It was a gamble. The Kettering Maritime Marketplace held in May 2011 was a huge success. Would there be enough accumulated good stuff and junk to run it again after only twelve months?
Last time we took items for sale on commission , but not much sold despite many volunteer hours setting up and running this component. On the other hand selling table space for people to deal with their own gear was easy and successful.
So for the bravely titled “Second Annual Grand Maritime Marketplace” we took nothing on commission. On the day twenty four tables filled the hall, laden with shiny bronze, used rope, electronic gear still in original boxes, magazines and marine bits and pieces of every kind and condition.
Outside the Hall six “outside spaces” were sold to purveyors of dinghies and other piles of stuff. Beyond that cars were parked from one end of Kettering to the other.
At 9.30 am precisely the doors opened and a hundred keen early birds who had been waiting in cold, wet and windy anticipation poured in for their bargains.
Just outside the door Carol Tayton's crew from Friends of Kettering were doing a roaring trade with a warming sausage sizzle which raised over $500 for the Buddha's Smile School at Varanasi.
On the stage a pile of assorted donated items were given away for a donation to the Aitutaki Sailing Club in the Cook Islands. Chris Short, who had developed this project when he saw how the youngsters on the islands struggled with impoverished gear, also ran a collection of dinghy items. In support the Kingston businesses of TMD, Industrial Sewing Services and Clennet Mitre 10 have contributed swaging tools, sail gear and stainless screws. A great effort.
After the initial gold rush the social side of the event slipped into full swing. Old acquaintances met, lies were told, bargains invented and there were smiles all round.
By 1.00 pm the rush had eased to a trickle. Tables were looking much lighter. Sellers began to count their takings and pack for home. “Did I buy more than I sold? “
At 2.00 pm volunteers appeared unbidden and soon had the hall swept and squared away shipshape and Bristol fashion. It was all over bar the counting.
There was a net surplus of $315 each for the Kettering Yacht Club and Cruising Yacht Club of Tasmania.
Should we do it again next year? Yes please. The gamble came good. Twelve months is plenty of time for stuff to accumulate or be recycled and a regular annual event will develop its own rhythm in our sailing lives.
What should we do differently? This year a new practice evolved of items being donated for sale with proceeds to charity. Well managed this could be a valuable aspect of the marketplace.
Perhaps some commercial chandlers would choose to become involved. Perhaps we should incorporate the event as a calendar item in club timetables and bring it to notice a little earlier.
Finally. The Marketplace can only happen because of volunteers. Thank you to all who helped, especially those who braved the elements outside on that wintry but cheerful Saturday morning.