I received a message from a mate named Ron Wilson, saying check out what I just bought! Attached was a photo of a 24-inch camp oven. I had lots of questions buzzing around my head, so I had to give him a call to find out the story.
Ron spotted a post on a Facebook in a Camp Oven group of a man with his foot on a big looking camp oven. The post read, “Look what my mate found underneath his father’s house.
It is 600 millimetres across.” As an inch is a measurement used by all camp oven collectors, he quickly did the maths and was stunned to see that 600 millimetres converted to 24 inches. That was an enormous and very rare oven.
Ron knew he had to see if it was for sale so he private messaged the poster and got a reply back, “The oven is not really for sale, but if you would like to make an offer, I would pass it on to the owner. What is it worth to you, Ron?” he said.
“What is it worth to me?” Ron asked himself. What a question to answer. How do you put a value on 25 years of searching? How would you put a value on the many miles he had travelled across the outback to distant clearing sales over the years? How would he appreciate the heartbreak of the times that he had found broken and smashed bits of big ovens? What was it worth to him? It was priceless!
Gone to see a man about a camp oven, should be back by Saturday!
Ron made an offer and found out the next day that it was accepted. He rushed home from work, had a shower and a coffee and hastily packed a bag with a change of clothes. He wrote a note to his wife that he left on the kitchen table, it read, “Gone to see a man about a camp oven, should be back by Saturday”. It was Tuesday. He had no idea how far it was. It turns out it was a touch over 1600 km round trip but well worth it.
Ron got there at 2 am and realised it was a lot bloody colder that far south of where he lived and to top it off, he didn’t have a blanket. So he froze till daylight then made the call. “Yeah, I’m awake, come straight round,” the bloke said. A short drive later and Ron was loading the enormous camp oven into the boot of the hatchback and heading back home with his rusty gold
The Big Girl Before restoration!
Now that’s a cool story, and I knew I had to see it I person. It had been a while since I’d had a boys’ weekend, so Nick, my mate Marcel from Australian Outdoor Adventures and myself threw our swags on the roof and set off to a little town called Broadwater in New South Wales.Boy, was it a great weekend! Ron had invited some other mates over too, and they treated us like kings. They cooked so much yummy camp oven food for us, and we were so thankful for their hospitality.
Photos from the Boys weekend!
By the way, that huge camp oven is bloody impressive!
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