Iconic fishing shop gets approval for massive overhaul
AN ICONIC family business which started out as a hobby working from an Ipswich home more than 50 years ago has received the tick of approval for an exciting overhaul.
Jack Charlton began selling rods and fishing line to his mates from his Raceview home in 1967 and after his son Brian took over in 1975, Charlton's Fishing was shifted to its current home in the '80s.
Brian bought the land next door when he first moved in and alongside his son Craig, now manager of the Redbank institution just off the Ipswich Motorway, they have steadily bought up the land surrounding the tackle and bait shop.
A development application has been approved by Ipswich City Council to build a new shop, which would be five times the size of the existing one on Kerwick St, as well as a service station and drive-through fast food outlet on the 6000sqm block.
The good news for keen anglers is although the old yellow building will be demolished, Charlton's won't stop trading while the new shop is built and they will move in as soon as it is complete with improved access and parking also on the cards.
Their new premises is expected to be completed in about 18 months.
"It's taken us 30 years to get the land together all around the shop," Craig said.
"(We wanted) to expand it to make it a one-stop sort of place, come and get your fishing gear, bait and fuel - the whole lot."
The move to a bigger shop seemed obvious, with a strong customer base and keen fishers regularly stopping off on their way to the water via the busy motorway.
Brian pointed to three sliding walls in front of each other, full up with stock on one side of the shop as a prime example of why the shop was "just too small".
He was excited by the opportunity to establish the new shop, which would become Charlton's fifth premises, inside a bustling precinct just off the motorway.
"We were thinking at the back end (of the property) to put in units at one stage but because of its proximity to the highway, we couldn't achieve anything there," he said.
"It lends itself more to commercial than it does residential. The access to and from the highway is very important.
"We've got some interest from developers at the moment for the service station site and fast-food site.
"As soon we lock that down, then we'll start on the design of our shop with the architects and hopefully the same builder will build the whole lot.
"We will not build or own (the service station or fast food outlet), we will sell the land off to a developer."
It will give the business the chance to carry a bigger range of stock. The growth of the Ipswich region in coming years, particularly Springfield, Ripley and Rosewood, will mean added demand for their services.
"Because of its position on the highway, it feeds off the Brisbane Valley Highway, which feeds into the Lockyer and the Cunningham Highway and all of the traffic out of Ipswich as well," Brian said.
Under the approval, six lots will become three; the first stage of the development includes the new store and the six-bowser service station and the fast-food shop will form the second stage.
The development is expected to provide 12 to 20 new full-time jobs.
"My dad had it some years ago as a hobby and he was making fishing rods for mates and then he started selling some fishing line from his home," Brian said.
"In 1975, I bought it off him and went from there. It started in dad's home in Riverview, then a converted house in Redbank and then back to Riverview to an old service station that we bought up there. They were going to upgrade the Ipswich Motorway so they'd cut our access off.
"Then we shifted to here."
Jack passed away 15 years ago at the age of 94 and Brian said some customers had been coming to shop for more than 40 years, some now bringing their fishing-mad children along.