Get Lost in a Historical Wonderland

Though George Burke and his wife Bronwyn have had Coliseum Antiques up and running in the town of Mayfield for over 10 years, they still couldn’t tell you where everything is.

This is easy to understand. When you first walk everything can overwhelm you, with each corner filled to the brim with every antique item imaginable.

Whether your coming in looking for something specific, or simply to have a browse, there is sure to be something that will take your fancy. Jewellery, clothing, children’s toys, cutlery, and furniture - this place has it all.

It’s easy to spend hours lost in this shrine to the past, and such lengthy explorations can leave you hungry. Luckily they also have an adjoined cafĂ©. The perfect place to meet family or friends for breakfast, you can spend the morning searching through forgotten wares, before sitting back down for a spot of lunch.

Every section of the shop is stocked and owned by a different shop owner, each with their own unique taste and list of items for sale. The shop owners are ever changing, so you just never know what you might discover on your next visit.

1.    What made you decide to buy the Coliseum and get into antiques?
By accident really. When we first brought the building, it was really run down. It hadn’t been open for 10 or 20 years, there was no electricity, there was no water and all the roof was leaking and everything. Once we brought the building we thought, well what can we do with it and probably antiques seemed the logical choice, because it’s an old building, it all fits in well with it.

2.  How do you pick all the items for the shop?
We’ve got 20 different shop owners here and each one does their own buying. For example, the one we’re sitting in is owned by some people from Taree. People sell a lot of their private collection that they’ve collected all their lives, plus they buy and sell from other places.

3.   What’s your favourite piece in the store?
The best piece is this piano down the back. It came from Chicago, was built in 1920 and you use to put in a dime, and it plays a tune. It use to be in a piano bar, or arcade or something, and that’s what people would do, they’d put in a dime and sing along with the music. It’s probably the only one in Australia, it’s really big and heavy and its made by C Berg from Chicago, who later went on to make jukeboxes.

4. You do repairs as well I see?
Yeah we repair the old radios, record players, lights, and we repair telephones and gramophones. I do all that. I’ve been repairing radios for a long, long time, that’s my trade actually. Sometimes people might have had a radio in their family and it’s been in the shed for a long time and they just wanna get it going again, and we can do that. We do a lot of record players because they seem to have come back into vogue.

5. What’s your favourite part about your job?

Just all the people who come in. You get all ages, all varieties, from all different states and just finding what they’re looking for is probably the most interesting bit.

What's your opinion?

I love reading your comments, so leave me a little something below.