Posted in Stories

Edward Preston -Start to a Happy Life – Part 4

On the day that Ted and Lola got married they dared to have lunch together in a café in Peel Street, Tamworth and it caused an uproar with family, as tradition stated that you weren’t supposed to see each other until arriving at the church.  Ted enjoyed the Wedding Breakfast greatly.  He hadn’t expected marriage in his life as he was 29 years old. Ted, Lola and families enjoyed a  meal at Hanley’s Dance Hall in Peel Street Tamworth which was located upstairs of the Markers Cake shop location today (2015).  Lola left her work at Penny’s Department Store to make her wedding gown and the gowns for the two bridesmaids.

Ted and Lola Preston 11 Aug 1956
Ted and Lola Preston 11 Aug 1956

Ted and Lola spent their wedding night at the Tudor Hotel and then left next morning for Casino, staying at another hotel overnight.  From Casino they travelled on to the Canberra Hotel in Brisbane for a week.  After a wonderful week of seeing the sights in Brisbane  the couple drove to Newcastle to stay with Lola’s brother Don and sister-in-law Mary for a couple of days before arriving home to Tamworth to start their life together.  They were living at Currabubula for a while, in a house made of mud bricks with a large peppercorn tree in the yard. 

Ted and Lola finally purchased their own home in Churchill Street, Tamworth and Ted set about starting a lovely garden in the front yard.  He and Lola finally had a permanent home in which to raise their children, something that meant the world to Ted as had spent so much of his life moving from one town to another. Ted and Lola had three sons – Terrance Lloyd, Wayne and Michael –  and enjoyed family life greatly.  The young family went on occasional holidays to the coast, or to visit relatives in Sydney. 

Ted Lola and Terry0001
Ted and Lola Preston on holiday at Albion Park with baby Terry – Sept 1958

In 1976 the police came to their house whilst Dad was in the front garden one day to inform him that his father had passed away.  Ted’s mother didn’t know how to contact him as they had lost contact with each other in the early 1950’s, so she asked the police to carry the message to Ted and his family.

I joined the Preston family firstly as Terry’s girlfriend in 1978 and then as his wife in 1980.  In those first two years Dad and I discovered a very un-nerving fact.  As it turns out Ted worked with and knew my natural father (George Alexander Payne) whilst he was labouring at Keepit Dam.  Ted, Lola and I also discovered that the three of us shared a love of family history, and spent many hours working on the family tree.  Just recently I came across a list of Ted’s favourites he wrote down in 1980 – and it was a bit of a “blast from the past!  He liked:

Country and Western Music – Charlie Pride and Tex Ritter
The film “Every Which Way But Loose” – Clint Eastwood
Actors – John Wayne, Humphrey Bogart, Spencer Tracy, William Boyd and Jane Russell
TV Programs – The Sullivans, National News
Town – Wagga Wagga
Food – Oysters and Steak
Oland Aftershave by Avon
Palmolive Soap, Colgate Toothpaste
The colours green & blue

Ted worked at McPhersons Steelworks in Barnes Street, Taminda, Tamworth from 8/2/1965 to 27/8/1982.  The shop closed down on 18/7/1982 but Ted and some others were kept on until 27/8/1982 for clean up.  Elders took over the back part of the shop on 27/8/1982 and Ted started work for them on 1/9/1982, remaining there until retirement in 1989.

During Ted’s working life he also started doing gardens and lawns around Tamworth.  He gardened on a property named Dal Blair for the Atkinson family and had roughly 10 other lawns and gardens in town.  This work was done mainly on weekends until his retirement, and then any time during the week after retirement.

When Ted finished at  Elders he went on to Arnott’s Biscuits for a couple of months sorting and loading the company trucks.  He also did a few weekends of sheep work, mainly docking, with his brother-in-law Alan.

Ted finally retired from lawns and gardens about five or so years after finishing at Elders due to increasing problems with his back.

L to R: Lola Preston, Grandsons Jake Preston, Brett Preston, Ted Preston and Grandson Lucas Preston
L to R: Lola Preston, Grandsons Jake Preston, Brett Preston, Ted Preston and Grandson Lucas Preston – 80th Birthday – October 2006

After retirement Ted and Lola went on a trip to visit June and Graham Huff (Lola’s relatives) at Foxton on the North Island of New Zealand on 2 Sept 1990.  This was the first time that they had been outside Australia.  They spent roughly 3 weeks looking around the North Island, crossing over to Picton on the ferry on 23 Sept 1990, but didn’t explore the South Island at all.  Some of the places that they visited were Hamilton, Picton, Foxton, drove through Wellington, Waipukurau, Porangahau Beach, Dannebirke Park, Hastings, Napier, Rotorua, Mount Maunganui, Levin, Waikato and Huka Falls.  They have a lovely collection of photographs of their trip and memories that will last for their lifetime. 

Ted Preston - October 2012
Ted Preston – October 2012

My father-in-law Ted is a kind and gentle man, a devoted and loyal husband to Lola, a loving father to his sons Terry Preston, Wayne Preston and Michael Preston and their wives, a doting grandfather to Lucas, Brett, Jake, Lois and David, and a smitten great-grandfather to Cooper and Charlotte.


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