Ken Newsome's Tyre Centre opened on April 1, 1979, at 395 Yaamba Rd, North Rockhampton.
Ken Newsome's Tyre Centre opened on April 1, 1979, at 395 Yaamba Rd, North Rockhampton. Contributed

Newsome's Tyres celebrates 40 years in North Rockhampton

The beginning of a new era:

KEN Newsome's Tyre Centre opened on April 1, 1979, at 395 Yaamba Rd, North Rockhampton.

Mr Newsome and wife Betty were excited and the celebrations of the opening day were huge.

The building was brand new and from day one the tyre shop was a Dunlop Super Dealer store.

Some of the early staff included Perry Adamus, Kerry Whelow, Graham Newsome, Marie James, Ken Newsome, Betty Newsome, Daryl Newsome, Lenny Stokes and Anthony Hodgson.

The business was the sponsor of many great sporting and community groups in Rockhampton including bowls clubs, show societies, rodeos, motocross, dance centres, orchid societies, the Rockhampton Road Runners and the Rockhampton Cup on Wheels (Cycling) just to name a few.

Original staff members at Newsome's Tyres Northside.
LEGACY: Original staff members at Newsome's Tyres Northside. The team has since given excellent service to all of their customers. Contributed

Ken and Betty were community-minded and were very involved in Apex, Lions and Rotary as well as the Masonic Lodge were they ran debutant balls, and personally taught the couples to dance each year.

Ken's tyre business was awarded the National Independent Dealer of the Year on numerous occasions.

Through tyre industry conferences, they also travelled to many overseas countries and were able to visit the factories in which the tyres were manufactured.

Ken worked tirelessly to build his business until he retired in 2002 after a long and successful career.

Graham and Melinda Newsome then purchased the North Rockhampton store on the same date that Ken commenced, April 1.

A current photo of the friendly, helpful staff at Newsome's Tyres in North Rockhampton.
A current photo of the friendly, helpful staff at Newsome's Tyres in North Rockhampton. Contributed

Ken was a great personality who loved to act the fool.

Changing The Guard:

GRAHAM and Melinda changed the name of the shop to Newsome's Tyres Northside, and Graham continued as he had done for 20 years in the family business.

He went into his parents' business around the age of 27.

After working as a carpenter for eight years, he decided to make the transition into the tyre industry.

Graham was also innovative and enthusiastic and as a top tennis player in Rockhampton, he decided to turn the customer waiting room into a tennis shop with his tennis partner Geoffrey Angel which became G&G Tennis.

He would fit and sell tyres and in-between times sell rackets, shoes and everything tennis including stringing racquets after work and at night.

Graham would fit and sell tyres and in-between times sell rackets, shoes and everything tennis including stringing rackets after work and at night.
PASSION: Graham would fit and sell tyres and in-between times sell rackets, shoes and everything tennis including stringing rackets after work and at night. Contributed

Melinda met Graham for the first time at the tyre shop when she went to purchase a new Prince Pro tennis racquet for her 21st birthday.

Oddly enough, Graham sold her a handle that was too big and she had to return the next week and spend another hour talking, as Graham was well known to like a chat.

The tyre shop was a focal point for all sorts of different reasons.

In 1988, part of the carpark housed a pen of weaners to promote Beef 1988, which Ken was very involved in.

Now Melinda's first date with Graham was to Marlborough Station with Ken, Greg and Coral Newsome, Gladys and Geoffrey Angel to buy the first six cows that started a 30 year partnership of Newburra Braham Stud with Graham and his brother, Greg.

Have-a-chat Graham was well known to talk about tennis, cattle, sell tyres (in-between) and finish up on the weather report and his love of fishing which he returned to in his last four years. Sadly, Graham passed away after a very short illness in June 2017.

Brad steps into dad's shoes:

BRAD Newsome is following his father's footsteps.

After eight years as a fitter and turner in the railway, Aurizon closed the doors and Brad decided to step up and return to the family business.

He first worked at the shop for two years part-time while trying his luck at university.

Brad realised he liked working with his hands so he started an apprenticeship in the railway.

After the passing of his dad, Brad has chosen to help his mum out at Newsome's Tyres Northside.

Not really sure if it was what he wanted to do, Brad struggled to adjust back into a small business work ethic.

But now he has been there for 12 months, he is starting to fill the shoes of his grandad Ken and his father, Graham. Brad is a chip off the old block, and so many of the customers comment that he is a younger version of the two.

He also has the gift of the gab and is evolving into a young businessman, and has the respect of his co-workers and the customers.

The best bit is that mum allows a lifestyle roster and if you work time up you can go fishing through the week if the weather is right.

The staff are very lucky that Melinda doesn't want to restrict anyone from doing what they love, as long it has some give and take and a little bit of notice it all works out as a win-win all round.

A new chapter yet to unfold:

MELINDA Newsome stepped into the business in July 2017.

Having been a partner in the business for 15 years, during that time she only took the coffee in for the staff on occasions.

The learning curve was a steep vertical line and it is only just now starting to come down.

Melinda had some experience operating her own business, Glen Ellen Horse Riding Centre for 30 years and then had a sea change to fulfil her passion for counselling and coaching personal growth and development, along with body work pain, function and healing.

The Newsome's Tyres family are here to help you.
The Newsome's Tyres family are here to help you with all of your needs. Contributed

All of which is on hold for now.

The shop was an old fashioned business with a computer generating invoices for the sale of tyres and the rest of the accounting was done by excel spreadsheets and a huge paper trail.

Mind you Graham and Paul Minkin had everything in their heads and never missed a beat.

They would stocktake almost to the dollar just on paper, which was put to the test on several occasions.

Many, many years of training attributed to that skill and it's an art rarely used today.

Melinda works with an "A” team and a "B” team, the latter being assistance external of the staff and the accountant.

Newsome's Tyres Northside is evolving into a very modern 21st Century business with flexible views and great staff.

The most important people that make this business what it is today are the loyal customers and their families and friends.

Some of which are third and fourth generation as well.

New customers and old are all welcomed with a smile and we are very pleased to be of service to all.

Please join in the 40th birthday celebration of our family, locally owned business.

The super sale runs from April 1 to April 14, and there is a Super Car Park Sale on Saturday, April 6 from 8am to noon.

There are magnificent specials and free entry into many great competitions all displayed in the showroom.

So come on in even if you have never been to the shop before.

Have a free tyre pressure check and inspection and drop some entries in for many fabulous prizes.