The Haymes Story

Rotterdam, Holland, 1812. The first generation of our family began a career selling second hand theology books.
Escaping the horrors of war in Europe our founder Francina Elizabeth Haymes (nee Berkelouw), after a few years in England, she arrived in Australia with her parents Isidoor and Francine, brothers Henry and Leo Berkelouw. The year was 1948.

The Berkelouw family settled in the tranquil north shore Sydney suburb of Roseville where Isidoor began purchasing old volumes. Francina’s formative years were surrounded by old leather, rare tomes, and mountains of books. This led her to the inevitable career being a successful antiquarian bookdealer.In the year 1965 Francina Berkelouw married the dapper society prince, Johnathan William Haymes at the “Pools”, her cousin’s estate in Terry Hills. Feather boa and all, eccentricity started at an early date. A family home was purchased at 17 Victoria Street, Roseville to house the books she had personally acquired over the years, and finally a home to her three sons, Benjamin, Samuel, and Maxwell. The much anticipated mail order catalogues by this 5th generation bookdealer were issued from this address to the Australian book collecting community.

Once that Roseville house began to burst at the seams with many thousands of rare volumes, the decision was made to purchase a beautiful three story building in the heart of Sydney’s prestigious antique district, 43 Queen Street, Woollahra. A magnificent retail premises was established and became a phenomenal success.
The year 1986 saw the unfortunate passing of Francina, aged 42.

The business continues to this day, managed by Samuel Haymes and his partner Kym Rankin.