Ted and Tessie raised their five children in the house at 4 Tootonga St, Chigwell — Ann, Teddy, Pam, Phillip, and Peter,
For eight years they also raised Mollie’s son, Tony — the boy who Ted read about in Tessie’s letter all those years before.
“Tony came to live with us because his mother ran off with the ice cream man,” Ted said.
“In other words, a chap was going around the streets in a van selling ice creams, and my sister in law thought he was a bit of alright, and ran off to Melbourne with him!
“But she forgot she had five children, which she left temporarily behind. We took the eldest because all of ours were very young.”
Tony was only eight years old when he moved in with the Wests, and stayed until he was sixteen.
“Tony went to Melbourne when he was 16 and started work at the PMG, and he’s still there, 48 years later!” Ted said.