Upwey bargain hunters take over jumble sale

This year's event saw another brilliant collection of second-hand furniture.

By Emma Xerri

While the hot jam donuts may have been a new addition to the day, the Upwey community returned to the Upwey Fire Station for the 53rd annual jumble sale, a cherished tradition locals have come to anticipate in their hunt for a delightful bargain.

Like previous years, with lines of eager treasure hunters surrounding the building before opening, this year’s event was no exception, raising all-needed funds that will go towards replacing the branch’s three community-funded vehicles and, hopefully, a new station.

“It went really well,” Upwey CFA captain Cliff Pancutt said.

“We consider ourselves very fortunate that the community gives as much as they do every year, and it just makes for a really fun day for for everyone involved. From the community members that come down and support us, to all the donations that we receive leading into it, it’s just a fantastic event.

“We had a couple of years where we couldn’t run it due to Covid, but we’re back up and running, and stronger than ever.”

Shifting their focus to less goods, but with better quality, the jumble sale once again hosted an unmatched assortment of second-hand items, one that continues to surprise even Mr Pancutt, who has been involved in these sales for 35 years.

“Every year, you look at the things that come through, and you go, is that going to move, or is it going to be there at the end of the day?

“But majority of the bargains are snapped up pretty quick. The line outside before the rope drops at nine o’clock is usually five or eight people deep, all the way across. So it’s bedlam for the first little while, but it’s great.

“And surprisingly, the interest is really varied across the entire spectrum of goods that we have, from all the bric-a-brac that’s on display in the back, to exercise equipment, push bikes and garden tools. We also received some absolutely lovely furniture, and people have been able to pick up some really good quality stuff for a bargain price, which is fantastic.”

While he is exerting some self-discipline by holding back from purchasing some treasures of his own, even Mr Pancutt has “been able to walk away with some bargains over the years.”

However, he believes the best part of the event is the togetherness it encourages throughout the community.

“My favourite thing about the jumble sale is catching up with people in the community. People can be there for half an hour, or they can be there for two hours, but I guarantee that they are always catching up with somebody.

“And one of our members, who’s still actively helping us, has been there for every single sale. He still comes every year to help out, including in the lead up to the event with all the collections that come in and coordinating all the paperwork and inventory. So it’s fantastic to have him involved still.

“Sure, it’s a lot of work, but it’s very rewarding as well.

“So, even if you don’t come down to find a bargain, come and meet the fire brigade. You’ll see everyone from our junior members all the way through to our senior members, and everyone’s happy to talk to people. We’re more than happy to explain what we do, and why we do it, and answer questions for people who are thinking about being involved. And, you know, there is always a great sausage sizzle going on, plenty of raffles and auctions throughout the day, and, of course, the recent addition of some fantastic jam doughnuts as well.”

With the annual jumble sale now sadly finished for 2024, the brigade will continue to be involved in various community events throughout the year, whether it’s supporting the local market days, or the billy kart races.

They will also be running a second chance bookstore later in the year with the leftover books donated through the jumble sale and, of course, the Santa run at Christmas time.