Event archive

Event Organiser: ICE

Australian Goldfields water supply, Pontefract

  • Lecture
  • Pontefract
  • 14 March 2019
  • 10:30 - 13:00
Australian Goldfields water supply, Pontefract

About this event

Presentation 1

The talk will cover the history of the Goldfields Water Supply Scheme. It is a story rather than a technical presentation, filled with both joy and sadness. At the time of construction, between 1898 and 1903, it was, and still is, the world’s longest potable water delivery pipeline!

Australia was a new country then, in the early stages of colonisation. The discovery of the precious yellow metal in the eastern states of Western Australia prompted a gold rush of extreme proportions. Thousands of settlers travelled into the dry and barren desert in search of riches, but infrastructure for the supply of water was non-existent and in urgent need. The scheme that was devised by Civil Engineer, C. Y. O’Connor, was supported by the government but drew much criticism and ridicule from both the media and some parliamentarians.

The pipeline that was constructed continues to operate today, supplying water to over 100,000 people in over 33,000 households, as well as farms, households and other enterprises. In 2009 it was recognised as an international historic landmark by the American Society of Civil Engineers.

Presentation 2

No. 2001, Cock o’ the North, was the first P2 class ‘Mikado’ (2-8-2) steam locomotive, built at Doncaster Plant Works in 1934 under the direction of Sir Nigel Gresley.

The operation of the locomotive and its fundamental design features will be explained and the challenge facing the Doncaster P2 Locomotive Trust in its aim to recreate the locomotive for 21st century operation described. Original drawings are being located and converted to make them suitable for modern manufacturing techniques and materials.


Tea and coffee will be served at registration for the meeting, at no charge. Following the meeting a cash bar will be open and a hot and cold self-service buffet will be served, to be ordered in advance when booking for the meeting and paid in cash at registration. The cost for lunch will be £14 per person and £2 for dessert.

If you book but later you find that you are unable to attend, provided that you notify the Hon Sec not later than the booking deadline below, you will not be charged. If you cancel after that we will endeavour to make an adjustment with the venue so that you may not have to pay, but we reserve the right to request reimbursement from you if that isn’t possible.


If you wish to book for this meeting, please advise the RICE Hon Secretary not later than 10.00 on Tuesday 12 March. You may do that by e-mail to [email protected], or by a note in the post to: Hugh Allan, 8 West End Close, Horsforth, Leeds LS18 5JN, or by telephone on +44(0)113 259 1095.

Note: RICE meetings are open to all members of ICE and to members of other organisations with whom the ICE has a reciprocal arrangement, such as IET and IMechE. Additionally, RICE members may invite a guest to a RICE ordinary meeting, twice a year.


10.30: Registration, coffee & tea service
11.00: Chair’s welcome and announcements followed by presentation by Ian Boocock and Malcolm Frost, Q&A and discussion
13.00: Bar open and buffet lunch service


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Event venue

Rogerthorpe Manor Hotel
Pontefract WF9 1AB
United Kingdom

For more information please contact:

Katie Gibson

e: [email protected]