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Price and blood sway retirement location

TWO MATES SHARE STORIES: Warren Robinson from Warwick caught up with Tenterfield’s Stephen Goddard at the Lyons St sale on Wednesday.
TWO MATES SHARE STORIES: Warren Robinson from Warwick caught up with Tenterfield’s Stephen Goddard at the Lyons St sale on Wednesday. Toni Somes

A YEAR ago weighing up where to retire, Warren Robinson chose Warwick for two very different reasons.

The first was the simple fact that house prices in the Rose City were $50,000 cheaper than other places he was considering, like Lismore and Kyogle.

But it was the second reason which truly captured the imagination of this self-confessed history buff.

"My ancestors were some of the first settlers in Warwick," Mr Robinson explained.

"They came here in 1840 and worked for the Leslie family at Canning Downs.

"My family also boasted the first ever official marriage in Queensland.

"It was between Thomas Robinson and Elizabeth McKay and to get married they had to go from Warwick to Moreton Bay, where they were married in St Joseph's Church.

"We've done research into our family history and it's all there along with a few mysteries, but I suspect it's the same in every family.

"So we were happy to shift to Warwick, even with the cheaper house prices and all, my family's had a long connection with this part of the world."

But not everyone is happy about their home town.

Tenterfield's Stephen Goddard said times were so challenging down the New England Hwy that even the famed Tenterfield saddler had shut up shop.

The well-known song about the saddler was performed by Peter Allen and made the picturesque town down the road famous on the international stage.

But, according to Mr Goddard, who was in Warwick for the weekly pig and calf sale, many more businesses in his home town were struggling to make ends meet.

"It is tough, too tough: There's not enough money or jobs in the bush anymore," he said.

"In the early days, Tenterfield had everything.

"We had a meatworks, cordial factories, rabbit factories and every business in between but so many places have closed up now.

"Even the saddler couldn't make it work."

Ironically, Mr Goddard said the more businesses that closed down, the harder it was for the remaining enterprises to "make a go of it".

"People start shopping out of town, 'cause you can't get everything you need in Tenterfield so it gets worse."

Topics:  history retire tree change


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