Mildura Weekly : Friday January 12 Vol 12 No 10
12 NEWS MILDURA WEEKLY FRIDAY, JANUARY 12, 2018 AS the pressure level on the Bab- cock and Wilcox steam gauge slowly rises towards the required 150-psi level, the anticipation of seeing the 127-year-old George Chaffey-designed ‘Tangyes’ irriga- tion pump engine thunder back to life also builds. It’s New Year’s Day, and the ever-enthusiastic team of dedicat- ed volunteers from the Sunraysia Steam Preservation Society (SSPS) are up early, preparing the historic Psyche Bend Pumping Station for another of its popular ‘running days’, which is expected to attract close to 400 visitors. Retired firefighter and SSPS president, Ian Kellett, said that while the group isn’t big in num- bers, the contribution from each volunteer is enormous. “The work these boys put in is phenomenal,” he said. It’s not exactly known what inspired the name ‘Psyche’, which has its origins in Greek mythol- ogy and was the name given to the Goddess of the soul, spirit and compassion, which perhaps encapsulates the character of our pioneering forefathers and today’s volunteers. “With the numbers we do have, we are just able to keep Psyche go- ing,” Ian said. “Unfortunately age isn’t on our side, and as we all get older some members have retired, and we desperately need ‘younger blood’ to join us to ensure the ongoing viability of the pump sta- tion.” The society has a core group of about 12 workers who come down and prepare in advance of the run- ning day, all of whom are steam engine enthusiasts. “Most of the guys have their ‘steam-ticket’ and an engine driv- er’s qualification, which they need to operate the equipment at the Psyche pump facility,” Ian said. “It’s not just a matter of coming down and pushing a button, there is a lot of preparation and plan- ning that goes into these running days.” Back in the early days, after it was restored, the boilers used to run on wood, but that became too cumbersome and wood wasn’t readily available. Today the pump is fired on sump oil. “The boys go around and col- lect sump oil from a number of ga- rage outlets in town,” Ian said. “In addition to this, general up- keep of the pump engine and the boiler is carried out during Sunday morning ‘working-bees’.” The pump engine is known as a marine, triple expansion, four cylinder, which features a unique design, custom-built to George Chaffey’s specifications by Tangyes of Birmingham, England. “Back in its ‘heyday’ the pump’s capacity was rated at 38,000 gal- lons (173,000 litres) per pump – per minute, at peak operation,” Ian said. “The pump house had four large pipe outlets supplying water to the outside channel which fed into Kings Billabong.” The engine was shipped in multiple components by sea from England to Australia, then travelled by train to a riverport, where it was loaded on to a barge bound for Mildura. To see the pump engine close up, you’d think it was almost brand new, such is the quality of the restoration and ongoing main- tenance. Historic photos showing the original engine in a dilapidated state line the walls of the pump sta- tion, a reminder that it was noth- ing like this before volunteers from the SSPS got to work on it in 1988. The Chaffey pump engine was powered by steam generated by a series of boilers in an adjacent boiler house. SSPS volunteer of more than 30 years, and former First Mildura Iir- rigation Trust (FMIT) board mem- ber, Peter Wharton, was part of the group who decided to restore the pumping station. “The steam to power the pump engine is produced by an ex-steam train, engine boiler, that we ac- quired from VicRail,” he said. The unused N-Class locomo- tive boiler was manufactured by the Victorian Railways in 1951 and sat idle until, through the hard work and generosity of the Mildura Lions Club, it was purchased and donated to the Psyche Bend resto- ration project. “It originally ran on coal, but we have modified it and now it runs efficiently on oil, and oper- ates quite well,” Peter said. “There were three boilers in the original boiler house, then another boiler house was built in 1912, which had only two boilers of greater capacity.” The boiler houses were bull- Love of steam helps keep By John Dooley firstname.lastname@example.org @MilduraWeekly @MilduraWeekly • PRESERVING HISTORY: Former Lower Murray Water managing director and Psyche Bend Historic Committee member Ron Leamon at the iconic Pysche Bend Pumping Station, ABOVE. The other photo, taken circa 1891, shows the pump’s original steam boilers in action. We are excited to announce that Sunraysia Medical Imaging is now part of the I-MED Radiology Network, and will be known as Regional Imaging Sunraysia. The same comprehensive range of imaging services and uncompromising quality will be continued to be offered by the team to the Sunraysia community. Clinic Locations • 5 Healthscope Court, Mildura • Mildura Base Hospital, Mildura Appointments: 03 5000 1100 regionalimaging.com.au Advertorial Regional Imaging New name, same outstanding service A NEW era has dawned for the team at Regional Imaging Sunraysia, for- merly Sunraysia Medical Imaging, after the group was recently acquired by the I-MED Radiology Network. Membership to the I-MED Radiology Network is expected to only en- hance Regional Imaging Sunraysia’s ability to deliver the highest quality medical imaging services to the Sunraysia community. Doctors Michael Petrucco and Michael Shepherd will continue as on site radiologists at both Regional Imaging Sunraysia’s 5 Healthscope Court clinic, and its Mildura Base Hospital Radiology Department site. In addition to a change in name, Regional Imaging Sunraysia has also upgraded its CT scanner at its 5 Healthscope Court clinic. Boasting a commitment to strengthening medical imaging services in Sunraysia, the new scanner is faster, and will also provide superior image quality, improved patient comfort and lower radiation dosage (up to 60 percent dose reduction). More information on Regional Imaging Sunraysia and the I-MED Radi- ology Network is available online at www.regionalimaging.com.au. Appointments can be made by contacting (03) 5000 1100.
Friday January 5 Vol 12 No 9
Friday January 19 Vol 12 No 11