After decades of receiving old military uniforms, souvenirs and various wartime accessories, the Ashton Armoury Museum is running out of room. So, they’re selling a few things off.
“When we started this process a year ago we found stuff we didn’t know we had inside of closets we didn’t even know we had, and we have a lot,” said museum volunteer Wayne Dauphine.
The big sale is Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Ashton Armoury.
It’s not only the first sale of this kind by the museum, which is a rare occurrence, but it’s also a chance for the public to visit the main hall of the Ashton Armoury.
With so many redundancies, museum caretaker Ted Leaker said it was time to sell some off.
“We don’t get a lot of money to run this museum so we can use the money to keep the museum going,” he said.
The sale will feature surplus items, many of them redundant to the museum, such as about 60 uniforms and accessories, helmets dating back to the Second World War, webbing and packs, trench art, wartime souvenirs and military books and prints.
Most of it is Canadian but there are all kinds of items, from Japan, Holland, France, Germany and the U.K.
“This gas mask is from the Cold War era and was actually made available to citizens,” said Leaker, pointing at a table of souvenirs and wartime artefacts.
Next to the gas mask is a helmet, and next to that, a 1940s Japanese sword.
“It’s likely this sword was picked up during battle and brought home, but of course we don’t know for sure,” said Dauphine.
One thing is for sure, the sword is authentic, and it could be worth anywhere between $100 and $600.
“This one’s not in that great of condition, and we have one the same but better, so that makes this redundant,” said Leaker.
One of the challenges, said Dauphine, is finding the right price for each item.
“A lot of this stuff has value, so we’re trying to keep it as affordable as we can while also making sure we get the right price,” Dauphine said. “We don’t want to sell it for a penny and see it next week for a pound on Used Victoria.”
There are so many goods that the sale will fill the main hall of the Ashton Armoury with tables. A few local vendors have also been invited to sell similar goods, said Dauphine’s wife Nancy.
Wayne and Nancy Dauphine came to the museum last year after Nancy had done some work with the armoury’s medical museum. Cabinets of nursing uniforms line a section on the right side of the hall.
“By the time we had everything gathered, we sorted it out on tables across the hall,” Dauphine said. “Nancy spent months sorting through badges, buttons and medals alone.”
There are hundreds of the badges and pins, all sorted by manufacturer, era, or other distinguishing marks. And there are also some door prizes for those who show up. They’re not free, but they’re well worth it, Nancy said. Tickets are $2 for one and $10 for six. There is also a pre-sale on the Friday night for two hours, at which military and family can have priority access to the goods. However, Dauphine says not to worry, as there is lots to go around.
The Ashton Armoury Museum Military Collectables and Memorabilia Show and Sale is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 724 Vanalman Ave.