By Tim Sykes
It is called Ontario’s largest indoor show of nostalgia and small antiques for a good reason. The March 11 edition of the Woodstock Nostalgia and Collectables show certainly lived up to its reputation. Held at the spacious Auditorium and Market buildings at the Woodstock Fairgrounds, there are more than 230 vendor tables filled with collectibles. With the variety available, it is well worth the five dollar admission fee (children under 12 are free with an adult). The advertising reads like a nostalgic who’s who, with nearly every conceivable collectible available. Not just advertising hype, the show consistently delivers exactly as promised. From post cards and vintage paper items to bottles, tins, china and glassware, along with signs, automobilia, advertising collectibles, and so much more, The rooms had it all on display and available to the consumer. If you are a serious collector of nostalgia and small antiques, this is a quality show any serious collector should attend.
It has been a bit of a tradition over the years that most of the participating dealers tend to bring their finest collectibles and display them in this large hall. The high level of quality products and the incredible variety of nostalgia available to the consumer throughout the sales floor insures the large crowds of buyers. Ian and Jackie Ward are the longtime promoters of this show, consistently maintaining the show’s high standards over the years. It is easy to see why this is their flagship event in their series of collectible shows held throughout the province.
I have been to the Woodstock Nostalgia Show as a buyer, have spent time behind the table as a vendor, and now I’ve gained a completely different perspective of the show as a reporter. On this cold day in early March, the deals inside the hall must have been red hot. Most dealers that I talked to were pleasantly surprised in how well the consumers were so eager to buy. After the doors opened, it was almost impossible to walk down the aisles. The crowds were tremendous, much to the satisfaction of every vendor and the show promoters. Every vendor spot was occupied, including those in the main hall, and throughout the smaller room near the front doors. It seemed that within minutes of the doors opening, the finest collectibles were soon changing hands.
When I first arrived, my eye was immediately drawn to the impressive setup presented by Elizabeth Dukelow of Week’s End Antiques in Port Rowan, Ontario. Her corner booth included historical artifacts, ephemera and small antiques attractively displayed on linen tablecloths. In the main hall, taking up several tables were numerous crates of various vintage magazines presented by Mat Ross. His display board featured a wonderful display that featured sports heroes, musical acts, Hollywood stars, and a special collection of Life Magazines that featured The Beatles from throughout the 1960s. Among the other busy booths along an isle was the popular collector supplies table of bottle expert Robin Newton-Smith of Cambridge, Ontario. His table top featured plastic sleeves available for nearly any paper collectible worth having, as well as an impressive selection of collector bottles. Ed Locke, a dealer from Renfrew, Ontario was located along a wall in the main hall and he was able to take advantage of the extra space for his display of original dance hall event posters. I was lucky to have had a look at Locke’s unique collection, because shortly after the doors opened, nearly his entire inventory was purchased by eager collectors. Juras Michelsons, a collector from Cambridge, Ontario was doing a brisk business at his large table of collectible model cars and other automobile-related ephemera. In the middle of the Market building, the table display of Pat and Jayne Morrison of Pinegrove Antiques caught my attention as well, with a notable collection of quality tins and related material. Tim Maitland from Corunna, Ontario had an amazing display of silk screen advertising milk bottles, featuring dairies from around the province.
Wray Martin, a well regarded historian from London, Ontario, and long time dealer at the Woodstock Nostalgia show was there with another amazing collection of quality smalls he is known for. His group of tables has always been a popular destination at each show. Greg Williams, another dealer from London, Ontario had his first-class display of quality small antiques, and as predicted, his booth space was among the first visited by several important collectors. It wasn’t long before his large inventory was reduced.
Over all, the March 11 version of the Woodstock Nostalgia show was a jam packed affair, popular with collectors, and a totally enjoyable outing. The next Woodstock Nostalgia show is scheduled for May 27, 2018. You will want to mark the date on your calendar!