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The Early Canterbury Runs: Containing the First, Second and Third (new) Series

Alford — (Run 126)

(Run 126)

Alford lay in the Ashburton forks above Ringwood, between the North Branch and Taylor's Stream. It was taken up by F. W. Delamain for himself and the Kennaway brothers, Walter, Laurence and John. Delamain owned a half share and the Kennaways the other half between them.

Delamain and Laurence Kennaway squatted there in 1854, but there was much dispute about the country page 113until it was surveyed, and they did not get their license for it until July, 1856. The run contained twenty thousand acres, but at one time Kennaway and Co., as the firm was called, claimed over seventy thousand, including Mt. Alford which was afterwards allotted to Winterslow Station.

When Kennaway and Co. dissolved partnership about 1860, Delamain took Alford and the Kennaways took the firm's southern stations, Opawa and Rollesby. Delamain did not keep Alford long. He sold it to Thomas Rowley and Frederick Tooth. Rowley was the owner of Sandy Knolls. In 1864 or 1865 Rowley sold his share of the station to Tooth and went home to England. They went in very extensively for light horse breeding, keeping about thirty mares. Rowley was the manager until the family went home.

Frederick Tooth made some ten thousand acres of the run freehold during the late 'sixties and the 'seventies. He had over 8000 sheep there in 1877. His manager was Foster Nixon, a son of the Bishop of Tasmania. Foster Nixon was succeeded by his brother George. Eventually Tooth fell on bad times and his brother Robert, who financed him, had to take over the station. Robert Tooth lived in Sydney and appointed L. E. Corsbie to manage Alford for him. Corsbie managed it until Tooth sold it about 1883 to the Alford Estate Company. Herring, one of the chief proprietors, managed for the Company until they sold Alford to a syndicate for sub-division in 1902. When the station was cut up,* Horsley Brothers, the present owners, bought the homestead and a great deal of the land. According to the sheep returns Alford Station still carries over 3000 sheep.

The Kennaways were younger sons of the Devonshire Kennaways. They had a farm on the Heathcote where John Kennaway lived. They went home to England fairly early. One of them lived in Exeter and another was for a long time in the N.Z. Agent-General's office in London.

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Laurence Kennaway Wrote Crusts, a Settler's Fare Due South. It gives a good description of early station life in Canterbury, but Kennaway spoilt much of its usefulness by disguising the names of almost every person that he mentioned.

Delamain was a great racing man in his day. Like so many other good colonists he lost most of his money. He was born at Heavitree near Exeter and died in Christchurch in 1910, aged 75. He was the son of Colonel Delamain, C.B.

* It now (1945) belongs to Melville Turton.