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Journal of the Nelson and Marlborough Historical Societies, Volume 1, Issue 3, November 1983

Delta Run No. 11

page 27

Delta Run No. 11.

Edward Green took up this run about 1848– originally No. 12 of 1849. The area of waste land in this de-pasturage licence was not great, but a considerable area of light strong land had been surveyed under Budge's direction for closer settlement but had not been applied for, or in many cases applied for by absentee owners still living in England. This allowed Green to graze sheep on a much larger area than his run.

About 1854 Dr. Thomas Renwick M.D. of Nelson became interested in buying land in this area and bought section 163, Omaka District, of 150 acres from Edward Green who had completed the purchase of it from the Crown a few months earlier. Over the next two years Renwick purchased from the Crown over 3,000 acres; much of it out of the Delta Run and must have come to some agreement with Green for the lease of the remainder of the run, though the official transfer of the run did not take place until the end of 1864. As other sections in the area became available Renwick managed to purchase a good many of them. In 1863 he purchased from the Hon. Frances Dorothy Dillon 300 acres upon which the main homestead for the run was subsequently built.

At the southern end of the run Dr. David Monro purchased from the Crown 500 acres and also about 10 surveyed sections (Budge's Survey) on behalf of his brother-in-law Alexander Binning Monro of "Auchinbowie", Scotland, Section 149 and Risk Farm of 250 acres. The later had a checkered history of ownership before finally becoming part of the Delta Run in 1929. To sort out all the historical ramifications of the ownership of many of the sections which went to the making up of the Delta Run would be greater than this article warrants. Risk Farm mentioned above is interesting because it was so long in coming under Delta ownership though it was surrounded on three sides by Delta land and across the road on the fourth side and could be described as an enclave.

Dr. Thomas Renwick died in 1879 and his second wife, Anne as administator retained the run until 1899 when the trustees sold to William Pollard who had been manager of Delta for some years. After Pollard's death the run was sold to Elsie Howard Watts, wife of George Fowell Watts of Lansdown, in 1929. Members of the Watts family held the Delta until after the second World War when the land to the north of Highway 63 was acquired by the Crown for the settlement of Returned Servicemen. During the war the Defence Department had used a considerably larger area for the establishment of military and airforce training camps. After the war other areas were sold, the largest of these to W. C. Patterson, Moonee Valley.

In 1966 the Murray family of Spring Creek took over the homestead block of 1291 acres, calling it Murray Downs. Nigel Watts retained another block fronting on to Highway 63 of 1061 acres for a few years before selling it about 1972, this he called The Delta.

I have not mentioned the establishment of the town of Renwick, originally called Renwicktown, by Dr. Thomas Renwick as it is another story.