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Tiny irrigation and steam museum fights for its ‘grand contraption’ to fireplace-up again

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Tiny irrigation and steam museum fights for its ‘grand contraption’ to fireplace-up again

The arena’s final working Humphrey pump has no longer fired in front of the overall public for years, and volunteer operators are calling for the South Australian Government to jump-originate this share of engineering history.

Key functions:

  • The Cobdogla Irrigation and Steam Museum is home to two wide Humphrey pumps
  • Volunteer operators bear been told it would possibly perchance possibly not be operated in front of the overall public due to security standards
  • The SA Government is being referred to as on to fund the mandatory enhancements

Two Humphrey pumps, handiest one of which is quiet operable, are positioned at Cobdogla, a itsy-bitsy and aloof town in the coronary heart of South Australia’s Riverland.

Early Newspaper

They’re housed at the Cobdogla Irrigation and Steam Museum and were responsible for supplying irrigation water to the food-producing communities of Barmera, Loveday and Cobdogla from the slack 1920s except 1965.

A sign with writing

The Humphrey pumps at Cobdogla bear been formally recognised at a nationwide diploma.(ABC Riverland: Sam Bradbrook)

It is this history that motivated museum volunteers and Cobdogla Steam Chums Society individuals, like Lyn Amos.

Mr Amos is a member of the Humphrey pump operation and repairs team and is determined to fireplace it up again in front of the overall public to educate them about its significance.

“Nowhere else on this planet are you able to to find conclude to these two issues and nowhere else on this planet are you able to depart down to the bottom of it and uncover a principle of the dimensions of this grand contraption.”

Whereas the pumps are operated and maintained by museum volunteers, they are owned by SA Water.

Pipes and stairs

The 2 Humphrey pumps sit aspect by aspect in a pump home at the Cobdogla Steam and Irrigation Museum.(ABC Riverland: Sam Bradbrook)

Mr Amos said SA Water notified the museum that the pump would possibly perchance possibly well well now not be operated in front of the overall public as it does no longer meet present security standards.

He said that became to be expected given it became more than 100 years former, however the Recount Government ought to be stepping in to to find any mandatory enhancements.

man stands in front of a fence and pipes

Lyn Amos is obsessive about keeping the Humphrey pump’s history alive.(ABC Riverland: Sam Bradbrook)

SA Water capital shipping carrier manager Peter Seltsikas said it would possibly perchance possibly well well price around $3 million to be determined the working pump meets up to date security standards.

“Now we bear assessed and gone thru with a contractor about what it would possibly perchance possibly well well dangle to to find the pump stable and to be operational again,” he said.

“Unfortunately, we now bear recognised that a most important expense is required to elevate the pump and the gas manufacturing facility up to today’s standards and be determined the security of the pump itself.” 

No longer the first hurdle for passionate pump volunteers

The Cobdogla Steam Chums Society bear been very long time advocates for the Humphrey pump and its future.

It became final at loggerheads with SA Water in mid-2019 after it closed the constructing that homes the pump to the overall public and museum volunteers due to issues about the security of the structure.

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Participants of the steam pals wrote to SA Water’s chief govt and the remark’s ambiance and water minister at the time and pleaded for it to fund repairs.

Those issues bear been rectified and the constructing has again been deemed stable to enter.

SA Water’s Mr Seltsikas said he understood it became nerve-racking for the museum and they’ve had to fight for funds to be dispensed toward the pump.

“However we bear been talking to the volunteers about how lets be in a jam to reinforce them to notify with particular interest teams and heritage teams.

“They would possibly well well be in a jam to elevate cash thru [these groups] so that is also invested in making the pump stable and possibly bringing it encourage to existence.”

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Tiny irrigation and steam museum fights for its ‘grand contraption’ to fireplace-up again