McLeod’s Antiques was founded by my father Bruce McLeod in Unley, South Australia from about 1948 and at the time was known as the “Artist’s Market”. At the time he was in his early twenties but according to all accounts he began his keen collecting during his teen years. According to recent accounts his shop was a sight to behold and always held treasures which he managed to upkeep throughout the years!
In 1957 as so many young people do, my Dad went on a trip which took him to Europe. He finally got to England; and met another traveller as they were looking for a particular bank. The two young men eventually ended up helping each other and very quickly became firm friends; a friendship which lasted their lifetime!
This young man, Loy was originally from the island of Trinidad and Tobago and before they went their separate ways he invited my father Bruce to visit Trinidad which he described as the most beautiful island in the world.
Some months later, February 1958 in fact, Bruce arrived in Trinidad to visit his friend during the most frantic time of the year – Carnival! In true Trini style, Loy’s married brother Choy and his family organised a party which included their new friend. Among the guests was a young lady who Bruce became smitten by and who he later discovered was the sister-in-law of Choy. This young lady was Odette and for the next few years they had a romantic relationship by snail mail, until they married in 1960!
My parents continued business in Australia until 1962, when they decided to return to Trinidad and where they had a very special and successful business in the Caribbean region. The antique business was successful enough that they opened a branch at the exclusive Trinidad Hilton Hotel which has always been described as the upside down hotel because you entered from the top of the building and the floors were labeled in reverse as the hotel was built along a cliff face. It was quite ahead of its time. Our customers read like a who’s who; including diplomats, royalty, politicians, rock stars, clergy and so many of the hoy-poloy of the day and not forgetting so many ordinary people who had always been friends of Odette and later were to become fond friends of the McLeod family!
In 1986 Bruce left Trinidad because of a change in the political climate and returned to Australia and opened a shop in Pymble in New South Wales for some years. Odette followed in 1989 and the shop subsequently relocated to the Sydney Antiques Centre which at the time was well known as a place which had operated as an Antiques Centre for over one hundred years! The variety of small businesses was out of this world! Absolutely exquisite, and of course Bruce was in his element!
In the early nineties the opportunity arose from the shop to be relocated to its current location at 378 South Dowling Street in Paddington. A unique location since the building was a heritage building, the shop fills all three stories and more. The family continues to source very special pieces as well as collectables.
Bruce continued to work well into his eighties, and passed away in December 2015. Odette a willing participant and partner to his obsession for over 55 years continues in the business which is now in its 68th year. If you were to visit the shop you will meet any one of the McLeod family. The business continues with Odette together with both Tania and John have had a lifetime association with the business. We invite you to visit!