Thanks to Al for the hot tip of the weekend: the strange, ramshackle, so-called National Antique Centre. This aircraft-hangar-sized space in Mornington is stuffed full of bric a brac, antiques, junk, clothes and books to browse to your heart’s content, accompanied by the soft cooing of a thousand pigeons nesting (and shitting) above you.
It’s like visiting a market without any stallholders – the enormous room is divided into about 250 stalls, all of which are unmanned (and most of which, thankfully, are enclosed within some kind of shade tent or roof to avoid the pigeon shit). Almost every item is priced already and mobile phone numbers are listed for those that are not. Some of the stalls even have sensor lights that flick on when you wander it (it can be mighty dark there under those tents). There are a couple of blokes who man the cashier booth up one end of the hangar but apart from that, you’re on your own, to sort through the trash for (somewhat overpriced) treasure.
I wandered around taking photos of things that caught my eye so I could add them to my shortlist… but then my well-laid and cautious purchase plans were disrupted by the centre closing. In a hurry, I quickly scanned back through the things I’d photographed and couldn’t make a decision, so left without anything.
The centre seemed to have a huge collection of household objects dating from the 40s, 50s and 60s, particularly homewares and kitchenwares, so if that’s your thing, get thee to Mornington. You will, however, save a lot of money (if not time) scouring the op shops instead; a couple of weeks ago I bought a set of scales ($4) in a Rosebud op shop that were exactly the same as those on the right above ($58).
There are more shots on the OWL Flickr page if you’d like to see more.
The National Antique Centre
65 Mornington-Tyabb Road
(03) 5977 0155
:: Arwen ::