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  • Engineering Heritage Victoria Newsletter – October 2013

    This is an occasional newsletter from Engineering Heritage Victoria sent to all members on our mailing list. Enquiries, discussion or correspondence related to the Newsletter should be directed to the Editor at doring.belgrano@bigpond.com or address postal correspondence to the Chairman, Engineering Heritage Victoria, Engineers House, 21 Bedford Street, North Melbourne, Vic 3051.


    1. Guest Speakers & Other Functions — Future Functions this page Past Functions:

    National Steam Centre Heritage Recognition Ceremony – This Page Wheelers Bridge Heritage Recognition Ceremony – Page 2 The Victorian Electricity Transmission Network from its Inception and A Ceremony to Mark the Placing of a Headstone on the Grave of John Harry Grainger – Page 3 The Great Ocean Road Engineering Heritage Recognition Ceremony – Page 4

    2 Large Ruston Hornsby Suction Gas Engine at Chewton. Page 5

    3. The Story of Wheelers Bridge over the Birch Creek at Lawrence, Victoria. Page 6

    4. The Power of Myths – Reflections on Engineering Design and the Persistence of Misinformation Page 10

    5. Events & Publications of Possible Interest Page 12

    1. Guest Speakers & Other Functions – 2013

    FUTURE FUNCTIONS — ( 2013)

    Phoenix Foundry Engineering Heritage Recognition Ceremony at Ballarat – on Saturday 12 October 2013.th

    [This ceremony is planned as part of the Engineers Australia Victoria Division Country Weekend at Ballarat in October. More information about time and place will be available closer to the event. – Ed.]

    The Phoenix Foundry Company Limited was one of the larger foundries in Ballarat, employing at least 250 workers at times. Its main output was initially machinery for the mining industry but after the construction of locomotives started in 1871 there was an emphasis on this work with a total of (at least) 203 locomotives being built during the period 1873 to 1886. The foundry buildings have been completely removed, and the site is now occupied by the Central Square Shopping Centre which covers the site completely. This site will not be involved in the proposed heritage recognition ceremony. However, there is a railway turntable pivot foundation, originally associated with the foundry, and adjacent to the foundry site but within a public street, which provides the opportunity for a link between the Phoenix Foundry and this surviving relic associated with it.

    FUNCTIONS PAST — (2013):

    National Steam Centre Heritage Recognition Ceremony – happened on Sunday 29 September 2013 th

    The event took place at the National Steam Centre of the Melbourne Steam Traction Engine Club (MTSEC) at 1200 Ferntree Gully Rd, Scoresby, Victoria.

    The National Steam Centre at Scoresby has one of the largest and most diverse collections of industrial heritage machinery in Australia. Starting with steam-powered vehicles and traction engines, the collection now has more than 500 items including stationary and portable steam engines and all kinds of internal combustion machinery.

    The MTSEC which operates the site was formed in 1963 and held its first Steam Rally in 1969. This has now become the annual Scoresby Steamfest rally held in March each year. As well as operating the Centre, the Club conducts training courses and has an extensive library and archive. Engineering Heritage Victoria is recognising the significance of the collection with an Engineering Heritage Marker as part of the 50 anniversary celebrations of theth



  • Engineering Heritage Victoria Newsletter — October 2013 Page 2

    Wheelers Bridge Heritage Recognition Ceremony was held on Saturday 15 June 2013.th

    Wheelers Bridge, at Lawrence, near Creswick, is a Monier concrete arch bridge, designed and built by John Monash, (later General Sir John Monash) in 1888-9. Engineering Heritage Victoria (EHV) has a sub-program within its Heritage Recognition work to recognise structures built by General Sir John Monash, the firm Monash and Anderson or later iterations of companies with which Monash was associated, as a contribution towards the celebration of the centenary of the ANZAC Campaign in 2015. Heritage recognition ceremonies already accomplished in this regard are:

    • The dome of the Reading Room of the State Library of Victoria in Melbourne • Janevale Bridge at Laanecoorie in Central Victoria • Yallourn Power Station in the Latrobe Valley • Fyansford Monier Arch Bridge near Geelong

    Wheelers Bridge is significant as it was one of the earliest bridges built by Monash & Anderson to the Monier Patents in Victoria. The Anderson Street (Morell) Bridge in Melbourne and the Fyansford Bridge in Geelong were slightly earlier.

    The Engineering Heritage Marker and the interpretation panel are located so viewers are facing the bridge. They are alongside the road and under a large gum tree on a rise above the north end of the bridge. The marker and panel were unveiled by Dr Marlene Kanga FIEAust CPEng FIPENZ FAICD, National President of Engineers Australia, and Councillor Bill McClenaghan, Mayor of Hepburn Shire. It was a cold day with a wind like an icy knife, so everyone was well rugged up, and the hot coffee provided by “bean me up” mobile coffee van was very popular.

    Above: The crowd at the ceremony – well rugged up

    Right: Marlene Kanga and the Mayor of Hepburn Shire unveil the

    plaque and interpretation panel.

    The story of Wheelers bridge will be found in Section 3 below.

  • Engineering Heritage Victoria Newsletter — October 2013 Page 3

    The Victorian Electricity Transmission Network from its Inception a talk by Martin Mahood FIEAust MIET This talk happened on Thursday 20 June 2013 at the EA John Connell Auditorium in North Melbourne.th

    The talk defined the difference between transmission and distribution and why transmission is necessary. It then discussed the three main transmission voltages used in Victoria and why each voltage was chosen. It outlined the need for changes in transmission voltages and the capabilities of the transmission. It indicated some of the reasons why particular terminal points were chosen and how the systems at each voltage evolved.

    Martin Mahood joined the State Electricity Commission of Victoria (SECV) in February 1963 following graduation from the University of Melbourne and an Overseas Fellowship (Graduate Apprenticeship) with GEC in the UK. He spent a number of years on transmission planning and generation planning and in the mid 1970s was appointed to the transmission Plant Division where he worked on HV and EHV switchgear and rotating plant. He retired in 1997 but later worked for SP AusNet as a high voltage plant engineer on a part time basis for 12 years. Martin worked on many projects during his career. He served on CIGRE committees for insulation coordination and HV switchgear and the Standards Australia subcommittee for insulation coordination. He has held the posts of SECV General Plant Engineer and EHV Switchgear Engineer.

    A Ceremony to Mark the Placing of a Headstone on the Grave of John Harry Grainger on 21 June 2013.st

    John Harry Grainger, father of the famous composer Percy Grainger, was a talented and creative engineer and architect. He won many design competitions including those for the Albert Bridge in Adelaide, Princes Bridge in Melbourne, the Sale Swing Bridge and the Administrative Block for the Melbourne Town Hall. He designed 14 bridges, five water supply schemes and a large number of buildings, many of which are on heritage registers in Australia or New Zealand. He died in 1917 and was buried in an unmarked grave in the Box Hill Cemetery.

    Thanks to a long campaign conducted by engineer David Beauchamp and the late architect and composer George Tibbits, Engineers Australia, through Engineering Heritage Victoria, has had a headstone erected on John Harry Grainger’s previously unmarked grave. A short ceremony was held at the Box Hill Cemetery. The ceremony included thanks to those who made the erection of the headstone possible and a short summary of John Grainger’s life and works.

    Thank you to the donors who made this possible: Andrew Dodd; Australian Institute of Architects, Victorian Chapter; David Beauchamp MIEAust CPEng; Di & George Tibbits; Engineers Australia, Victoria Division; Engineering Heritage Victoria;, Engineers Australia; Grainger Museum, University of Melbourne; Miles Pierce FIEAust CPEng(Ret)

    Here are links to a Wikipedia article about John Harry Grainger, and the Age article by Deborah Gough published after the ceremony:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Harry_Grainger http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/monument-dedicated-to-percy-graingers-father-20130621-2on1g.html

    Owen Peake (left), David Beauchamp, Lyn Howden & Di Tibbs stand with the headstone erected on the site of John Harry Grainger’s

    previously unmarked grave. Photo: Simon Schluter, The Age.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Harry_Grainger http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/monument-dedicated-to-percy-graingers-father-20130621-2on1g.html

  • Engineering Heritage Victoria Newsletter — October 2013 Page 4

    The Great Ocean Road Engineering Heritage Recognition Ceremony happened on Friday 30 August 2013.th

    The ceremony was held at the Great Ocean Road Arch, Eastern View, 5 km west of Airey’s Inlet. The plaque and Interpretation Panel were unveiled by Dr Marlene Kanga FIEAust CPEng FIPENZ FAICD, National President, Engineers Australia, Mr Gary Liddle,