Tasmanian born, Robert Ford moved to Preston in 1933. He quickly opened a radio and electrical shop in the centre of Preston. Ford and his wife, Amy, soon became active in the social, charitable and community activities of Preston and in 1945 Ford became a Justice of the Peace. He followed that up in 1947 by being elected to Preston Council in 1947, serving until 1956. This included one term as Mayor in 1952-3. Ford was active in a number of areas including the First Preston Scouts, Preston Municipal Band, Preston Girls’ High School and the Committee of Management of PANCH.