $10,000 and $20,000,” Mr Pillar said.

For those not looking to buy, the sheer scale of the auction, and the atmosphere as it unfolds, makes it worth a day out.

With so many unusual wares on sale, patrons could be surprised by what they find.

"We get a guy in from New South Wales who just brings axes and axeheads. He usually comes with 30 or 40,” Mr Pillar said.

"The only things we do not sell are pets, firearms and explosives. Everything else is fair game,” Mr Bender said.

"You could pretty much furnish your whole house if you wanted to, there is so much on offer.”

Anyone wanting to sell at the auction has until Friday to put their unwanted items in through Mr Bender who can be reached at 0418717554.

People wanting to run a stall should contact Mr Pillar on 0447161090.

For those keen to see what's on offer, there's a viewing of sale items at 2.30pm Saturday, June 8, at the Allora Showgrounds.

The sale commences at 8am on Sunday, June 9.

"Even if you're not chasing a bargain, it's still a good day to come out and have a look and a chat to some people from all over the place,” Mr Pillar said.



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