A 'LITTLER' PIECE OF SCOTLAND
When Nerida Barnsley closed her landmark gallery at Sutton Forest on 30 June 2010, after 23 years of seven-days-a week trading, many hearts grieved for the loss of an old and dear friend - A Little Piece of Scotland.
This unique shop was the source of rare and beautiful things from the highlands and islands of Scotland, and seemed to be everyone's favourite.
Nerida's first long-service reward in her retirement years was a visit to her friends John and Malag Hart on the island of Uist in the Outer Hebrides. John is a master craftsman and second generation jeweller from Glasgow who met his Gaelic-speaking wife on the island, and stayed to build a family and a business. They too were concerned at the loss of an Australian market for their distinctive jewellery.
Now, Nerida's attachment to the many close friends she has made in Scotland's craft community has resulted in a delicate shift sideways. A slimmed-down version of Nerida's former shop has taken a corner in the Mittagong Antiques Centre.
"I call it a 'Littler' Piece of Scotland" laughs Nerida, "But it means that I can continue championing Scotland's craftspeople without forgoing my retirement".
With the centre trading every day, Nerida's business sits comfortably alongside 45 other outlets, and her passion for antique Scottish jewellery has created a community of interest among the other dealers:
"And I think they also like the free samples of my home-baked shortbread" she smiles.