AVID COLLECTOR: Graham Berry gives up his machinery collection after 45 years.
AVID COLLECTOR: Graham Berry gives up his machinery collection after 45 years. Candyce Braithwaite

Avid machinery fan offers up half a century of collectibles

FOR Graham Berry, collecting is less of a hobby and more like an addiction.

The 83-year-old Clifton farmer reckons he has about 3000 collectibles on his property, ranging from vintage steamers to anvils and gramophones, but he's giving it up cold turkey, all in the name of staying healthy.

Following the recent death of his best friend of 70 years, Mr Berry came to the realisation that it was time to downsize and let go, so he could continue enjoying his later years and life with wife, Dal.

"He was the best man at my wedding and I was his best man,” Mr Berry said.

"At his funeral I read a poem called Remember Me and Let Me Go. That's how I feel about my collection - I can remember them but I'm afraid I have to let them go.”

Mr Berry said he started collecting almost half and century ago as a way to buy machinery on the cheap, but soon found himself unable to stop.

"I tell everyone when they buy an old car or tractor, buy a pair of rubber glovers, because when you scrap the rust off them, you get a disease that goes into your system and you just can't stop collecting,” he said.

While the first auction, which started today and will run until Thursday, has almost been sold out due to eager car enthusiasts, Mr Berry ensures there will be more to come as he continues to clean out his collection.

With rare war collectables dating back to the 40s, some may think it's an easy choice to pick his treasured favourites, but all his machines are equal in Mr Berry's eyes.

"If you said, did I have 20 favourites, that'd be more like it,” he said.

"Some I've sold in the past for money, but once I got that money, I would go 'I want that back' and buy it back.”

Without a mobile phone or computer to his name, Mr Berry claimed to have only ever brought one new piece of utility in his entire life

He said he couldn't help but miss the simplicity of the vintage machinery he collects.

"Old machines were simple. A modern day motorcar, I can lift the bonnet, take one look, close it and have to call a mechanic,” he said.

"I love getting into a new car, they're wonderful to drive, but I used to tie together my cars with wire, you can't do that with a modern vehicle.”

But rest assured, Mr Berry won't be fully giving up his passion, and plans to take a few special rides with him to his new home.

"Our new house has five car garages and I'm taking a few toys with me. I can't give them all up.”

To view Mr Berry's collection, check out our top picks above, or view the full catalogue online.


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