Duncan McHarg showing off some of his original bespoke shoes, Adam Parker maker of beautiful hand made knives and reluctant model, Debbie Kolarik, wearing a pair of Duncan’s pirate boots.

WHAT do Penny farthing bicycles, hand-made knives, spinning tops, boots and a blacksmith’s forge have in common? They are all part of the Old Trades Exhibition that will take place at the Ballarat Exhibitions Centre on Saturday August 8th and Sunday August at 9th. From boot makers to blacksmiths, weavers to Gilders, woodworkers to knife makers, calligraphers to whip makers the exhibition offers the chance to watch traditional artisans and craftspeople in action as they demonstrate their skills and wares.

The Exhibition is the brain child of Bronwyn and David Sanders, owners of the Ballarat Exhibition Centre. ‘We really wanted to do something which celebrated the skills of trades and crafts people,” said Bronwyn, manager of the Ballarat Exhibition Centre. “We have been amazed at the variety of people in the region doing amazing things. People like Adam Parker who makes beautiful hand-made knifes or Duncan McHarg who crafts incredible bespoke shoes and then there are the groups like the Lace makers guild and the Spinners and Weavers or the woodworkers guild that are keeping traditional trade techniques alive and the focus is on giving people the opportunity to meet the crafts people and tradespeople and watch them at work.” The day will consist of workshops demonstrations and displays, “it really gives people a change to watch the crafts-folk up close and learn about these skills from a bygone era that are well and truly alive today,” said Bronwyn.

Bronwyn’s husband, David, added, “We hope to have this inaugural event as a regular feature.” “There will also be some interactive activities for kids so hopefully we can foster some enthusiasm for younger people to take on some of those older trades.”