Jenny

Preston, Tasmania Australia

Who are you and what do you do?
'My name is Jenny, I am the wife of Ralph and mum to ten very lovely children. I am a stay-at-home homeschool mum. We have always homeschooled our children and this is our twenty-eighth year. We live on a twenty acre hobby farm and love the quiet country lifestyle. My hubby drives a local school bus, in the morning and afternoon, and otherwise tends our beef cows, chooks and veggie patch.'

2. Why do I choose to live in Preston?
'I was born, schooled, and married in New South Wales. As a family of four we moved to Queensland. After nearly two decades of drought (if it wasn't flooding) we wanted to move somewhere wetter, cooler, and more affordable, so we chose Tasmania. How we chose Preston is more of a miracle.

After selling our house and moving ourselves complete with a removal truck (which my husband drove) and a troop carrier towing a caravan with seven children (which I drove), we travelled for a month through Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria, to catch the ferry to Tasmania. Once we landed, we felt prompted to head into the countryside and twenty minutes later we fell in love with the Preston area. Every dam was full, with water under every bridge and lush green grass in every direction. A picturesque farming hamlet.'

3. What is my favourite place in Preston?
'Other than my own place, a very pretty and special spot is the Preston Falls. There is an upper and lower falls. It is a feature we often take our visitors to and in summer it's shady and perfect for a swim in the rockpool at the base of the upper falls.'

What is Preston proud of?
'One lady who has lived here for over eighty years, Iris Johnson, says she used to be so proud of the main street, Preston Road, looking beautiful. Everyone had neat houses with well kept gardens. There was a school, shop, post office, three churches, community hall, playing fields and a railway station. It was, of course, a farming community and still is. However, with the popularity of motor vehicles, people could work out of the area and gradually all facilities closed, including the railway. The township has gone from over one-hundred houses to a mere ten down the main street. It doesn't have the same feel at all. There is still a sense of community amongst those that live and farm the area but clearly not like it used to be one-hundred years ago.'

Tell us something about Preston that people won't know?
'During the second world war, masses of potatoes were grown in Preston and carted by rail to Devonport and then shipped to Sydney to help with the war effort. Towns people were very proud that they could do something tangible to help.'