Collectors dust off their Kiwiana memorabilia for vintage weekend

Donna-Marie Lever
Source: 1News

Around 1000 Canterburians turned back the clock this weekend to see old school New Zealand, with collectors showing off their vintage Kiwiana memorabilia.

The 37th year of the Christchurch antique bottle and collectables club opened its door to the past.

Turning to a time when bottles were made sideways and packaging was all paper, cardboard or tin, Kiwis celebrated favourites that once filled many homes.

Among the keen and competitive collectors, the Devlin family travelled to the club from the West Coast.

Rhys Devlin had been a life-long collector of bottles, with more than 300 in a dedicated room at home.

"You find them in people's sheds, you find them in the ground, wherever you can, really," said the 32-year-old.

"(I) started off as a young kid at the back of nana's, found a whole lot of bottles, me and my cousins. And we dug them up, cleaned them up and started really getting into it."

Now he's giving the public a glimpse of his prized pieces.

"Well some people you show and say, 'I collect bottles,' and they are like, 'Oh yeah'," he said. "Then you show them and they are blown away, or you show them the room and they walk in ... and they are like, 'Woah.' There's a bit more to it than collecting bottles." 

The addictive pastime runs in the family. Rhys' parents, Irene and Roger Devlin, are also keen for vintage collectables.

"I'm the battery tester man. I collect them because I'm an auto electrician and i just like to preserve the past because too much of our things get thrown away," said Rhys' dad.

Rhys's mum has a keen eye for vintage kitchen collectables.

Although there's money involved in the memorabilia too, the family isn't in it for the cash.

"Some of the history is gone now and people don't know it, so you're sort of a historian so to speak," Rhys said.