The Early Canterbury Runs: Containing the First, Second and Third (new) Series
Valetta — (Run 58)
Valetta lay between the Ashburton and Hinds rivers above Westerfield, and contained fourteen thousand five hundred acres of which nearly ten thousand were eventually made freehold.
It was taken up by George Duncan Lockhart in October, 1854. At one time C. C. Haslewood and a man named Oakley seem to have claimed the run, but J. T. Ford told me that the original pasturage license was granted to Lockhart. I have not come across the manuscript record.
Lockhart sold the station with ' fifty good cows in calf to Charles Hurst, afterwards of Oakleigh, in 1857 for £1000. Hurst sold to J. C. Aitken, I think, in the early 'sixties, and J. C. Aitken sold to W. C. Walker about 1870, but I am not very sure of these dates. In 1882 Walker's father-in-law, Archdeacon Wilson, page 124took the station over from him. One of the Dunfords was Walker's manager in 1878.
After the Archdeacon's death Valetta was carried on by his executors until 1914, when they cut it up and sold it. T. B. Richards was their manager for many years and until they sold it.
The homestead was bought from them by the present owner, H. S. Richards, a cousin of the last manager.
Valetta was the last of the old plains stations to remain anything like its original size. When it was cut up in 1914 it still contained over fourteen thousand acres of freehold and leasehold land. All the early owners of Valetta, except Oakley, whom I know nothing about, are mentioned under other runs, and the later ones are too well remembered to require description. Walker was, of course, the Hon. W. C. Walker, M.L.C., at one time Minister of Education.