Barry & Sylvia moved to Malanstasie about 7 years ago to find a quieter life. Barry was originally a Banker now retired. Sylvia a Management Consultant who changed career to become a Therapeutic Reflexologist and now spends time with their horses and dogs.
They have both traveled extensively and have met some very interesting people along the way. Therefore having a Guest House as a retirement project is considered a natural extension of their desire to meet other people and sharing their experiences.
The residence acquired by Barry when he retired was initially a small square railway house, which has been expanded over the years to create a very comfortable home.
Barry's maternal grandparents grew up not far from where he lives today. The families farmed wheat but were bankrupted when the entire harvest was obliterated by a fungal disease in the early part of the last century. These were desperate times in our country's history. And as a result his grandfather (Oupa) Adriaan Louw nicknamed "Attie" and his brothers all found employment with the fledgling South African Railways.
As far back as Barry can remember, he was fascinated by the mystique of steam engines. This was due to his late mother's stories about her early childhood, told against the backdrop of aged photographs of her father standing proudly on the footplate of, or alongside, his locomotive. These very same postcard photographs now enlarged have pride of place in the reception area of the Guest House. It was indeed a strange twist of fate that Barry was able to acquire property previously belonging to the South African Railways at Malanstasie.
A brief historyThe first railway line a mere 72 kilometers long in this country was laid from Cape Town to Wellington it was intended to serve the wine and fruit growing Industry of the Western Cape. The first sod on the construction of this line was turned 150 years ago on 31 March 1859.
Though Malan Station was decommissioned a few years ago it was part of the original railway system, which was completed between Cape Town and Johannesburg in 1892.
According to historians, "There certainly was no such long line in England at the time. And this was one huge South African achievement."