Walking down south King Street Newtown you’ll get the impression that antiques and furniture shops are more at home than retail brand names. It’s the strip of town that gives you a sense of Newtown nostalgia. A sense that’s at its strongest when you step into Bloodworth Bellamy, a store famous for its eccentric wares.
You’ll feel like you’ve stepped into a museum, but one where everything’s for sale. Shelves are filled with antiques that somehow found their way to Newtown via the United Kingdom, France and Japan.
Shop owner Nick Cadey tells of selling a NASA space helmet that he’d bought off a friend’s friend who worked for the US government. It sold almost immediately.
Adding to this sense of history is that Nick is the fifth tenant to have rented the shop since the 1880s. A fact I hear a number of times during my visit making it clear Nick likes to share the store’s history.
It’s this love of history and story telling that gets Nick excited about antiques. Chances are when buying an antique from Bloodworth Bellamy Nick will tell you the story about who owned it and where it came from.
Walking down the narrow aisles, you’ll pass taxidermy mice clutching teddy bears or wearing aprons – the work of a British artist, furniture, books, vinyl and art. There is not one piece in the store that Nick can’t tell you a story behind who owned it and why they loved it.
Visiting Newtown from the UK in 2006 Nick says he fell in love with the community because people were not afraid to be themselves or challenge the norm.