The Canadian Corkscrew
Collectors Club's meeting
in Bucharest, Romania.

21st - 24th August 2015

A review


Peter Borrett
Wow! What a fabulous few days I spent at the Canadian Corkscrew Collectors Club annual meeting which was held in
Bucharest, Romania & was hosted by Ion Chirescu, aka Fotodeal.

I arranged to meet both Jim Edgar & Tim Underwood at Stanstead airport, north of London, for a very early flight on the Friday
morning. It meant my alarm was set at 2:30 a.m. Being a night Owl I only managed about 3 hours of sleep. A couple of hours
later, after the clearest of clear Motorway runs, I was bumping into Jim & Tim & in no time our flight was called & we were up, up
& away. I took my Ipad loaded with a choice of films which helped pass the 3 hours very nicely.
A good flight, bang on time &
a smooth landing which
received a round of applause.

Walking into Bucharest's
airport concourse we were
greeted with a fabulous
welcome from a number of
lovely ladies adorning red
polo shirts who were waiting in
front of a banner with
Chirescu's museum logo.

As we had to wait a short
while for another flight to land
it seemed a good idea to grab
a beer. Around 30 or so
minutes later we were
heading to the Hotel
I registered at reception,
changed some currency &
then received my goody bag
which in my case had a 18th
century silver pocket
corkscrew, a diary & several
calendars, together with a
Chirescu pin.

I then gave a guy I have never
met one heck of a massive
Bear hug. Tommy Campnell &
I have built a great friendship
via the Internet over a number
of years & it was an absolute
delight to meet him in the

After chucking all the gear in
my Hotel room, which by the
way was very nice, I went off
with Jim, Tim & Tommy to find
a spot of lunch. We settled on
a place locally called Chocolat
where we bumped into Peter
& Jean Davidson.
Back to the Hotel for a couple of pints where we bumped into Leon, his wife Saskia, Milt Becker & others. Leon, like myself belongs
to the elitist of all corkscrew collecting clubs "The Corkscrewteers!". It was fabulous meeting him & his lovely wife. I hit if off very
quickly with Milt Becker, a great guy who has been collecting since the 1970's.
Peter, Jean, Tommy & Jim. A chicken sandwich, a popular choice & some potato chips. Tasty. Washed down with a bottle of white
each! :p  I can't recall the how much it cost but it wasn't expensive. We then headed back to the Hotel.
Who is this mystery corkscrew collector?
Don Bull
Josef L'Africain
Luciano Bottoni
Tom Lawrence
Poll Maker
Q. Who is this mystery
corkscrew collector?
Who is this mystery corkscrew collector?
Don Bull
Josef L'Africain
Luciano Buttoni
Tom Lawrence
Poll Maker
Jim, nicely oiled with Daddy of the ABCDE, the right honourable Richard Stevenson JGB (jolly good bloke)
Time for a quick wash &
scrub up & we were back
in the bar.  A swift
photocall for the
Corkscrewteers & then
the big decision of where
to eat dinner. A
restaurant  was
recommended, so off we
went. Quite a few of us
headed off including Jim,
Tim, Milt, Tommy, Joey,
Jean-Louise & Ardeis.

We had a good night.
The food was pretty
good. I decided on a
spicy sausage with
potato. We drunk some
pretty average local wine.
Others were more courageous with their
choices. I tried some of Milt's pork with
cabbage, tasty.

Back to the Hotel for a night cap. It was
late! Bed called.
Saturday, 22nd August 2015
Bad hangover & croaky voice fixed up with 2 tabs & a bottle of water. Down stairs for breakfast & then soon on board the
Chirescu express to the museum.

Bucharest is quite run down in the parts I saw. Old meets new with some nice modern buildings. We soon arrived at the museum
& it was pissing it down. Chirescu's team of people escorted us individually into the building with umbrella's covering us. It felt
kind of weird but was a thoughtful touch. The entrance of the museum is impressive. A banner the length of the entrance with
images of ladies legs & a focal point being a massive graphic of a various corkscrews on the main wall approaching the entrance.
We entered the conference room - impressive. We sat down for an introduction by Ion Chirescu, followed by a couple of  
videos about the museum. The second with some traditional music. I don't think anyone realised that a musician was actually
standing at one side of the screen playing some pipes. A rapturous round of applause followed.

We then headed off to view the
collection of irons followed by the all
important collection of corkscrews.
Ion's Iron Gallery
The very lovely Josef & Sue L'Africain <3
The lady in red is not dancing with me
just looking at me a bit strange
Barry tells John a joke *
Another lady in red.
A rare iron. A $25000 auction win.
Irons everywhere!

* Barry's Joke....

There was a cow on the loose in the neighbourhood yesterday.

Can't have been mine, she was ironing all day.
Ion's Corkscrew Collection
The museum was quite incredible. Corkscrew collectors everywhere have watched Ion Chirescu, aka Fotodeal buy
pretty much every top end corkscrew for the last several years & now we got to see the outcome.

I noticed a number of very good pieces that I have sold to Ion. A cherub frame was one of two corkscrews that were
revolving center pieces. I remember it well & it looked great. The other revolving piece was the Osbourne - a World
record price for a corkscrew @ a jaw dropping $78000!

I thought the museum looked fantastic. The layout is very good & pieces were categorised well. For me the collection
was very over cleaned but each to their own I guess. Personally I like to see that wonderful dark patina that you can
only get from years of use. I think there is a plan to sign the pieces as right now they are just corkscrews in cabinets.
That would make a big difference to the general public to get a better understanding.

Congratulations Ion on a fabulous collection which is displayed beautifully. It is well worth a visit if you are interested in
corkscrews or not.
Lunch, followed by the buy sell & auction.
A few of us had a buffet lunch on the top floor balcony. We found some red wine which we subsequently think we
weren't meant to find, let alone drink - an honest mistake. I blame Underwood!

Soon we were setting up for the buy sell session. It was hectic/mayhem/madness. Trying to see what people were
selling wasn't so easy with so many collectors around & selling wasn't that easy either. A few of us were a bit late & just
about squeezed into a space. I bought a nice 2 pillar Thomason from Goran Nilsson which I quickly sold to Tim for a
small profit. I sold 7 pieces in total - so not so bad.

I put three pieces into the auction. A really good Cotterill, a Twigg's lifing jack & an Italian mythological frame. I had no
interest in any of them. In fact there seemed very little interest at all in the auction. The deal is, if you're selling you fill
out a slip with your starting price, if someone puts their name on the slip they get it for the starting price unless
someone else also adds their name, in this case it goes to auction. Maybe 200 pieces were on display & only about 10
were auctioned. I bid on half of those.
What I bought at the auction
I'll keep the Parfait & the Dutch silver swan. The cat frame I have a buyer for & the Dordet &
Plume will be sold on my website.

With jaws following us on the floor we headed out of the museum looking for a spot of
lunch. On route we bumped into to Ion. We congratulated him on a quite incredible
collection & a job well done.

I suggested that he should put every collectors name in a hat & then pull one name out.
That person could then grab a shopping trolley & have two minutes, on Ion's whistle, to leg
it around the museum & fill the trolley. Everything he grabbed he could keep. He didn't get
the joke. A pleasant but quite serious guy is Ion Chirescu.
The Gala Dinner
Back to the Hotel & time to smarten up, a quick drink in the bar & then head off to Saturday night's gala dinner.
We (Tim, Jim, Milt & I) shared a table with Roman & Katerina. Tim picked out some red & white & in no time our
starters had arrived. It was a plate of strange looking sludge. One a red sludge - one a green sludge. Like a good
boy, as my Mummy told me, I ate up all my sludge. However nobody else did & they refused to sit on the naughty
step when I told them to. The main course was a rubbery type chicken on the cold to warm side served up with
something which might of been potato or maybe parsnip. Answers on a postcard to I can't recall the dessert but I think it was OK.
An exciting prospect. My debut gala dinner. I was thinking Lobster with all the trimmings, washed down with
champagne. Not quite that. Walking through the restaurant entrance we passed a glass display of iced fish including
carp with a monster cat fish being the center piece. So cat fish & chips or maybe a carp pie? Not quite that.

Once inside music was blaring & some traditional Romanian dancers, with full costume were frolicking around.
Looked great! My excitement levels were now in overdrive.
I enjoyed the band. The singers were good. Up came the dancers & first we were treated to a fantastic jive by Leon &
Saskia - enjoy!
Then followed a super group dance. The prize a packet of carp flavoured chips to nibble on the way home. Some strong
contenders included Norman & Margaret & also Barbara & Paul (Lively entrance at 0:55). Tim & Jim (out of shot) did pretty
well but were thrown off the floor by security for drinking & dancing. They have also had their CCCC licenses endorsed. Sad
but true. Check out the group dance.
Who has the moves?
Norman & Margaret
Barbara & Paul
Tim & Jim
We headed back to the coach via the fish display, noticing the cat fish had gone. Back to the Hotel & off to the Town for a
drink. Our group included Tim, Jim, Tommy, Leon, Joey & Milt. We lost Tim early on - apparently that tends to happen at
these meetings. We then soon lost Tommy & Joey when the older guys plus Leon thought we better leave the young Bucks to
do some young Bucking!

We hit a few bars, took in the sites & sounds, grabbed a kebab & then headed back to the Hotel.

It was a great night!

Q. Who is this mystery
corkscrew collector?

A. Luciano Bottoni
Sunday, 24th August
It must of been some night as my hangover was a cracker! Two tabs & a bottle of water later I still sounded like Lee Marvin.
Breakfast & then back on the Chirescu express to his museum for the CCCC AGM.

Ed Bystrang went through the balance sheet which didn't look that balanced. Then followed 2 hours of discussion which in my
opinion should of taken 10 minutes.

Q. It costs too much to send of the club mag.
A. Send it out digital instead.

Q. Should the club have a website
A. Yes. It will spread the word, encourage new members & you can also provide a private members area which incorporates the
mag that could be accessed for a nominal annual fee of maybe $20 a pop. That would bring in some fresh blood.

As it stands the club will go digital & it will save a shed load of cash. For now the dues will remain the same to get some money
in the kitty, thereafter - to be reviewed. A committee will include Ed, Sally & newly elected Tommy, with a couple of others to
follow, was that Norman & Ian, I can't recall.

We then sat through a presentation by Wayne Meadows on next years meet in Vancouver. Looks good!

Followed by a presentation on three new books. Wayne's Austrian figural book. The brass pull book by Roy Payne, Gail, Ion &
Joe Paradi & also the World class corkscrew book written by Don, Bert & Joe. Each book looked great. I'm not sure yet if I'll buy
any of them.

This was followed by a show & tell with interesting pieces highlighted by a number of collectors. Some great pieces were being
showcased. I was pleased to help Reinhold Berndt who was looking for anyone that could help him with a plated corkscrew in
the form of a crown. I have it too, part of a coronation set that includes a bottle opener in the form of a septa in a presentation

Lunch on the roof balcony with some wine tasting.
A visit to the Parliament Palace
Back on the coach for a visit to the second largest building in the World - The Parliament Palace.
So Saturday's bet was - How many guys will wear shorts to the museum opening. I lost that one, I guessed 6 it was 3.
Todays bet was how many toilets there were in the Parliament Palace. I was way out with my number, Tommy was
the nearest with his number = 150.

This place was pretty incredible. Unfortunately we lost Underwood in the queue & a couple of others too.

The security was tight, everyone had to hand in their passports & go through an airport type procedure. One
security guy got pretty nasty & ejected us & our beers beyond a yellow line. We would not be denied, sank our
drinks & started the tour. Built in the 1980's this place is mind blowing. Go visit if you can.
Next stop, the coach took us back to the Hotel. We headed off for a drink at Chocolat where we met up with Tim who
had been drinking with Joe Paradi. Joe had left his hat, so we auctioned it off. It made 50 bani, approximately 8p/$0.13.
Who looks the best in Joe Paradi's hat?
               Peter                                           Luciano
Who looks the best in Joe Paradi's hat?
Quiz Maker
After experiencing pretty average food at Saturday's gala dinner a decision was made by a few to skip the gala
& go for an Italian which had let off some good whiffs while passing.

It was a good call. A great meal & good wine. Time to move on & we once again lost Underwood. No surprise
there! The rest of us headed to Town where we passed a number of guys & girls who attended the gala dinner -
the word on the street was it was pretty similar to the night before. We found some good bars. Some guys
flagged but got their second wind. We found the kebab shop again!. Another awesome night!
Monday, 25th August
Monday morning & home bound. Time to say a few good byes & grab a taxi to the airport with Jim & Tim.

I had a great trip & I would definitely do it again sometime. I guess when I add everything up it cost around £800 all in, so
not cheap, but in my case I would hope I can get that back through the pieces I bought & sold.

I would love it if the CCCC could find a cheaper way to get newer collectors involved in these trips to encourage their
collecting but I guess it is what it is.

It was great to meet so many people that I knew through buying & selling. A lovely crowd! See you all again sometime.



© 2007-2015 Peter R. Borrett