One of our wider family members is an artisan with most things, including working with fine timbers and has produced for family members a range of fine furniture from lounge suits to single chairs to stools to coffee tables, whatever.
Shortly after we were married 40 years ago a friend gave us the loan of his large utility, more like a mini-small truck and we drove from Sydney to Canberra to collect a lounge suit from this family member. That served us well for twenty years. It was only changed for a change.
We all like good furniture for our homes, items that are sturdy yet complete, wholesome yet attractive, and moreover perhaps a little unique (different to what our friend have) and versatile.
These were the criteria that attracted me to the SBS television series 'Salvage Hunters' originally produced for the Discovery Channel by Cineflix. I make a beehive for the television when it's on as I put myself into the program asking whether this or that item meets my interest for purchase, and in the case of the program, restoration and re-selling.
Drew Pritchard is the one and only assessor and with his enormous furniture display shop floor in the north of Wales, which has earned a reputation of excellence and a high rate of sales, he travels the length and breadth of Britain (and overseas at times) checking out a range of available stock.
He's a bit picky, knows a good buy when he sees one, makes fair offers, sometimes he raises the offer as he realises the seller is not aware of the item's true value, and then displayed on the television screen is the purchase price, the estimated selling price after restoration and the profit margin.
Each episode accompanies Drew Pritchard and an assistant on a buying venture—they visit other antique shops, grand houses, monasteries, junk yards, old sheds, grand Estates, salvage yards, shops that sell old items, people who have a room with old stored items from generations past, a mixed bag, and we Drew Pritchard in action with his expert eye.
Once purchases have been made, the large van full of goodies, back they travel where the restoration process begins, the finished product is photographed for the Internet business, and then its placed on the shop floor. We see the entire process from inspection, artful negotiation for a purchase price, the effort to get these items into the van, back to the workshop, the restoration, and the photographing process of the brilliantly restored item.
Anything that takes his fancy is on the agenda for purchase. Toys, teddies, chairs, stools, lounges, wardrobes, glass, signs, panels, beds, office equipment, vintage trunks, vintage cars, fire places, Chester draws, trays, bottles, materials … anything really.
My mother migrated to Australia from England in 1933 sponsored by relatives, an elderly couple without children, George and Anne Wiltshire. In the sixties, after Anne died, Uncle George came to live with our family. Somehow, I'm not rightly sure how it happened, but after he died (he was 96), I got his old trunk.
This old trunk has occasionally been utilised as a prop in a Children's Story when preaching. I tell the children how this old trunk came down to me, that my old uncle bought it out from England in 1889 for his belongings, and before that, we were led to believe, its veracity could be traced back to Captain Drake in which it was utilised to carry pieces of eight and great treasures taken from the Spaniards.
The children's eyes are agog (as are the parents) as I lift its heavy rounded lid, and show them all how I thoroughly inspected the trunk squeezing every nook and cranny to ascertain whether any pieces of eight had been secretly lodged. Alas, not one! It is at that point I turn their attention to other kinds of treasures, spiritual treasures.
An honourable past time amongst many Christians has been to memorise special Scriptures verses that have a special place on their lives, experience and family/personal history. They have taken for themselves these sacred texts for comfort. They bring with them secret inner emotions of both great joy and much sadness.
Many Christians highlight these special verses in their Bibles, where they might be reminded regularly of their tenor and the true value of holding such scripture to their hearts.
One of many such verses for me has been Proverbs chapter 3, verses 5–6: "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all they ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths."
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He mentors young writers and has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children. Dr Tronson writes a daily article for Christian Today Australia (since 2008) and in November 2016 established Christian Today New Zealand.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html