Yellow Shed celebrates 30th

FOR many it’s hard to remember Bellingen without the Yellow Shed.

It’s been an eye catching landmark at the eastern end of town for 30 years and owner Gillian White is proud if its longevity.

The phoenix that rose out of the ashes of the highly controversial demolition of the old community centre, the building was originally the old Doepel Entertainment Hall built at the Old Butter Factory and hauled into town by three bullocks in the 1920s.

“The place was crumbling and dilapidated but we managed to raise and restore it and opened our doors in 1981 as a space for potters and weavers and jewellers to establish themselves and their crafts.”

Back then it was The Yellow Shed Cottage Industries and Workshops and painted a heritage ‘ochre yellow’.

“But no-one stopped to have a look at an ochre-yellow shed, so when it came time to repaint we decided to go with something more vibrant.”

In those days the space was full of trestle tables with a massive 17-cubic-foot kiln out the back.

“We ran pottery classes for kids on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons plus Saturday mornings – 45 children a week – making all their dragons and castles.”

As artists found their own studios, the space morphed into The Yellow Shed Bellingen Craftworks, stocking an increasing cornucopia of goodies for visitors to browse.

In 1997, while celebrating her 60th birthday, Mrs White opened the Yellow Shed Garden Centre “to help foster the planting of rainforest and native plants in gardens around the shire”.

“Over the years the markets have become a strong outlet for selling plants but I have kept it going nonetheless ... it has really become an extension of my own garden.”

Mrs White admits absolute dedication and love of what she does is certainly what has kept her going all these years. “I guess I am married to my shop – my customers are like personal visitors, many are friends and are now bringing their children to meet me.”

And don’t use the “t” word – tourists – with Mrs White.

“Tourism is a service industry – these people are visitors,” she exclaims.

“I like to describe Bellingen as the little town with the big heart that turns tourists into visitors overnight.”

Drifting through the shop one comes across all manner of goodies – from cards to candles to jewellery, to home decorations, hats and wind chimes ... the list is long.

Most importantly, however, Mrs White stocks an amazing range of books, many on esoteric topics such as feng shui, home-birthing, herbal medicines and DIY funerals.

“I have been establishing this collection for the last 15 years – I think of it as covering “womb to tomb”,” she laughs.

“There are more than 3000 titles – it’s like a mini Aydar Bookshop (Sydney’s long established alternative and metaphysical bookshop).”

At 74, retirement is still a long way off for Mrs White.

“While I’m healthy, I’ll keep doing this – it’s my life and I believe that as long as I don’t stop, then I won’t have to.”

She added that if her friend Gillian Helfgott could keep getting her high-profile pianist husband David around the world for his packed performance schedule, then she could keep doing her shop.

At the conclusion of the interview Mrs White gave special thanks to her long-time employee Aleisha Cook, who arrived for work experience at 16 and is still there 16 years later.

She also paid tribute to legendary Sydney bookseller and left-wing activist Bob Gould, who died at the weekend.

Topics:  bellingen business

Resident's run-in with wild dogs sparks investigations

A Boambee resident was confronted by three wild dogs outside her house.

Multi-agency reponse after incident.

A rock 'n' roll band with plenty of ability

THE RED HOTS: Drummer Marc, guitarist Gil Morgan, singer Renee, Scott on harmonica and bassist Rod. Absent: Ashlea on tambourine. Coffs Harbour, June 28, 2017.

Coffs band has a message to play loud and clear

What's for dinner Wednesday?

Need help in the kitchen?

What's cooking at your house tonight? Care to share?

Local Partners

Numbers add up for students

Eight of St John Paul College's finest mathematicians travelled by minibus to UNE Armidale to participate in the Year 8 Mathematics Day.

Challenge for cyclists of all levels and ages

This year's C.ex McDonald's Cycle Challenge is being held on Sunday, August 6. You can ride in the the 10km family ride, 20km, 40km, 60km, or the 100km challenge.

This year's cycle challenge is being held on Sunday, August 6.

New developments announced for Curryfest

TASTE TREATS: New developments for Curryfest 2017.

Fresh ideas and developments show no sign of slowing down.

Bundy mum blogging to get families offline

FAMILY FUN: Deonie Crowther is holding family craft sessions at the Windmill Cafe in Bargara.

Crafty projects a hit with parents and children

Game of Thrones: Crucial details you probably forgot

IT’S been a while since we’ve been to Westeros. But there are some crucial story points you need to remember before we head back there for season seven.

There's a bear in there

Big Ted and the gang are coming to town

July Bollywood Markets bring food and fun

FUN FAIR: The next Bollywood Beach Market is on July 1.

THE colour, the sights, the aromas, the joyful vibe.

Pregnant Serena Williams nude on cover of Vanity Fair

"My heart dropped. Like literally it dropped,”

Watch the game at Woopi C.ex

BARNSTORMING: Andrew Fifita of the NSW Blues.

Origin decider at C.ex Woolgoolga

Where is the newest property hotspot?

New apartment development being snapped up by locals.

Island caretaker has weeks to live, abandons paradise

St Bees managing director Phil Webb, has been struck with illness and it has prompted the sale of the island.

His health has deteriorated in the past couple of months

Prime CBD site sold as laneway culture progresses

The Longs building Ruthven Street has been purchased by a group of investors to be renovated into a series of shops/eateries.  June 2017

How investors and council plan to transform the Toowoomba CBD

House build hits the spot

Owner Libby Parish from Thora commissioned licensed builder Cormac McMullan, of Cormac & Co to build her a two bedroom, one bathroom house with a skillion roof.

Is this the answer to affordable housing on the Coffs Coast?

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!