As a coalminer in Newcastle, Northern England, in the 1960s, Victor Nixon worked in stifling, claustrophobic spaces with head clearance often as low as four feet, moving coal in and out of the cutting by horse drawn cart. While never one to shy away from hard work, he also knew it was a dangerous profession, one which cost him a finger from his right hand as the result of an accident in the mine. So it was little wonder that he was captivated by enticing advertisements for British citizens to immigrate to Australia, which were shown on high rotation during his regular visits to the cinema. In 1965, Victor and his wife embarked on the journey across the world to a new life in Victoria, where they settled in Geelong. It was in Geelong that Victor met and later re-married, Christine who was also from Britain, and together they re-located to the Queensland Sunshine Coast . Initially they stayed with Christine’s mother, before purchasing a house on a plot of land in Langshaw, outside of Gympie. It was at Langshaw that Victor’s interest in furniture restoration took hold. His son, Frazer, recalls an early workshop of Victor’s, set up on the amongst hay bales.
Other business ventures undertaken by Victor and Christine in the years that followed included a cafe in the main street of Gympie and an antique shop run in conjunction with other local collectors.
In the early 1980s, Victor purchase another parcel of land, this time in Kybong, and set about the task of building a home on the property for his family, a task which was to become a labour of love and saw him complete all but the most specialised parts of the construction.
It was this property which was to become the showcase for Victor and Christine’s collection, shop and restoration business over the next 30 years. The shop occupied the vast ground floor of Nixons’ property, with the upstairs residence housing Victor and Christine’s personal collection, two substantial storage areas containing items for restoration and a bolt-hole at the back of the property for storing wood and equipment for Victor’s various restoration and construction projects. For over 40 years, Victor and Christine ran the Gympie Antiques & Restorations as a team – Victor responsible for the sourcing, purchase and restoration of furniture and Christine cataloguing and researching the objects in their collection and running the business behind the scenes.
Following Christine’s passing three years ago, Victor has decided it is time for a break from the burden of maintaining the considerable inventory of his business and to concentrate on developing his property. Leonard Joel has been engaged to disperse the stock in trade of Gympie Antiques & Restorations by public auction in association with Antique& Fineart Auctions at Victor’s property, 1009 Bruce Highway, Kybong (South of Gympie) by public auction on Sunday 4th August, from 9.30am. The auction comprises over 850 lots and will include many items from Victor and Christine’s personal collection.
The Specialist Collector, Head of Department
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