Our People

Kay Craddock

Co-founder

Kay started her working life at the age of sixteen, holding a variety of jobs including secretarial work from 1961 until 1965, when she opened The Essendon Treasure Chest with her parents, Les and Muriel Craddock. Two months after the shop opened Les Craddock died, and Kay and her mother continued the business in partnership.

In 1972 Kay was accepted as a member of the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association (International), and she and Muriel are foundation members of the Australian and New Zealand Association of Antiquarian Booksellers (ANZAAB), which was formed in 1977. In 1987 Kay became the third President of ANZAAB (1987-1989). In 1996 she had the honour of being the first bookseller from the Southern Hemisphere elected to the committee of the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB), becoming its President from 2000-2002. In 2006 she was made an ILAB President of Honor.  In 2007, Kay was made a Member of the Order of Australia in recognition of her service to the antiquarian book trade in Australia and internationally, and her contribution to small business in the City of Melbourne.

Kay and Muriel celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of their bookshop in 2015. To mark the occasion Kay was awarded the Antiquarian Booksellers Association's '50 years a bookseller' medal.

In 2004 Dr Jonathan Burdon and Kay Craddock were married, uniting two bookselling families. Jonathan is now an integral member of the business, and runs the Militaria section of the bookshop. Kay and Jonathan are co-founders and convenors of Melbourne Rare Book Week and Kay is co-founder of the Lord Mayor’s Commendations program. She was Chair of the Lord Mayor’s Commendations Advisory Group from 2006 to 2015.

The Burdon and Craddock families appear together as Burdon Family Booksellers on Facebook.

Contact Kay at kay@kaycraddock.com.

Kay Craddock

Jonathan Burdon

Two of Australia's leading antiquarian bookselling families united when Dr Jonathan Burdon and Kay Craddock were married in 2004. The Burdon family has a strong bookselling history. Jonathan's parents, Barbara and Tom Burdon, started selling antique prints and books in Canberra in the late 1960s. Barbara had been a friend, colleague and guiding force to Kay since that time, and Kay also forged a close association with Jonathan's sister, Sally, after she joined Barbara in the bookshop in 1982. Sally has continued the business started by her parents, and is now a leading specialist in Asian material. Asia Bookroom is situated in the Canberra suburb of Macquarie. Another sister, Lis Burdon, owns Oldimprints.com in Portland, Oregon, specialising in antique prints, maps and illustrated books.

Jonathan has an active interest in military history, and runs the Militaria section in the bookshop in Collins Street. In 2007 he established his own business within the shop, Pilgrim Books, specialising in Special Forces & covert operations. He wears many hats, particularly within the medical profession, where he is active in private practice and is Chairman of the National Asthma Council Australia. Apart from his involvement in this bookshop and Pilgrim Books, Jonathan has been co-convenor with Kay (and also Treasurer) of Melbourne Rare Book Week since its inception in 2012. He is currently President of the Australian and New Zealand Association of Antiquarian Booksellers. In 2014, Jonathan was made a Member of the Order of Australia in recognition of his significant service to respiratory medicine, particularly to occupational asthma, and to medical administration.

The Burdon and Craddock families appear together as Burdon Family Booksellers on Facebook.

Contact Jonathan at jon@kaycraddock.com.

Jonathan Burdon

Alison Sayers

Since 1987 we have been fortunate to have Alison Sayers as a mainstay of our business. Alison prefers to remain 'in the background' but she has a place of great importance within our bookshop. In addition to researching and cataloguing our stock, and looking after customers, her constantly changing window displays are works of artistic individualism and lateral thinking, attracting a strong following amongst our customers.

David Cosgrove

David Cosgrove joined our bookshop in June, 2013. He previously worked for ANZAAB colleague Peter Tinslay of Antique Books and Collectibles in Sydney for thirteen years before moving to Melbourne. David is our meeter and greeter, and we also benefit from his talent as a photographer, preparing our stock for inclusion on our website.

David Cosgrove

Patrice Lynch

Patrice Lynch joined our bookshop in 2008 as a casual employee. She continues to be very much a part of our team.

Leslie Craddock

Co-founder (1914-1965)

Les Craddock was born in Kadina, South Australia, on 24 October 1914. During his years at Kadina High School he was head prefect and co-vice president, with Miss K. Dohnt, of the Literary and Debating Society. He contributed poetry and prose pieces to the school magazine and continued his writing through the war years, sending poems and stories home to his wife and young daughter, Patricia Lesley. He also inspired his fellow soldiers to write short stories.

Les and Muriel Cross were married in Adelaide in 1939, and in 1941 Les volunteered for Army service at Kilkenny in Adelaide. His Service Number was SX15743 and he reached the rank of Staff Sergeant. During the war he served in northern Australia and south-east Asia, mostly in an ordnance section supplying parts for army vehicles. His wartime service climaxed with the Japanese eviction from Labuan, an island off north-west Borneo, where Les was stationed at the time of Japan’s surrender.

Prior to his war service, Les had worked for the agricultural machinery firm, H. V. McKay Sunshine Harvester in Adelaide.  In 1946 he rejoined the firm, which became H. V. McKay Massey Harris Pty Ltd, then Massey Ferguson Ltd. In 1955 Les was transferred to Perth, and in 1956 he was again transferred, this time to Sunshine, in Melbourne’s outer-west, as assistant manager of Massey Ferguson Melbourne. Melbourne became the family's home.

On 28 May 1965 Les joined his wife Muriel and daughter Kay in opening The Essendon Treasure Chest. His intention was to leave his employment as national parts sales manager for Massey Ferguson and to join Muriel and Kay in the family business on a full-time basis. This was not to be. Les died of a heart attack on 10 August 1965, aged 50.

Leslie Craddock

Muriel Craddock

Co-founder (1912-2017)
 
Muriel Rose Craddock [nee Cross] was born in Bordertown, South Australia, on April 13, 1912, on the eve of the fateful collision of the Titanic. She grew up in Wallaroo, on the Yorke Peninsula, and her first employment was in the 1930s as a manual telephonist in the Wallaroo Post Office. Her next foray into the business world was in 1965, as a 53 year old mother of three, when she formed a partnership with her husband Les and daughter Kay, to open The Essendon Treasure Chest. After the untimely death of Les, two months after the shop had opened, Muriel and Kay forged a bond that has never been broken.

In the early days of the business, Muriel was the main buyer and what she and Kay lacked in retail experience was compensated for by Muriel's unerring sense of what was saleable, her ability to be a step ahead of trends, and her courage and good sense in following her own taste and technique in bookselling.

Muriel and Kay were foundation members of the Australian and New Zealand Association of Antiquarian Booksellers (ANZAAB). In 2002, Muriel was made a Life Member of ANZAAB and in 2006 Muriel was a Gold recipient in the Lord Mayor's Commendations program, which recognises longevity amongst Melbourne's small business community.

In 2012 Muriel celebrated her 100th birthday. Four years later, aged 104, she finally moved into an aged care facility in Mornington. She remained a partner in the family bookshop well into her nineties, until advanced macular degeneration forced her eventual retirement.  She died on 6 December, 2017, aged 105 years and 8 months.

Muriel Craddock