Robert Torr came out to the Cape as a soldier during the Second British Occupation in 1806. While in this country he lost his heart to the lovely widow of his late commander, and married her. They migrated to the Eastern Cape Karoo area where he traded and in time was granted a piece of land for services rendered during one of the Frontier Wars. Later, one of his sons, Harry, married a woman whose parents had come out with the 1820 settlers and they moved towards the central Karoo area. Their son, Brain Filmer Torr, was born in Cathcart. Harry later moved to the Victoria West area where he purchased the farm, Melton Wold. He sent his son Brian to Diocesan College in Rondebosch and later to Elsenburg College (Stellenbosch) and Grootfontein Agricultural College (Middelburg) to be educated. Brian loved the idea of farming and looked forward to assisting his father, but a world war put paid to those ideas. At the outbreak of World War II Brian joined the South African Armed Forces and served with the Royal Natal Carbineers in Italy. After being demobbed he returned to his beloved Melton Wold and married Doreen Mary Oliver of Bloemfontein. Brian purchased Merino stud sheep with the assistance of Mr A G L Murray of Beaufort West, built his farm into an enviable, award-winning stud. Brian and Doreen started one of South Africa’s earliest and best known guest farms at Melton Wold in the 1930. It offered a very high standard of catering and plenty of outdoor games and soon people were flocking from across the country for a “true country holiday” there. The Torrs also ran a general dealers business and post office on the farm. Melton Wold is still a wonderful guest farm today, offering old-world hotel accommodation, good meals, a charming campsite, bowling green, cycling, and a marvelous traditional farm dam to swim in.
© Rose’s Roundup, Nov. 2012 (No 226)
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