Paul’s father Gordon Chapman, born in 1908, was an accomplished seventh generation blacksmith and wheelwright.
At 14 he left home and worked his way around Australia for the next 16 years before settling in Colac Victoria in 1938 at 30 years of age.
Between 1940 and 1941 Gordon was self-employed as a 2nd hand dealer in motor wrecking, house demolition (timber merchant); as well as welding and repairing tractors and agricultural machinery for farmers.
By 1961 the work had increased significantly and so Gordon’s son Michael joined the business. The operation became “Gordon Chapman and Son” (Fig:7) and together they progressed the business over the next 25 years.
At their peak operation, they employed around 14 staff. Over the years these employees were of many nationalities. Australian, English, German, Italian and many others.
During the early 1980’s, Gordon at an advancing age, was finding it difficult to exit his driveway and came up with the idea of a turntable to make this easier for him and his wife Kath. With Michael they designed and built one, installed it and it worked perfectly. Gordon thought the idea was so good he encouraged his son Paul, a hotelier at the time, to look into the business opportunity.
Paul and his wife Annette did like the idea, however decided to focus on entering the market through the Exhibition and Display industry. This was a successful move and an excellent industry to develop skills and knowledge in the specialist engineering field of turntables. The product needed to be installed quickly, had to be very reliable and removed in even less time, and the design and manufacturing principles developed then continue to drive the design and engineering today.
Paul and Annette’s sons Ben, Todd and Alex have assumed management of the Australian Turntables business, but both founders are still actively involved.