|14th September 2011
Okay, lets get serious
I know, I'm somewhat of a joker in the pack & maybe sometimes a little flippant, possibly bordering on
disrespectful. I don't mean to be, but I do like a laugh & sometimes people are just way too serious. Well, it's time
for me to become serious for once.
I'm now approaching my 47th birthday. I don't feel as though I'm edging towards 50, I'm definitely young at heart,
however, my body does, creaky knees, dodgy eyes & slower sports recovery make me realise I'm not getting any
I'm concerned. I've been collecting now for 10 years, I'm incredibly passionate about my corkscrew collecting &
yes, I'm definitely addicted to my daily corkscrew fixes. The reason I'm concerned is, I still feel like the new kid on
the block, when, as I stated, I've been collecting now for 10 years. Where are the next generation of corkscrew
collectors? I have no clue - do you? I only know of a couple of young bucks that have come on the scene since I
have, Gav & Tommy, & Gav at this time just deals. Who am I missing? I don't think I am. And, if I am right, how are
we as a collective group of corkscrew collecting enthusiasts going to encourage & nurture the next generation to
be as passionate as us?
Newer collectors soon find ebay but there's a lack of interaction there. The books are great, plenty of them but
many are ridiculously expensive, obviously small production runs & heavy books don't come cheap. The Internet
is spreading the word but ultimately, there is nothing better than interaction with fellow collectors. I enjoy the
meets with the Brits at the ABCDE club, which is well run now by Richard Stevenson who keeps us all informed of
corkscrew info & works very hard trying to get regular meetings organised. It's free to join, welcoming for newbies,
pretty much perfect in my opinion. I also enjoy exchanging emails with many corkscrewy guys.
Unfortunately, I believe that there is a level of elitism within our hobby, bred from personal status, education &
social standing, driven by personal affluence & the ability to afford. I believe there is a lack of foresight into what
really is required to develop interest within the hobby long term. Rules, regulations & bureaucracy stand in the
way of the younger collectors who might come from modest backgrounds, with modest incomes & with priorities of
raising young families.
I have some back copies of some CCCC Quarterly Worm newsletters dating onwards from the early 1990's. The
other night I was reading a very eloquent letter, written by Fred O'learly with regard to a past discussion of
registration fees at the annual CCCC meeting. This dated back to November, 7th 1997. As I said, Fred's letter
was very eloquent, raising good reasoning for justifying the high meeting registration fees. He mentioned not
compromising the experience of the meeting. In his words, I quote "I want more than a good time. I want an
experience, be it the personal engagements, learning about the historical/cultural background of the community,
having the opportunity to extend the trip beyond the weekend to visit friends and a place we might not otherwise
get to see. In other words, the AGM becomes the nucleus of our summer vacation". Fred goes on to say that
allowing members to pick & choose what activities they attend would open a big can of worms, yes, I'm sure it
Steven Webb recently resigned from the ICCA. He was informed that it was noted that he attended the CCCC
meeting in Cologne but didn't attend the ICCA meeting in Greece. Members were also informed of their
responsibilities, which in the ICCA means you have to attend one meeting every three years to sustain
membership. Steven felt uncertain whether he could comply with this requirement with the cost being a prohibitive
Here is my opinion. Firstly, a provision within the CCCC meeting for paid up members to attend for the day of the
buy sell & auction should be a given. It should be within the annual membership cost. Additional costs such as
meals & drinks should be covered by this member. I don't believe it would affect the numbers registering for the
full meeting in any way. More corkscrews to see. More bought, more sold, higher prices, happier sellers & buyers,
win, win, win. Offering an affordable option would definitely encourage newer collectors or collectors on a tighter
budget to attend, giving a flavour of the meet & who knows, maybe they'll enjoy the taste so much they will want to
find some way to commit themselves next time & attend the whole event. The guys & girls that do the three day
stretch will always do the three day stretch, as Fred O'learly wrote "I want an experience" & plenty do. Richard
Stevenson confirmed just that when we discussed the topic about a month back on the phone.
As for Steven Webb feeling he should resign from the ICCA due to being uncertain whether he can attend a
meeting to conform to ICCA rules I just think that's incredible sad. I know of no one person more passionate then
Steven Webb within corkscrew collecting circles. The guy is incredibly enthusiastic, knowledgeable & has much to
offer. Surely these are the people that should be encouraged.
Am I talking nonsense here? Tell me.
I'm fully aware that Clubs offer some amazing benefits to the avid corkscrew collector & would recommend
collectors to get involved. I do feel that the two major corkscrew clubs out there could have rules that could be
more encouraging to collectors with limited budgets or with young family responsibilities.
What do you guys think?