I spotted a post on a Facebook page 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 under 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 a 24 inch Camp Oven.
That was an enormous and very rare oven. I had to see if it was for sale so I 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?” I asked myself. What a question to answer. How do you put a value on 25 years of searching? How would I put a value on the many miles I have travelled across the outback to distant clearing sales over the years? How would he value the heartbreak of the times that I’ve found broken and smashed bits of big ovens? What was it worth to me? It was priceless!
I made an offer and found out the next day that it was accepted. I’ve rushed home from work, had a shower and a coffee, and hastily packed a bag with a change of clothes. I wrote a note for the door it read, “Gone to see a man about a camp oven, should be back by Saturday”.
It was Tuesday. I had no idea how far it was. Turns out it was a touch over 1600 km round trip but well worth it. I arrived there at 2 a.m. and realised it was a lot colder that far south where he lived, and I didn’t have a blanket.
So I froze till daylight then made the call. “Yeah, I’m awake, come straight round,” the bloke said. A short drive later and I was loading the big girl into the boot of the hatchback and heading back home with a monster oven in the boot.
That huge 24 inch Camp Oven is an absolute beauty!