Tyabb Packing House Antiques as a business has existed across two different locations from the 1980s through to the present day. Explore our history through a selection of photos and information from throughout our history from the beginnings at Moorooduc to where we are now at Tyabb.

Moorooduc Antiques & Old Wares Market – 1980 - 1993

Over 30 years ago Sheila and Gerard Martland joined Tony and Heather Bradbury to create what became the ‘Moorooduc Antique Market’, an antiques and old wares market based at the Moorooduc Post Office, a site originally started by Tony Bradbury’s father.

It was one of the first antique centres to open in Victoria, with many doubtful that it would succeed, especially given its location in the middle of Moorooduc, a small locale on the Mornington Peninsula. 

Tony and Heather left the business to live in Queensland shortly after the Martlands joined it, leaving the Martlands to develop the Moorooduc Antiques Market.  

In the following years the Martlands gathered many other antique specialists in a variety of fields, several of whom are still at Tyabb Packing House Antiques today.

During this initial period the Moorooduc Antiques Market was renamed the 'Moorooduc Antiques and Old Wares Market' to better reflect the stallholders within and their wares.

From 1980 to 1993 the Moorooduc Antiques and Old Wares Market operated with over 40 stalls with 22 dealers, spread out over 1.5 acres of land. This included the original building on the Moorooduc site along with 2 Victorian Railways train carriages (“red rattlers”), plus a W-class Melbourne tram and a large semi-portable shed. All of which were linked around in a vague circle allowing visitors to the Moorooduc Antiques and Old Wares Market to walk right around and find themselves back where they started at the front counter by the entrance.

A Change to Tyabb – 1993

In 1993 the opportunity arose to move and expand to 14 Mornington Tyabb Road, Tyabb and the building that resided there. 

OPENING OF GOVERNMENT COOL STORES AT TYABB (1914, May 2). Weekly Times (Melbourne, Vic. : 1869 - 1954), p. 32. Retrieved March 14, 2018, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article121132397

Formerly known as Tyabb Co-Op & Cool Stores (also shortened to the Tyabb Co-Op), the building had originally stored apples and pears grown throughout the Mornington Peninsula region, they were stored at Tyabb, prior to transport via the Stony Point railway line to Melbourne. The building was originally completed in April 1914 and opened by Mr W. Hutchinson, Minister for Agriculture at a cost of £4,300 (£451,500 in 2017, approximately AUD $795,000). 

While the fruit growing industry on the Mornington Peninsula declined somewhat during the 1960s resulting from an increasing population leading to property owners subdividing their land.

The storage of fruit, vegetables (and also meat in some cases) continued from 1914 right through to 1983 when declining numbers of fruit being stored at the Tyabb Co-Op meant its viability as a cool store ceased.

When Sheila and Gerard Martland took ownership in March 1993 the scope of what they had taken on was truly daunting. As a former cool store the building had no emergency exits, unsafe wiring throughout the building, no safety equipment and over 50 years of accumulated dust, grime, grease and history within.

Tyabb Packing House exterior circa 1970s

Tyabb Packing House interior circa 1970s

While the building had remained in various forms of selected retail use for at least 10 years prior to the Martlands taking ownership of the building at Tyabb, this was one of the first times the building had been looked at as a becoming wholly open to the public. 

During the initial stages of the renovation the bank manager from Westpac came down to Tyabb to assess it for a loan for the renovations. He said (of the amount they wanted to borrow) "it’s not going to be enough."

Sheila countered that “It’ll have to be enough.”

Then surely enough after a week’s work they were back in the bank to borrow more. When the bank manager came down to Tyabb again and saw all the pipe work and mud along with the building work happening he couldn't believe it.

Peacock Road side of the building. 1993 before renovations.

Throughout the renovation process Sheila and Gerard said that on more than one occasion, they were throwing up their hands and thinking “what have we done?”.

Even though extensive renovation and building work was needed to add emergency exits, lighting, windows and fire equipment most of Tyabb Packing House's original features were maintained as they had been, and remain to this day.

Chambers with Apple & Pear Names map

The original cooling pipes that were once used to cool the building remain intact, the pipes still greased to prevent rust formed via condensation on the pipes when they were in operation (it was one of the first cool stores to use suction gas-powered refrigeration). The floorboards still have the remains of the white guidelines which indicated where farmers placed their cases of fruit when it operated as a cool store.

As a salute to its past, all chambers and spaces within Tyabb Packing House Antiques are named after apple and pear varieties. I don’t

Sheila and Gerard Martland at the opening of Tyabb Packing House Antiques in 1993.

Following extensive renovations by both Gerard and Sheila Martland along with other members of the Martland family ‘Tyabb Packing House’ opened on the 24th September 1993, with more than 100 guests; both past and present dealers and family, along with the Honourable Alan Brown M.P. Minister of Transport and Hastings Shire President Stan Paul.

Tyabb Packing House Antiques  – 1990s

After the somewhat hectic move to Tyabb (especially for Book Browser – moving over 20,000 books was no easy feat), the Martlands and the dealers who'd come with them to Tyabb settled into their new building and new space.

Aerial view of the Tyabb Packing House showing the original position of the train carriage.

Art Gallery chamber in the early 1990s

Whilst most of the dealers have remained in one form or another throughout the years, one element – the art gallery (Peter French Antiques now resides in that chamber) was found to not quite fit with the rest of the Tyabb Packing House Antiques' genre of dealers. They later found a better space in The Village where they could expand the artists they showcase. 

In 1997 the Tyabb Packing House site was completely fenced in, separating the parking and the rest of the site from the near-by Stony Point railway line and providing a safer space for all who visit Tyabb Packing House Antiques. A gate was added to the car park fence to maintain passage to the train station.

Railway crossing to gate in car park.

The Village

Tyabb Grain Store (far right) circa 1970s.

Shortly after the opening of Tyabb Packing House Antiques, Tyabb Grain Store, a separate original building located at the rear of the Tyabb Packing House site was renovated. This building used to be where chaff, bran and grains were unloaded from trains for the various uses on the Mornington Peninsula. 

Multiple vehicles needed to move the red train less than 100 metres.

As this renovation was completed the red train carriage; one of the carriages brought from the Moorooduc site was moved from opposite the Tyabb Packing House to where it resides now opposite the Village green.

This was the beginning of the formation of the Tyabb Craft Village, now known as The Village. Soon after this move a nursery was installed within The Village and later in 1994 the first major construction on the site; the Tyabb Hay Shed, its construction echoing the buildings that already existed on the site. Over the next few years several more buildings were added to The Village, including a space for an art gallery, returning a space for local art at Tyabb to be sold. The Village has continued to grow and thrive as a location for speciality artists and craft artisans at Tyabb.

The creation of The Village was something of pioneering work by Gerard Martland, continued by his son Ed Martland. Most of the buildings within the Village are constructed from recycled and repurposed shipping containers. A green and efficient method of building that is only now in the 21st century finding purposeful use by many others.

Rear of promotional card circa late-1990s

Tyabb Village nursery mid-1990s.

The first buildings of the Village mid-1990s.

Beginning in 1997 a miniature train circuit ("Timothy at Tyabb") operated at the rear of The Village. The miniature train took passengers on a circuit through an array of famous landmarks, this was something of a personal project of Gerard Martland and operated for a number of years, dazzling children and adults alike.

Find out more about The Village, Tyabb Grain Store and Tyabb Hay Shed here.

Tyabb Packing House Antiques – 2000s

Tyabb Packing House Antiques - early-2000s

Moving into the 21st century Tyabb Packing House Antiques went through several developments and changes. 

Many of these updates have been on the practical level, maintaining and updating Tyabb Packing House, a building that is now over 100 years old.

Car park, pre-asphalting.

From the late 1990s and finishing in the early 2000s the Tyabb Packing House was re-roofed, completely replacing the rusted roof that had been on the Tyabb Packing House since before 1993.

Tea Rooms sign and wall (both no longer present at Tyabb).

Early into the 21st century one the larger outdoor tasks was completed; to asphalt all of the parking area and road leading into the Tyabb Packing House location. Prior to this most of the car park had been dirt road, this had necessitated frequent use of an old grey tractor (with a painful to operate clutch) to grade the car park.

In 2003 the tea rooms at Tyabb Packing House underwent a significant renovation. This practically doubled the floor space and significantly increased the light within the room, and also opened up the Tyabb Packing House floor space enabling people to walk in a circle from the tea rooms back to the front entrance without doubling back on the path already explored.

Throughout the 2000s Tyabb Packing House Antiques was featured on several TV programs such as Coxy’s Big Break, Getaway and The Great Outdoors, and also on other items including in 2007 the Tyabb Packing House was included on the board of the Monopoly: Victorian Charity Edition (also known as the Monopoly: Melbourne Edition), this was also featured on the Nine Network Victorian tourism show Postcards.

In 2004, responding to changing markets, Tyabb Packing House Antiques was joined by Swinton's Antiques, the proprietor Ian Swinton having moved from his shop of 27 years in Hampton to a chamber within Tyabb Packing House. <link>

Joining Tyabb Packing House Antiques in 2006 Deco Heaven brought specific coverage of Art Deco era, a unique period of 20th century history and design. Deco Heaven's presence at Tyabb marks one of the few locations where specifically (genuine) Art Deco design might be sought.

The whole of the Tyabb Packing House is now completely heated via an efficient gas ducted heating system, installed in 2007 it replaced the inefficient pot belly gas heaters which had been installed when the Tyabb Packing House first opened in 1993.

During 2012 several changes and renovations began as new dealers joined the Tyabb Packing House whilst others moved on. The forward right chambers were completely renovated, a process that had not been done since 1993. 

In early 2013 after 10 years of being painted in light green the outside of Tyabb Packing House Antiques was repainted. For colours it was limited to a heritage colour as the building is governed by a heritage overlay. The external colour of the building is now 'Paperbark' with accents in 'Caulfield Green'. The sign on the front was also upgraded from a painted-on sign to a sign written sign, based on the Tyabb Co-Op packing posters with red text and a black outline on the text. 

In March of 2013 Quentin Buckley of Industria returned to Tyabb. In the mid-1990s when Tyabb Packing House Antiques first opened he had a space within, he went on to open his own shop in Gertrude Street, Fitzroy in the later 1990s, returning to Tyabb Industria took a space at the end of the main chamber at the front of the building, with plenty of high space against the saw toothed roof.

Whilst in late 2013 the café business within Tyabb Packing House Antiques was sold, what followed was a complete renovation and transformation of the café space in preparation for the new café owners. The new café owner (only the fourth for Tyabb Packing House in 20 years) brought their own unique touches and approach to the café and the café experience at the Tyabb Packing House.

Tyabb Packing House Antiques – 21st Birthday & onwards

In 2014 Tyabb Packing House Antiques celebrated its 21st birthday; it being 21 full years since it had moved from Moorooduc to Tyabb in late 1993. 

In the following couple of years a few long-term dealers retired, whilst new dealers joined Tyabb Packing House Antiques. Broadening the knowledge and experience of the collective dealers present at Tyabb. 

From 2013 and concluding in 2014 Tyabb Packing House Antiques began a process of replacing all lighting with LED lights. All of the overhead fluorescent lighting and over 85% of dealer cabinet lights are now energy efficient LED lighting. 

Laying of retro flooring at the T-junction of paths.

In 2014 one of the oldest dealers, John Ross a dealer with expertise in cameras retired selling his range of stock to Andrew Fildes of Andrew’s Antipodean Photographic Emporium who continues to sell a range of cameras and related film-items at Tyabb.

In 2015 there was another make-over of one of the chambers; directly behind the front counter, this thoroughfare chamber (paths cross it in a T-junction) was renovated with eye-catching retro-vinyl kitchen flooring. This allowed something of a shake up with dealers such as Antique By Design bringing fantastic decorator pieces and introducing the "Hollywood-era" to visitors to Tyabb. 

In early-2016 for the first time since opening the very front chambers were (very briefly) vacated; as had previously occurred a few years ago with the other chambers they could be completely repainted. These chambers had been in almost constant occupation since 1993.

Julian Philips on Postcards.

Shaynna Blaze's Deadline Design

In late-2016 Tyabb Packing House Antiques featured on Postcards, and also featured on Shaynna Blaze's Deadline Design in late 2016.

During 2017 Kaye Rolls of Deco Heaven featured on Home & Holiday's radio show and podcast concerning topics of antiques, retro and old wares.

In mid-2017 Andrew’s Antipodean Photographic Emporium began a major push to conclude his renovation work of the chamber; re-painting and reconfiguring the space. This continued into 2018. 

In 2018 Tyabb Packing House Antiques began the process of updating and completely replacing our entrance hand rails (which had been in place more or less unchanged since 1993) with a more modern hand rail and barrier.

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