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Geelong Bottle & Collectables Club Inc Volume 72 January/February 2010

Huge turnout to hear ‘subterranean historians’. Pages 4-5

Corio Bay gives up another treasure – with a little help from club member Craig Finegan. Story Page 11


From the desk of the editor


WHO’S WHO President: Dave Smith

Vice-president:  Peter Harding Treasurer: Bob Bauer Secretary: Tracey Elso Assistant secretary:  Noel Dawson

ut of sight, out of mind is a saying that members of our club don’t put a lot of stock in. Rather, we are united in the belief that the treasures we can’t see are no less on our minds than the ones we hold in our hands; we just haven’t around to unearthing them yet. Two stories in this edition illustrate that point. The biggest audience at a monthly club meeting turned up in February to hear the self-styled “subterranean historians” thrill us with their underground exploits mapping the mines of Victoria’s golden past. The trio know just how profitable some of those mines were, how ingenious the men who tunnelled them in search of gold were and just what still lies in wait deep underground if, like them, you have the expertise and equipment to venture where few of us will ever go.

Librarian:  Craig Finegan Editor:  Cam Ward 0430 369 146 Public officer:  Kim Johnson State representative:  David Smith Catering officer:  Pam Bauer Committee members:  Tony Parsons Craig Finegan Kim Johnson Noel Dawson and executives


Apparently Shaun was still fielding questions until midnight, such was the chord he struck with the audience. Closer to home, club member Craig Finegan has been diving in Corio Bay and turning up some significant finds. Understandably, Corio Bay has been worked over extensively for decades but you only have to look at how big a body of water it is and think about how many ships have been throwing their rubbish overboard for more than 150 years to realise it’s been nowhere near cleaned out. Craig’s finds come on the heels of the flock of Black Horses he and David Smith unearthed locally last year. Our monthly latest finds continue to highlight what can be found at markets, garage sales and online. If anything, it all goes to show that expertise and equipment will only get you so far. No less important is patience. Cam Ward Editor

A financial club is a strong club and 2010 membership subscriptions are due NOW. See treasurer Bob Bauer for details.

Geelong Bottle and Collectables Club Inc.

The club meets on the fourth Monday of each month (excluding December) at the Belmont Park Pavilion, Barrabool Road, under the James Harrison Bridge. Club postal address: Geelong Bottle and Collectables Club Inc. Box 5049 North Geelong LPO 3215

Bar’s been raised but club can still go higher

President’s promise: I’ll be back A

t the time of writing, before our March AGM, it seems that the present committee will continue on for another year although Bob, our long-serving treasurer, has given us a year’s notice that this will be his last year in this role. As I think back through my first year I realise how unsure I was about becoming president as a relative new member of the club. I must thank the committee in its first year of helping me in the role. Particular thanks to Kim and Peter for helping me feel my way early last year. And a real big thanks must go to Cam for his great efforts for our newsletters. His ideas for stories – such as the “Geelong’s most expensive collectable” article – are interesting and well researched. Again, I’ll stress that we need members to put in reports on events they have attended, or stories on an item they have in their collection or have recently picked up. One of the year’s highlights for me was presenting Ernie, Dot and Joe with their life memberships. Where would our club and, indeed, the hobby as a whole be without good folk like these? Our recent Bunnings barbecue fundraisers were well supported by a lot of members (see

DOUBLE UP: David Smith’s relentless pursuit of the perfect Australian fruit jar and ultimate ceramic label won’t stop him from a second year as club president.

Tracy’s report), though I don’t think Tracy and Kim want to see another sausage for a long time! The guest speaker for February and the attendance on the night was great; we may even get a new member or two out of it. Thanks to Peter for sourcing the speaker and everyone for getting guests to come along. And let’s not forget Alwyn Backwell and his interesting

chat on the history of Backwell IXL last year. We’ve set the bar high and I would like to see that continue. Any other members have contacts for possible guest speakers? Our focus now shifts to our next fundraiser, the May 22 market day at Rugby Street Scout Hall. After that we gear up for the October 23 collectables fair at

the showgrounds. It is now up to every member to help us all get stallholders and public to both events.Flyers are now available for you to give to possible stallholders for both events. And I am always happy and willing to hear from members on any issue involving the club Cheers and here’s looking forward to another year as president. David Smith

Sweet and sour lessons learned from show road trip


was happy to attend two swap and sell days in a month as I continued my lookout for that Geelong bottle or Aussie jar that I haven’t got! Bendigo on February 14 involved a liesurely trip up though the usual shops in Ballarat, Creswick and Daylesford on the Saturday morning, happy to pick up bits everywhere. Eventually we arrived at the show to help set up in the afternoon and to check out to Bendigo club’s trestles that we may hire for our show in

October. All the usual sellers were there – plus big Jim Bell who made the effort to travel down. I was selling from the back room and the public numbers seemed down but I did manage to pick up a rare Aussie Lightning Improved jar, which made my weekend! For Williamstown  on March 14, Hany and I had the pleasure of Jim Bell’s company and an impromptu BBQ with Craig and Tracey the night before. So successful was it that Jim

reckoned he had cheesecake and pavlova sugar poisoning the next morning all the way up the highway! (We believe you Jim!) There were not many sellers at Williamstown, with everyone being given extra space to stop the hall looking empty. Unfortunately fewer than 100 members of the public made it through the door. We came away with lots of lessons on what not to do for our upcoming shows. – David Smith

Crowd really digs mine T

UNDERGROUND HIGH: Subterranean historan Shaun Krafft.

hey were not the first to become entranced by the fabled past of Victoria’s goldfields. Bottle collectors have long wondered where other signs of civilisation – specifically the rubbish pits – might be lurking undiscovered nearby. Mining companies today wonder what new windfall can be gained by re-working the tailings and extracting even more gold. But for Shaun Krafft, John Tanner and Rick Ryan a day at Steiglitz 14 years ago unlocked something within them And, like the gold fever of yore, that something is infectious – as evidenced by the huge crowd that turned up at our February meeting to hear the self-proclaimed, selffunded “subterranean historians” (Rick also doubles as the group’s relic hunter) talk

CLASS IN SESSION: A huge crowd turned out to hear Shaun, left, and John Tanner.

about their passion. The prize of gold ($US1100+ at the time of writing) is driving renewed interest in just how much of the glittering stuff might be still lying under our feet. But riches are not what drives these blokes. “We were looking for something to do 14 years ago,” Shaun said, “and we started in Steiglitz with a few mines and a few tunnels. “All of a sudden we became fascinated with the scarred landscapes and mullock heaps and started jumping into tunnels.” Not that these worlds are for the faint-hearted. Shaun and his mates can be underground for up to five hours at a time and have gone as deep as 2200m. Added to that are the six different gases down a mine

experts’ tales of discovery

that can kill, or the times when there may be only 30cm clearance between the roof and the top of the water in a flooded shaft. Safety, then, is paramount. The men wear 3mm-thick wet suits to help combat the cold, work with 10 million-candlepower torches and may spend up to three months on planning and permissions before they venture underground. Rick is also a certified Level 3 expert in confined spaces. They work with mine managers to ascertain gas levels and the structural state of the mines. Their efforts will help re-open another two mines later this year. Rick is in awe of the abilities of the miners and what they achieved operating with just hand tools and the light of single candles.

“A lot of the subterranean worlds we go into, once we’re gone they’ll still be there,” he said. “The tunnels will be there forever.” And, yes, the trio have seen plenty of glittering stuff in the mines they’ve mapped. But among their many rules is one all important one: when it comes to gold they look but touch nothing. What Rick has amassed is a collection of several hundred bottles, many retrieved from underwater in the mines. Buttons and belt buckles are also common. But it is the experience as much as anything drives them, the timberwork that “tells a million stories”, the miner’s initials etched into them and still visible. “We see worlds which blow people’s minds,” Shaun said.

THIS PAGE: Some of the images from Peter Harding’s trip with the subterranean historians.

minutes November monthly meeting Meeting opened: 8.07pm Apologies: Noel Dawson

Bruce & Elsie

Minutes of Previous Meeting: Read by Dave Business arising from minutes: Bunning BBQ letter: to be organized by Tracey for Corio and Kim for Waurn Ponds Self-funding – ongoing Correspondence: Bunning’s: letters re BBQ Gippsland A.B& C. – newsletter Mornington Peninsula AB&C - newsletter Treasurer’s report: Term Deposit Cash Tin Tea Tin Swap & Sell Tin Moved: Peter H Seconded: Neil

$2528 $60 $0 $0

General business: Bunning’s BBQ: Tracey & Kim are organising bbq’s at both Geelong Bunning’s. And both have letters to attend organization night. Signs: Kim has organized for sign placement with the council for 2010 show. Guest Speaker: Peter has organized for a guest speaker for February 2010. Therefore there will be no displays – just latest finds only and a quick 10 min meeting. Bannockburn: Craig, Kim and Chris set up a terrific info and display table for the club at the recent Antique fair at Bannockburn, and was supported by Noel, and Alan. Warrnambool Show: Dave reported Flowerdale Auction: Dave reported Bendigo Swap & Sell: Cam reported Hampers: Well supported by club members – one hamper turned into 3 hampers! 12 days of Christmas: Several members brought in displays for Cam to take photos of for a promotional 12 days of Christmas poster Meeting Closed at: Best Acquired: 1st: 2nd: 3rd:

Tony Parsons Alan Snowdon Alan Snowdon

Display of 8 codds Wills cigarette advertisement Catholic last rites box

No snags as barbecues prove a sizzling sensation TEAM EFFORT: Club members cooking up a storm – and a tidy profit – at the Bunnings sausage sizzle.


n February 7 and 28, club members manned barbecues at Bunnings’ Corio and Waurn Ponds stores respectively to help raise much needed funds to boost our coffers. Kim Johnston and I decided to apply at both Bunnings thinking we might get one date over the period (there is a long list of applicants for these prized sausage sizzles) but got a shock when we were given two dates! We met, devised a plan of attack, bought most of the necessaries prior to the first barbecue and had the very able assistance of Tony Parsons (armed with Woolworths employee discount card) who made sure we got great snags at great prices! Kim and I also both attended meetings with our respective Bunnings, filled out council forms, applied for temporary food permits – and filled out yet more forms! By 7.30am on Sunday, February 7 the day was already lovely and sunny, with the promise of not being too hot. In short, great for selling snags at Corio! We had wonderful assistants and helpers all day – there were lots of jokes and banter and piles of sausages in bread and cold

And the award goes to... Best phone call – Jan’s son ringing to ask if Jan was going to cook a roast for tea! Fussiest customer – the one who wanted her sausage cut in half longways, seared brown, then put on a piece of bread with another piece on

top, then told Ron (the cook at the time) that men didn’t know how to cook a sausage properly! Most easily pleased customer – the fella who got the last snag, unceremoniously dumped in

his hand. “Onion?” – none left. “Sauce?” Sorry all gone. “Napkin?” Sorry, gone too. “Oh well, I’m hungry enough to eat it this way, cheers!” Hungriest customers – group of four young lads who came back – twice!

drinks sold. At 4pm, wearily we packed up. Noel, Joe and Ernie showed us younger lot just how to pack a tent expertly and with precision! And that barbie shone like it hadn’t for ages! Later that night, a quick add up found we had sold over $600 worth of snags and drinks! Not to shabby a day’s work. Nerves were a bit on the tense side for the February 28 barbecue at Waurn Ponds. Record sales had been made there in the past and the possibility of a very busy day ahead on a probably very hot day made us all wonder if we were doing the right thing! However the day was cooler than expected (whew!) but still very busy. Again we had great helpers, who slogged away over snags and bread and onions and the money

tin, helped to put up and pull down tents, and clean up. Best of all, they sold plenty of snags just by showing everyone how good they were to eat! At one stage Craig was sent off to buy more bread and sauce – only for him to come back and find out we had also run out of snags too! (Poor Kim had a very busy day – she was actually moving house that day as well – so had her wheels on.) Again at the end of the day, Ernie led his team in precision packing of the tent and equipment. Jan and Ron – who had donned the chef’s aprons for most of the arvo – along with Robyn and Chris cleaned with military style and eventually we all took a wellearned breather. Thanks to Tony Parsons for

his shopping expertise. And a big thanks to Kim who did a great double act. She seemed to be in all places at all times and did the dreaded job of slicing onions! At the end of the two days, we had gone through 86 kg of snags, four litres of tomato sauce, 67 loaves of bread (my chooks are still eating the crusts!) and one big bag of onions! Most importantly we made a profit of $1748. Congratulations to all who made this possible: Corio – Craig Finegan, Noel Dawson, Peter and Leigh Harding, Joe Votava, Ernie Taylor, Kim Johnson & me. Waurn Ponds – Craig Finegan, Chris Russell, Robyn Stocks, Jan and Ron Pocock, Pam Bauer, Ernie Taylor, Kim Johnson and me.

– Tracey Elso

minutes January monthly meeting Meeting opened: 8:05pm by Peter Harding Apologies: Dave Smith, Jan, Leanne Harding Minutes of previous meeting: Moved: Neil Stocks Seconded: Joe Votava Business arising from minutes: Bunnings BBQ’s covered later Correspondence: Mornington Peninsular ABCC Newsletter Gippsland ABCC Newsletter Treasurer’s report: Term Deposit $2528 Cash Tin $0 Tea Tin $80 Swap & Sell Tin $0 Moved: Tracey Elso Seconded: Ernie General business: Bunnings BBQ: Kim & Tracey have organized fund-raising Sausage sizzles at Corio & Waurn Ponds Centre’s. Corio sizzle’s fundraising capabilities, is one of moderate size – whilst Waurn Ponds is double the capabilities, and the work! We need volunteers to help out, and as this benefits the club, hope is that almost everyone will give a hand. A good amount of members showed hands, and put in their preferences and times they could assist. Guest Speaker: We look forward to February’s guest speaker. Peter H went out on an expedition with our guest speaker, and had a great time. By all reports, we should be enthralled by our guest speaker. Cam W has whipped up fantastic fliers for club members to hand around Geelong, and all are very enthusiastic. Australian Bottle & Collectables Review: Dave had a letter published in the magazine commemorating Dot & Joe Votava’s and Ernie Taylor’s Life Memberships’ awards. Committee meeting: At Dave & Hani’s February 15, 7pm. Meeting closed at: Best aquired: 1st: 2nd: Equal 3rd:


Robyn Stokes

Vintage Japanese chicken tea service

Barry Sydenham

Cast iron money box characters

Tracey Elso Craig Finegan

Uranium Green Rowlands soda syphon JJW Peters Schnapps bottle

minutes February monthly meeting Meeting opened at: 7.56 PM Apologies: Nil Minutes of previous meeting: Not read due to short meeting Business arising from minutes: Nil Correspondence: Australia Post – PO Box renewal Mornington Peninsula A.B.C.C. newsletter Treasurer’s report: Term Deposit $2528 Cash Tin $0 Tea Tin $0 Swap & Sell Tin $0 General Business: Sausage sizzle: Corio Bunnings – Collected $650 gross. Figures to be finalised after second barbecue at Waurn Ponds on February 28. Bruce Bodman: The Aireys Inlet Bark Hut heritage day is on Sunday, March 7, staged by the Anglesea District Historical Society. Society wanted to know if a member would speak and perhaps put on a bit of a display on the heritage day. Unfortunately due to short notice, nobody could help. Will try to do something next year. Market day: May 22 at Rugby Street Scout Hall. Ten per cent of profits from tables to be donated to the Scout Club in return for use of the hall and assistance. Stalls will be approx $25 plus table fee. Donated goods to be sold as well also required. Guest speaker: Shaun Krafft, John Tanner and Rick Ryan spoke about exploring deserted gold mines in Victoria, showed plenty of pictures and computer images, and answered loads of questions (except those about dead bodies!) We had heaps of visitors, old members and prospective new members attend. Committee meeting: Monday, March 15 from 7.30pm at Dave’s house. Meeting closed: 8.10pm Best acquired 1st:

Francis Ceraza

1840’s Stephen Green stone stout bottle


Alan Snowdon

Circa 1920’s group photo of nurses at Geelong Hospital


Daryl Phillips

Map of Victoria circa 1895

latest finds January Craig

John Richards 1845 seal cognac Bayldon & Graham torpedo bottle (double-panelled) Bollington’s internal thread JJW Peters Hamburg schnapps (dog & partridge trademark)

Joe & Dot

“Police” bear Old tin truck 2 pot lids Wooden thermometer Geelong metal sign Magpie cleaner tin Melton book St Arnaud book


Japanese chook set


Toby jugs


Johnnie Walker copper oval tray Oris 8-day wind-up clock “The Cupid” wedding cake box Bakelite clock with music box ballerina-style alarm


Money boxes


Apple cutter


Whittaker & Sons bottles 12 large ceramic labels Crowder Maugham


Calyx Western Australia insulator




Daryl & Anne The Herald 150th anniversary edition Geelong Advertiser 150th anniversary port Ern

Vegemite jar MacRobertson’s tin Robin starch Small lever


Rowlands soda syphon Uranium glass bowl


Embassy baby ware Assorted car ephemera


Dangers above the water can’t stop Craig

Corio still a bay of plenty I

t’s never too late could well be Craig Finegan’s motto after his latest Corio Bay haul. Not content with helping David Smith uncover a horde of 14 Black Horses in Geelong West, Craig has been busy with another passion – diving – with some stunning results. His latest prize is this beautiful JJW Peters schnapps with embossed hunitng dog and bird. Craig found the bottle on a recent dive at a well-loved Corio Bay fishing spot! But the outing was complicated by some unwanted dangers. Craig had to put up with idiots on jet-skis who didn’t obey boating laws and observe an exclusion zone in the vicinity of his diving flags. The dive boat flies a large blue an d white flag on its roof when Craig is diving, and he also takes a smaller flag that is attached to a bouy that floats above where he is diving.  Some Wally actually used the diving bouy as a turning point on his jet-ski at full bore!  It’s a wonder people aren’t killed.

Craig Finegan braved Corio Bay and some idiotic jet skiers to uncover this beautifully embossed JJW Peters schnapps bottle, proving yet again that good bottles are still out there..

latest finds February Ern

Australian 1975 $10 bill 2 Aboriginal axe heads 2lb treacle tin Old Macrobertson’s tin


Photo of Geelong Hospital nurses (circa 1920) Cast iron ladies button boot match striker


12 7oz ceramic labels


Stephen Green stone stout (circa 1840s) AS Cohn Chemist bottle


Ceramic label bottles Jars Geelong bottle and salt


1838 map of England 1895 map of Victoria


Vampyre book




ALL CLASS: Alan’s historic class photo of Geelong Hospital nurses came second in February’s latest finds.

He’s our Mister Consistency There was no surprise in our overall winner of 2009’s latest finds. Alan Snowdon was a runaway winner on 14.5 points, ahead of Peter Harding (6 points) and Barry Sydenham (5 points). Here’s a look back at some of Alan’s dazzling array of discoveries.



Need to e-mail a photo? Like to post a photo online to sell an item? Have a lend of the club’s digital camera. ASK PETER FOR DETAILS

Wanted to buy Anything to do with Jim Beam, Coca Cola, ceramic Garfields and Ned Kelly. Collectables collector. Phone Len Ellmer on 5224 1469. Royal Doulton whisky flasks Kingsware/Old electric jugs Blowtorches, clean or dirty and any spares. Phone JIM HUNTER on 5127 6420. Member of the Gippsland club. SINGER SEWING MACHINES Anything to do with Singer. Phone Bruce or Elsie on 5275 5450. Matchboxes, labels, vesta boxes, match grips and Meakin china. Phone 5276 1267. Any old newspapers and documents. Prefer Geelong and areas but will consider anything. Phone Peter on 5275 3411. Geelong street guides and business directories. Phone 5266 1126. Any Scouting memorabilia. Phone Shane on 5229 6469. Milk glass Vegemite/Marmite jars. Also screw top metal lids, any size. Phone Bruce on 0408 527 741.

Wanted to buy

Pre-1956 telephone directories. Geelong & District or Melbourne Phone Cam on 0430 369 146. Any old newspapers and documents. Prefer Geelong and areas but will consider anything. Phone Peter on 5275 3411. Victa logo plate For original model Phone Alan on 5255 4773 or 0403 160 336. Embassy branded items. The old GJ Coles home brand. Will BUY anything. Phone Peter on 5275 3411. Aussie fruit/preserving/jam jars Geelong bottles Ceramic label milks and soft drinks David 0419 434 306/5243 4306

For sale Auction catalogues – Christie’s, Sotheby’s, Leonard Joel. Decoratiove arts, collectables, furniture, etc. Great for reference.$2 each. Phone Cam on 0430 369 146 or details. National Geographic magazines 1920s-2000s. Classic stories, great ads. $1 per issue Phone Cam on 0430 369 146.

No. 72 Jan-Feb 2010 GBCC newsletter  
No. 72 Jan-Feb 2010 GBCC newsletter  

Jan-Feb 2010 newsletter of Geelong Bottle and Collectables Club