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Original Enamel Signs and Pub Mirrors

Colin's collection of original enamel signs and pub mirrors really followed on into his later years even after relocating to Australia to live. There have been many trips back to the UK to purchase and collect signs that have been acquired over the years and industrious ways were developed to fit them into his suitcase to bring them back to Australia not bent! 


Off course, what property would not have a "man cave?" - Colin's other passion, besides enamel signs, is Jaguar cars. Currently, he is converting a left hand drive XJS to right hand drive - not a bad feat for a Vet!  We also have 3 other Jaguar cars - one in which we call "the Bash car”. Colin has been a Bash Driver with the Variety Club of Queensland for many years, helping to raise money for disabled children.  His car has a union jack painted all over it and yes, you guessed it the number plate is JAG007!

A view of the railway

Colin grew up in Kent in the UK  and both his father, grandfather and great grandfather worked on the Railways. His love for both enamel signs and railway memorabilia came from his dad - who even brought him home a signal arm for his collection.


Colin's early recollection as an 8 year old in the 1960's peering through a 6 foot high wire railway fence in Slade Green in the UK, was seeing all of the original green and white railway totems enamel signs being taken down from the railway station and just dumped in a pile. He jealousy watched "older and more gamer teenage boys" scouring through the "better" signs and quickly putting them under their arms, scurrying home!


The railway stations of Faversham, Dartford, Slade Green and Bexley were where the Tedman clan worked for many years as drivers, guards, signalmen, crossing keepers and firemen. His dad kindly brought him home old railway posters that were no longer being used to put up in his bedroom wall.  Unfortunately, when Colin moved overseas, all his collections were thrown away as in those days their value was not evident. His life did not turn out like parallel paths from his forebears. Colin was accepted into the Royal Vet College of London. After graduation he worked as a Vet in Harlow, Essex, Wotton Under Edge, Hay on Wye in Wales, Fiji, Taree in N.S.W., Cairns and now on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia.

About Bowerbird Pickers

Veronica Tedman, one of Bowerbird's founders
Historical railway photo
Dr Colin Tedman, one of Bowrbird's founders.

Veronica was a 60's child brought up in Melbourne, Australia and her love of old stuff never left her. On meeting Colin on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland some 10 years ago, her love of him and his collection of old advertising memorabilia grew and their 30 year old Queenslander home reflects all of the old memorable timepieces from an old telephone, to clocking in clock, to the Griffiths Tea Sign and many others scattered around the house. When not working for Bowerbird Pickers, they can be found together enjoying the gorgeous beaches of the Sunshine Coast, or hunting far and wide for that elusive "rare" sign. Travelling on different trains around the world has become a hobby and our recent train trip was on The Ghan from Darwin to Adelaide. 

It is hard to let a sign go as they do become part of our family and all of the signs end up at some point dotted around our house until it is time for them to be sold. Our vision for Bowerbird Pickers, is to have a business that reflects a true passion for not only selling original enamel signs and advertising memorabilia, but also encourage all age groups to upcycle and preserve a part of advertising history. As much as the digital media represents "the now" in advertising, there is nothing more inspiring than to see an original enamel sign gracing a wall. They do represent a blast from the past, a bygone era, but a resurgence is occurring to keep a hold onto these timeless pieces, to preserve and honour their purpose in history.

Old Jaguar car
Veronic and Colin wit The Ghan
The vintage Jaguar Bash car
Colin and his Jaguar Bash car
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