Janet Southwick and her husband Tim Bayley have sold the Baywick Inn after 20 years running the historic B&B on the banks of the Maitai River. Photo: Charles Anderson.

Checking out of historic bed and breakfast


It may be the garage sale to end all garage sales on Saturday when everything that goes with running an historic bed and breakfast for 20 years goes on the market.

The Baywick Inn has been home to Tim Bayley and his wife Janet Southwick ever since they spotted it after returning from Janet’s native Canada.

“We came here and took six months off and travelled the country to find out where we would live,” Janet says. “After six months of travelling we both looked at each other and said ‘definitely Nelson’.”

Then they saw the historic home on Domett St and thought they had to have it.

“We wanted something historic,” she says. “We wanted to be caretaker and look after it.”

The home was originally build in 1885 by a banker from the Union Bank. It has also been home to a pastor and a pharmacy and neighbour to a brewery.

“It’s nice to be surrounded by that sort of history,” Janet says.

However, to help it pay for itself they quickly converted it into a bed and breakfast. The Baywick Inn was born.

Over the years they have added to it and even built a new home for themselves out the back. But Tim says it was time to move on.

“It’s a long time in industry. It’s something that saps you. You don’t get a break and you are on call 24/7. Every person who shows up is in full holiday mode, so it’s demanding.”

Janet originally worked in the hospitality industry and Tim was in construction, but they still had a slightly romantic notion of running their own place.

“We didn’t think we would be as busy as we were. We do 300 couples a year. But we have really enjoyed it.”

However, now the new owners are going to turn it back into a family home. Two retired couples have bought it and will live in it together.

“So everything has to go. Furniture, paintings, electronics, televisions, toasters. A complete set of kitchenware and a tonne of linens and beds, duvets, electric blankets. Everything.”

Tim and Janet say they are hoping for a quieter life out the back of the Baywick Inn. But Janet isn’t quite ready to let go of being a host just yet. She is likely to rent out one of the rooms in their new place as a bed and breakfast, too.

The garage sale is at 51 Domett St on Saturday.