Clockwork Curiosities Museum and Gift Shop opened its doors in Childers recently and connects perfectly with the town’s heritage theme.
Much of the charm of Childers rests with its heritage characteristics and the town’s proud acknowledgment of its history.
Owner Josie Rigney and her husband Michael have spent two weeks outfitting their shop with many of the items Josie has collected over the past 30 years.
“While there is an emphasis on the museum side of the business we will also have a retail section where customers are able to purchase items that align with what is showcased in the museum,” Josie said.
Numerous displays in glass cabinets attest to Josie’s devotion to collecting and her love of past treasures.
“My grandmother was a collector, mainly dolls, and my dad also collected and some of the model cars he gathered together are in the display,” she said.
The shop, which is located at the ANZ Bank end of Churchill Street, comprises three walk-in display areas, a wall display and retail section.
The three standalone displays showcase an ornate and beautifully lit fairy garden, a miniature circus sideshow complete with carousel music and crowd noise, mechanical merry-go-rounds, hot air balloon and Ferris wheel and another equally stunning display of dolls in incredibly detailed outfits.
For mums and grandmas old enough to remember the arrival of the Barbie Doll in 1959, a real treat awaits with some of the earliest Barbies included in Josie’s displays.
But the displays are not just about fairy gardens and dolls.
The collection of robots and miniature cars, trains and other wind-up toys will provide a nostalgic trip down memory lane for male visitors to the museum.
For the hobbyist one of the kits available for sale and that will be of interest are kits involving laser cut models. “No glue required,” said Josie. “They just snap together.”
“I’ve done all of these models,” Josie said, pointing to a collection that included a stagecoach, hot air balloon, a working film projector and a racing car.
“Just follow the instructions and you can’t go wrong, and the results are quite sensational.”
Josie said the decision to set up a business in Childers was both a business and a personal one.
“We decided to move here because we have family close by at Hervey Bay and from a business perspective it is based on the traffic and the fact that people do stop here. This town has a lot going for it, we think it’s a nice area,” she said.
“We hope to add to the range of attractions here. There is already a good range of attractions locally and I really believe that it’s worth a two-night stay for people wanting to take in what the area has to offer.”
“From a visitor promotional perspective that is what I would be pushing,” she said.
It appears new business opportunities just keep ticking over in Childers.