No one is quite sure how the tiny town of Inglewood, 45km north-west of Bendigo in Victoria’s Loddon Shire, became the antique and collectibles capital of Australia. Gold was discovered in 1859, and its stately streetscape resembles the set of a Western movie. The main street – on the Calder Highway, which runs from Melbourne to Mildura – has a beguiling kink, drawing your eye to the line-up of grand facades, behind which now lie a very different sort of treasure.

The town has fewer than a thousand people but harbours half a dozen antique stores and vintage bazaars. Looking for a restored 1960s Roebuck rocking horse? How about a child’s Peter Pan sewing machine from 1942? Or maybe your home is in desperate need of an authentic 1800s wool winder? Whatever you want, chances are you’ll find it (plus a lot more stuff you didn’t realise you need) in Inglewood.

The town’s antique makeover began in 2001 when Lizzie Rewity moved from Kyneton to open Lizzie’s Vintagewear (still going strong) and grew organically from there. Catherine and Barry Norman arrived next, in 2005, opening Fusspots in the old Nixon Bros. Exchange Hotel. Catherine says the second-hand trade is the ultimate in recycling. “A lot of stuff these days gets mass produced and people throw it away after five minutes. But I also love the beauty of these old objects.” Here you’ll find a fine collection of old English cooking trays, sifters, scone cutters and pudding steamers, all big sellers thanks to the lockdown-induced home-baking boom…

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