National Swap Meeting Bendigo – 1982

Spud Howley writes:

“The cup is special to me because it reminds me of my family home. I’m from a large family (9 kids) and our family home was a rambling 100-plus-year-old miner’s cottage in the rural outskirts of Bendigo.

My father’s family has lived in the area since the 1880s. Mum and Dad are not “matching dinner set” types. Large families aren’t suitable for store-bought crockery sets and vice versa. Much of their crockery is a mishmash of things that were handed down from grandparents and other relatives, or things that Dad has found at Op Shops. He’s a big op shop fan and general hoarder of things he has no practical use for – like a photo lab from a closing down pharmacy in Adelaide.

I’m not sure of the origins of the Bendigo Swap Meet 1982 mug. It’s always just been around. The Swap Meet [a Swap Meet is an event where car enthusiasts go to swap parts and meet fellow enthusiasts] is a big deal in Bendigo (or it was when I was growing up) but I don’t recall the mug being around in my early childhood. I suspect it was either something that came from my Nanna’s place when she passed away or something that Dad has picked up on one of his op shop runs.

Either way, it’s been in the family from before I moved out (in 1997). I always gravitated to that mug at their place.

Mum and Dad are habitual tea drinkers – if the kettle isn’t on, then there must be a pot made already.

I always tried to use the mug when having tea and Mum and Dad’s. When they were selling up the house and downsizing, I asked if I could take the mug. It’s Bendigo Pottery, which is rather prized, and their mugs are a very unique and identifiable shape. I love it. It’s been my work mug for years now. I usually drink instant coffee out of it but it does a great job at holding strong black tea.”


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