Richmond man's kiwiana collection a trip back in time video

MARTIN DE RUYTER/FAIRFAX NZ

Lindsay Jukes with part of his collection of large bottle openers, beer bottles and tourist teapots.

Step into Lindsay Juke's basement and you are not only taken for a trip around the country, but back in time.

Over nearly half-a-century the 75-year-old Richmond man has assembled one of the country's most unusual kiwiana collections, everything from long-necked beer bottles to tourist tea pots.

On one wall are oversized bottle openers that were a fad in the 1950s and 60s, usually given away by companies as Christmas gifts or to mark significant events. 

Lindsay Jukes with his collection of large bottle openers.
MARTIN DE RUYTER

Lindsay Jukes with his collection of large bottle openers.

One hefty steel opener made at the Hillside railway workshops in Dunedin records the stay of the icebreaker USS Vance in the city in 1961-62; another proclaims "B.Jones, woolbuyer of Gore, cash for skins and dags."

Jukes doesn't quite remember how he got into collecting large openers – which work on normal size bottles – but assumed it was a natural extension of his long-necked beer bottle collection.

He said as a field officer for the Southland Catchment Board in the 1970s, part of his job was to remove bottles from rivers like the Mataura and Oreti. He gave some old bottles to a collector friend who encouraged him to start his own collection.

Lindsay Jukes with a rare long-necked beer bottle, large bottle openers and tourist tea pots (behind).
MARTIN DE RUYTER

Lindsay Jukes with a rare long-necked beer bottle, large bottle openers and tourist tea pots (behind).

He has never stopped.

"I just like it," he said. "It's the thrill of finding something new and they also tell you something about our history."

Jukes and his wife Jan moved to Nelson 32 years ago where he ran a floor sanding business in between adding to his collections. 

It's a hobby that takes him to bottle and collectable shows around the country; he has already been to Ashburton and Dunedin this year and only ill-health stopped him attending last weekend's Nelson show.

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It has also taken him in some surprising collection directions.

Another wall of his basement is given over to Sovereign Woodware, including tourist souvenir bowls, 21st keys, and trays made by a Wanganui company which closed in 1973. 

They often feature paintings of native birds, or an array of native wood inlays. What may once have been seen as kitsch is now in demand from tourists although Jukes said he was a collector, not a dealer.

Among his beer bottles is one from nineteenth century New Plymouth brewer James Paul, believed to be one of only three in the country. He also has an extensive collection of glass beer mugs from around Nelson. He gets many of those from the Nelson Recycling Centre for only a dollar or two.

Upstairs are Jukes' "new" pride and joy, tourist tea pots sold in towns and holiday destinations in much the same way as tourist teaspoons. They feature painted scenes like Rotorua's Bath House, Waihi's goldmine, Te Aroha's hot springs and scenes from Invercargill to Inglewood.

He started collecting them about 10 years ago for a friend, but decided they were worth keeping.

"One day I thought blow him, I'm going to collect them myself. You don't see many around so it's a buzz when you find one."

Jan said she appreciated the tea pot collection; but the bottles and openers were kept firmly in the basement.

"Could you imagine those big bottle openers hanging in the house? I couldn't stand it."

Being married to a collector also meant unscheduled diversions on any trip – "their vehicles seem to know every [antique and collectable] stop along the way."

Her husband is unrepentant, and said he would keep collecting "until I die". Asked how much time he puts into his hobby, he said: "Not enough. It badly needs a clean-up."

 

 

 

 

  

 - Stuff

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