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South Yarra Water Works Company (1854 – 1863)

April 18 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

$10 – $20

Our first co-presentation with Engineering Heritage Victoria in 2024 will be by Ken McInnes who will explore the history, the entrepreneurs, the engineers, the operations, the expansion and the demise of the short lived South Yarra Water Works Company (1854 – 1863).

In 1854, 170 years ago, Yan Yean Reservoir was completed. Over the following ten years water was progressively reticulated to the houses and businesses of Melbourne and its suburbs.

Before Yan Yean, water was supplied from the Yarra River above “The Falls”, pumped into water carts and delivered around town. A large elevated cast iron tank was also built on Eastern Hill, filled by a steam pump on the north bank of the Yarra River, and provided reticulated water around the city area.

To provide water to Prahran and South Yarra, the ‘South Yarra Water Works Company’, pumped water into water carts, from the south bank of the Yarra River, upstream near Chapel Street. Once the Company was incorporated in 1855, it established a steam pump on Forest Hill and pumped water from the Yarra River to a tank on the corner of Chapel Street and Gardiner’s Creek Road, South Yarra, and provided reticulated water to nearby establishments. Later on the scheme was extended with another water tank near St.Kilda Junction.

The engineers initially associated with the Company were Alexander Kennedy Smith, George Holmes and Edward Richardson. The initial local entrepreneurs progressively gave way to later investors. There was lobbying, intrigue, and politics over granting land, financing,  constructing of its tanks, laying of pipes in Central Roads Board reserves that later became municipal roads, ‘scuffles’ over the removal by council of pipes laid in ‘their’ streets.  Once Yan Yean water mains were laid to the suburbs south of the Yarra River, the demise of the Company was inevitable, leading to its dissolution in 1863, and the gradual disappearance of all physical traces of its existence.

This presentation will provide a fascinating narrative for all who have an interest in the history of Victoria.

 

HOUSEKEEPING

This event will be offered in person at the RHSV and via Zoom. Those purchasing a Zoom ticket will be sent the log-in details 24 hours before the event. And the Zoom log-in is for 6pm.

 

Tickets

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Member in person
For members of the RHSV or Engineering Heritage Victoria who will be attending the lecture in person at the RHSV's Drill Hall, 239 A'Beckett St Melbourne
$ 10.00
Unlimited
Non-member in person
For those who are NOT financial members of the RHSV or Engineering Heritage Victoria and who will be attending the lecture in person at the RHSV's Drill Hall, 239 A'Beckett St Melbourne
$ 20.00
Unlimited
Member by ZOOM
For members of the RHSV or Engineering Heritage Victoria who will be ZOOMING in for this lecture.
$ 10.00
Unlimited
Non-member by ZOOM
For those who are NOT financial members of the RHSV or Engineering Heritage Victoria and who will be ZOOMING in for this lecture.
$ 20.00
Unlimited

Details

Date:
April 18
Time:
5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Cost:
$10 – $20
Event Category:

Venue

RHSV Gallery Downstairs
239 A'Beckett St
Melbourne, Victoria 3000 Australia
+ Google Map
Phone:
03 9326 9288
Website:
www.historyvictoria.org.au