Saturday, December 29, 2012

Gippsland events in October 2012

These photographs were taken at some recent events in Gippsland - The Last of the Chrome Bumpers at Lardner Park near Warragul on October 7, 2012; the Stratford Historical Society From Horse to Horsepower event at Pine Lodge Recreation Reserve, Stratford on Sunday, October 14 and lastly the Federation Picnic hosted by the Gippsland Vehicle Collection group and held at the Maffra Shed, held on Sunday, October 28, 2012.

Two J-model Bedfords at the Federation Picnic.

Robert Johnston's 1948 Bedford at Last of the Chrome Bumpers.

Graham Young's hay bale loader Bedford, which was on the back of his 1424 Benz, which is shown below.
Taken at Stratford.

Eric Shingle's 1974 1418 Benz - shown at Statford, above, and because it's a Benz, here it is again with his milk tanker at the Federation Picnic.

Ian Chatfield's 1939 Chev at Last of the Chrome Bumpers.

Graeme Johnston's 1960 Commer Knocker and John Gramlick's 1961 Commer Knocker, below at Last of thh Chrome Bumpers.

Bob Lee's 1937 Diamond T.

Andrew Main's two Dodges at Stratford.

Two more Dodges at Stratford - John Mahoney's above and Heather Cameron's below.

Max Devlin's 1928 Dodge at Last of the Chrome Bumpers.

 A Dodge at the Federation Picnic.

Stan Hamilton's 1969 Ford at Last of the Chrome Bumpers, towing his 1950 caravan.

Joe Beaumont's 1939 Ford at the Federation Picnic.

Steve Bragg's 1970 C1800 Inter at Stratford.

John Denholm's 1962 AB180 Inter at Last of the Chrome Bumpers and John Ferguson's 1949 KB6 Inter with his great display of Ampol drums, is below.

Stan Hamilton's 1946 Maple Leaf at Last of the Chrome Bumpers.

Two Morris Commercials at Stratford - John Burley's 1949 model is above and the one below is from 1947.

Another green Morris Commercial, 1948 model with a 1950 caravan. Displayed by Ian James at Last of the Chrome bumpers.

Tony and Glenys Hackett's 1957 REO Gold Comet at the Federation Picnic.

Here's our Volvo at the Last of the Chrome Bumpers.

Maffra Bush Fire Brigade Truck at the Federation picnic. Thank you to Linda Barraclough, local historian, for telling me that this is a 1928 Graham Brothers.

Other vehicles at the Federation picnic.

Line up of trucks at Stratford.

Finally - the prize winners in the commercial vehicle category at Last of the Chrome Bumpers. That's Graeme Johnston (Commer Knocker) on the left and John Arnold (our Volvo) on the right.

Photographs: the Federation Picnic photographs were taken by Eric Shingles and all the rest I took.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

More Koo-Wee-Rup Swamp machines

In the last post we looked at the Lubecker Steam bucket dredge that worked on the Koo-Wee- Rup Swamp, in this post we will look at other machines. But first - here is a short history of the drainage of the Swamp.  In 1875, landowners on the Swamp formed the Koo-Wee-Rup Swamp Drainage Committee. From 1876 this Committee employed over 100 men and created drains that would carry the water from the Cardinia and Toomuc Creeks to Western Port Bay at Moody’s Inlet. Around the time of the First World War another drain was created to tap the Deep Creek into the Toomuc Drain.  The Chief Engineer of the Public Works Department, William Thwaites, surveyed the Swamp in 1887 and his report recommended the construction of the Bunyip Main Drain from where it entered the Swamp in the north to Western Port Bay and a number of smaller side drains. A tender was advertised in 1889. In spite of strikes, floods and bad weather by March, 1893, the private contractors had constructed the 16 miles of the drain from the Bay to the south of Bunyip. 

Additional drains were added over the years and existing drains were widened and deepened. After the huge 1934 flood that saw the entire Swamp  inundated there was a Royal Commission into the role of the operation of the State Rivers and Water Supply Commission (SRWSC). As a result they worked on new drainage plans for the Swamp which included the construction of the Yallock outfall drain from Cora Lynn, cutting across to Bayles and then essentially following the line of the existing Yallock Creek to Western Port Bay. The aim was to take any flood water directly to the sea so the Main Drain could cope with the remaining water. The Yallock outfall drain was started in 1939 but the works were put on hold during World War 2 and not completed until 1956-57. 

These are SRWSC photographs and show some of the machines that worked on the Swamp in the 1930s and 1940s.

 Deep Creek outfall, No. 15 Dredge. Taken December 1936.

 Sand dredge, Main Drain. December 1936.

 No. 36 excavator, Yallock outfall drain. April 1940.

McGrath's sand dredge, Cardinia Creek. November 1940.

Harmon Excavator working on the Yallock Outfall drain. July 1941.

Yallock Outfall works. December 1947

 Yallock Outfall works. February 1948.

 Yallock Out fall works. Cletrac tractor. February 1948.

No 67 Excavator, remodelling the Little Yannathan Drain. December 1948.

To read about the Lubecker Steam bucket dredge, click here.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Lubecker Steam Dredge

The Lubecker Steam Dredge was the first machine used on the long running project to drain the Koo-Wee-Rup Swamp. The main drainage work, the construction of the 16 mile long canal or  Main Drain from where the Bunyip River entered the Swamp in the north to Western Port Bay started in 1889 and was finished by March 1893. This work which also included a number a smaller side drains was conceived by Chief Engineer of the Public Works Department, William Thwaites

The Public Works Department engaged Engineer, Carlo Catani, to oversee the continuation of Swamp drainage works in 1893. Catani was keen to introduce land dredges; however this was not approved because it would reduce the work available for unskilled labour. It wasn’t until 1912 that Catani was given permission to purchase a machine and he ordered a Lubecker steam driven bucket dredge from Germany. It was described as being of the articulated ladder type; it ran on rails and had a 9 man crew. It weighed 80 tons and had a capacity of 80 cubic yards per hour or approximately 200,000 cubic yards per annum when working one shift. The purchase price was £2,300 pounds, plus £632 duty. The total cost landed, erected with rails, cranes and other equipment came to £4,716

According to the Lang Lang Guardian the dredge had arrived by June 1913 and was to start work on the Lang Lang River.  From a report in The Argus on October 13, 1915 we can get an idea of how the Dredge operated - it excavates by means of an endless chain arrangement, wherein each link of the chain consists of a heavy steel shovel head…these scrape away the ‘spoil’ and then they deliver it onto a mechanical conveyer …which dumps the earth onto a regular embankment or if necessary into wagons that cart it away. Around August 1916 the Dredge had completed its work on the Lang Lang River, having removed 78,000 cubic yards of earth and creating a channel a mile and half long. It was then taken over by the State Rivers and Water Supply Commission and worked on the Koo-Wee-Rup Swamp on the Main Drain, Cardinia Creek and the Yallock Outfall Drain. 



 Running parallel to the dredge on another set of rails, was a truck powered by a small Tangye engine for the hauling of the machinery and goods.

I believe these photographs could have been taken in 1913, when the Lubecker Dredge first started operating  as there appear to be a lot of men dressed in suits and I don't  believe these ladies would have been employed digging drains!. The photographs are State Rivers & Water Supply Commission photographs are part of the State Library of Victoria collection.

Finally, what happened to the Lubecker Dredge? We don’t know but presumably it was cut up for scrap as all that remains are a set of wheels on display at the Swamp Look-out tower on the South Gippsland Highway, an ignoble end to such a grand machine.

To see other machines such as sand dredges and excavators that worked on the Koo-Wee-Rup Swamp, click here.