Ipswich Antique Centre owners Heather and John Mildwaters have antiques in their blood. Having been founding partners in the wonderful Paddington Antique Centre in Latrobe Terrace, they decided to find another character-filled building to transform. Enter the Heritage Listed Uniting Church Central Memorial Hall in Ipswich, built in 1895 and designed by George Brockwell Gill.
After a year-long restoration, the result is a thriving antique centre luring visitors from near and far who are unable to resist the “city antiques at country prices”. They also get to enjoy the beautiful surrounds with high, exposed roof and stained glass windows.
The huge space houses 15 regular dealers and there are also mini-markets where anyone can hire a square metre or larger to have their wares on show free of the hassles of markets or online selling.
How’s this for some of the selections on offer? Australian Colonial furniture, Australian and New Guinean ethnographics, a retro room full of fabulously kitsch 1950s and ‘60s items, bric-a-brac, movie memorabilia, vintage clothing, jewellery, haberdashery… and the list goes on. Oh, and there’s the counter area that contains several museum-quality pieces of furniture.
The centre’s website has a fantastic virtual tour – see here – and there’s an onsite café whose home baking aromas entice you as you browse.
by Vicki Englund photos Hilda Strojil