End of an era for North’s own soft drink

Townsville Bulletin - - Inside Today - John An­der­sen

CHAR­TERS Tow­ers soft drink man­u­fac­tur­ers Wayne and Kay Le­stone and long-term em­ployee Percy Pugh have made their last bot­tle of ‘‘ sars’’.

The fa­mous Char­ters Tow­ers soft drink man­u­fac­tur­ing plant known as Whit­breads Cor­dials sent its last bot­tle of flavoured wa­ter around the bot­tling plant at 4pm on Wed­nes­day. It is the end of era, and with the Bowen soft drink plant clos­ing last year, Whit­breads lit­er­ally was the last man stand­ing in North Queens­land.

The Whit­breads name has be­come a by­word in Char­ters Tow­ers and around the North Queens­land in­land, but now with the plant and equip­ment in­clud­ing a com­mer­cial ice works up for sale, it now looks to be over.

The prime par­cel of land on the cor­ner of York St and Millch­ester Rd on which the soft drink plant is lo­cated, has been sold to Townsville and Char­ters Tow­ers car dealer Mike Car­ney. Mr Le­stone said he and his wife had un­til May 15 to va­cate the site.

The clos­ing down of the busi­ness also means that Percy Pugh, 67, who started work at the plant nearly 51 years ago as a 16-year-old, will be out of work. Percy worked with his brother Clive who started at the soft drink fac­tory when he was 15. Clive re­tired last year.

Percy said he was look­ing for­ward to re­tire­ment and would find plenty of things to do to keep him­self busy.

One thing he won’t be do­ing is sitting around drink­ing soft drink.

Photo: JOHN AN­DER­SEN

BIT­TER-SWEET END: Soft drink man­u­fac­tur­ers Wayne and Kay Le­stone with long-term em­ployee Percy Pugh

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