Bedford Park Loses Its Most Long-Standing Resident
Ted Holloway was an important part of the community for over eight decades
Bedford Park has lost its most long-standing resident with the death of Ted Holloway at the age of 97.
Ted served St Michael and All Angels church as a churchwarden for over 30 years, and was a co-founder of the church-run Bedford Park Festival in 1967. In the latter role he helped draw up its expanding programmes, including organisation of Green Day, concerts and the open gardens day. As a personal contribution, for many years he and his wife Joanne hosted a highly popular garden party, which combined music (he was a keen piano player), art (Joanne being a talented artist and teacher) and home-made cakes.
Ted was also the last surviving founding member of the Bedford Park Society, having joined the committee at the Society’s first AGM in 1964. In recognition of his long service he was appointed vice-president in 2008. His main committee role was liaison with the church but, as the years rolled by, he became an unofficial repository of memories of how Bedford Park looked and felt in the past.
Born George Edward Talbot Holloway (but always known as Ted) in 1921, he moved to Bedford Park with his parents and older brother in 1932.
His memories stretched back to an era when the neighbourhood’s larger houses were gradually being converted into boarding houses and flats, or even demolished and redeveloped. As the older inhabitants died or moved away, the suburb’s population changed to being mainly young, single renters who rarely stayed long. Ted remarked that at one time he and Joanne were the only children living in Woodstock Road.
It was the acceleration of these changes after World War II that prompted him to join the Society. He lived to see the garden suburb become popular again, as it was granted conservation area status with Grade II listed houses worth millions – now in danger from wealthy owners seeking to install extensions, basements and other “ improvements ” that threaten their architectural integrity.
Ted attended Chiswick County Grammar School where he met his future wife, Joanne Walton. He recalled that despite the girls and boys schools being strictly segregated he and Joanne shared the bus journey home to Bedford Park and became inseparable.
In 1937 he left school to train as an industrial chemist, working for J Lyons before joining the RAF in 1942, when he was trained in photography before being posted to Egypt, then Palestine, to teach others this skill, rising to the rank of sergeant.
After the war he was finally able to follow the career he had always wanted, working as an untrained primary school teacher in London before taking a year-long course at Oakley Training College, Cheltenham, in 1948. Newly-qualified, he took a post at St Stephen’s Primary School, Shepherd’s Bush. In 1956 he enrolled in a further year-long course at the University of London Institute of Education. As head of Christchurch Primary School in Battersea he became known as the English Piaget because he helped introduce the Swiss psychologist’s methods to Britain; the school was frequently visited by educationalists who wanted to see the method in action and Ted wrote several books explaining Jean Piaget’s theories.
He then moved into teacher training, becoming principal lecturer at Sidney Webb College of Education in 1962 before retiring in 1980.
Having waited for many years until their parents’ deaths, he and Joanne were finally married in 1973 at St Michael and All Angels. Their house in Blenheim Road became a second home to many young people who became the children Ted and Joanne never had themselves, and who continued to keep in touch over the years.
Joanne died in 2012, after a series of strokes. Ted nursed her devotedly for several years, to the point of endangering his own health. After her death he moved to St Mary’s Convent Nursing Home in Chiswick, although he continued his links with Bedford Park via the Society and the church.
He was a courteous, punctilious man, whose precise enunciation was a reminder of his days in the classroom.
He will be greatly missed by Bedford Park residents, especially the church congregation and the Bedford Park Society, as well as the many now not-so-young people whom he and Joann nurtured over the years. The Society will be publishing a tribute to him in its annual journal.
His funeral will be held at St Michael and All Angels on 8 November at 12.00 noon.
October 22, 2018