Angaston Cottage Industries to close

Angaston Cottage Industries is closing its doors after 46 years trading in the main street.

In last week’s Public Notice section of The Leader, the organisation thanked members, of which there are around 500, for their loyalty and friendship over the years and advised that contact would be made in regards to finalising accounts.

Long time member, Mr Barry Chinner was saddened and shocked by the news of the historic shop’s closure.

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He said volunteers had told him the decision to cease trading was not made lightly and that “it was time” to call it a day because “they’ve just had enough”.

“Everyone is quite emotional, myself included” said Barry.

“It has been a great institution.”

Angaston Cottage Industries commenced back in 1972, after a group of ladies in the district, led by the late Helen Hill Smith, wanted to find a way of selling their surplus seasonal produce, preserves, craft, needlework and home baked goods.

Barry remembers those days well, with its annual subscription fee of just 50 cents and payouts being made every second Monday of the month.

“I thought then, and still do think, what a great avenue for crafty people to create and sell their creations,” he said.

“I was one of the first to join and was allocated number 14. I thought it was a great idea giving the family gardeners an outlet for their surplus vegies and fruit and the good laying chooks with eggs to spare; the home made jams and preserves, the needlework and so much more.

“Here, at last, I had a place to hang my pen and ink sketches that I had been doing of old barns and other old buildings around the district.”

Over the years, Barry has sold art, books, historical prints and coins which have found new homes interstate and overseas after being purchased by tourists passing through town, discovering the quaint old building and the treasures hidden within.

He now joins the hundreds of members who are at a loss to find somewhere similar to sell their goods.

“I have enormous admiration for the manner in which the volunteers have operated the Cottage for all these years – a brilliant effort of firm, friendly control that has enabled the place to operate and survive most all challenges,” Barry said.

For the full story see this week’s edition of The Leader.