Brian Tilney with a military phone from yesteryear.
Brian Tilney with a military phone from yesteryear. Matt Collins

GALLERY: The antique store that started with a $10 lamp

BRIAN Tilney had no idea when he first bought a $10 lamp from the old Kingaroy drive-in 28 years ago it would become the start of this incredible journey.

"I bought the lamp from a car boot sale at the old Kingaroy drive-in, then I took it to an antique dealer (Ernie Thomson) and he gave me $50,” he said.

The entrepreneurial Wondai business owner runs Tillo's Antiques and Collectables in Wondai.

Tillo's Antiques is the home of thousands and thousands of remarkable products. Every step you take is another journey into yesteryear.

Tillo's Antiques has everything from Vegemite tins, to military telephones, to items you would only have ever seen in your great-grandmother's kitchen cupboard.

When Mr Tilney bought that lamp all those years ago, he knew he was on to something.

"Another time I was out of work and I took something into Ernie, he said 'when you are scouting around look out for any of those cast iron pieces for old beds',” he said.

"I said to myself, 'I knew where some of those are, at the dump.'

"So I went to all the dumps in town and he gave me some really good money for them.”

Murgon born and bred, Mr Tilney soon realised he had collected enough interesting things to set up a store.

"I started going to garage sales and hoarding it all up,” he said.

"I had it in boxes and boxes under the house.

"Then I took it all to the collectors fair in Nambour one year, I laid out a big blue tarp and I just tipped it all out there,” he said.

"I come home with $1200 that day.”

Mr Tilney set up the popular Wondai antique store five years ago.

The store very quickly gained national attention.

"Baz Luhrmann has bought clothes for the movie, Australia,” he said.

"My sister took some of the shoes to a collectors fair in Brisbane and a lady enquired saying she supplied film crews with costumes.

"She started coming up to the store and buying the clothes.”

Mr Tilney said he gets to his store nice and early each morning and every day was a new adventure.

"I get here at 6.30am each morning,” he said.

"I like to put out something new every day.”

Enjoy a virtual tour of Tillo's Antiques and Collectables store in our photo gallery below.

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