MARKET DAY: Syd and Val Haag have turned up almost every Sunday at 3am for the last 30 years to run the Ipswich Showplace Markets.
MARKET DAY: Syd and Val Haag have turned up almost every Sunday at 3am for the last 30 years to run the Ipswich Showplace Markets. Cordell Richardson

Trash and treasure Syd's Sunday ritual for 30 years

IT has been more than 30 years since Syd and Val Haag first got out of bed at 3am on a Sunday morning and headed off to what was then known as the Ipswich Flea Market.

This year has been 30 years since Sydney was crowned market convenor.

Savvy shoppers can find fresh produce, eggs, chickens and birds, collectables, antiques, furniture, plants, trash and treasure and other people's junk bright and early every Sunday morning.

"Plants seem to be the most popular thing, we have 10 stalls that sell plants; flowers, citrus trees and all sorts," Syd said.

"We try to support the farmers by using farmers who grow their own veggies and sell them at the market. The farmer grows their things and come here to sell it.

"Years ago they all used to be called flea markets. Now we have crafts and all sorts of things."

MARKET DAY: Syd and Val Haag have turned up almost every Sunday at 3am for the last 30 years to run the Ipswich Showplace Markets.
MARKET DAY: Syd and Val Haag have turned up almost every Sunday at 3am for the last 30 years to run the Ipswich Showplace Markets. Cordell Richardson

Syd said the market had gained significant support over the years and what was once a market of 30 stalls had increased to 200 and with up to 3000 people filing through the gates every Sunday.

"It was just a small market when we started off and we gradually built it up. It's double the size of what is used to be, we have kept improving," Syd said.

"We thought it would be something for the people to use if they had any old furniture or household stuff. That's why we called it trash and treasure.

"The best part is when people come and say you're doing a good job. We have it down to a fine art. I've only missed a few when I have been crook."

He said the key to a successful community market was a balance between stall holders and not too much cake.

"You have to have a mix of both kinds of markets and not too many of one thing. We only have two coffee vans, if you have any more nobody makes a living. It seems to work out well that way and every time seems to make a bit of money," Syd said.

The Ipswich Showplace Markets were started in 1982, known then as the Ipswich Flea Markets, as a means for the community to make trash and treasure of their old household items.

Patronage numbers grew and in 1992, the Heritage Pavilion was built to house the craft and handmade stalls.

A more 'sophisticated' name was chosen; The Ipswich Showplace Markets.

Syd and Val have lived in Ipswich for 62 years and together they have made the market into the bustling community hub it is today.

"I like all the antique things because I'm an antique myself I suppose. I'm not allowed to buy any more because we are trying to de-clutter. I'm here at 3am every Sunday morning," Val said.

When he's not at the market, Syd is tending to his farm at Boonah, where he grows 40 kinds of pumpkins.

"I've got Desert Table pumpkins, Queensland Blue, Ironbark, Jarrahdale, Windsor Black, Bugle and pear-shaped, Haags Wonder," he said.



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