Water supply to the Western Australian goldfields; and Gresley P2 Locomotive "Cock O' The North"

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Technical lecture
14 March 2019 11:00 - 13:00
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Invitation from the ICE Retired Members.

Presentation 1 - "Water Supply to Australian Gold Fields"

Ian Boocock's  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.

Speaker - Ian Boocock is a retired Civil Engineer who specialised in highways and drainage, predominantly with Local Authorities. He is the current Yorkshire and Humber Region representative on the Insitution's Panel for Historical Engineering Works, a Member of RICE and a past Regional Chair.

Presentation 2 - "Re-engineering the Gresley P2 "Cock O' The North"

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.

Our speaker, Malcom Frost, will first explain the operation of the locomotive and its fundamental design features. He will then move on to the challenge facing the Doncaster P2 Locomotive Trust in its aim to recreate the locomotive for 21st century operation – describing how the original drawings are being located and converted to make them suitable for modern manufacturing techniques and materials.

Speaker - Malcolm Frost is a Fellow of the ICE and IStructE,  as well as a Member of the IMechE. He spent 45 years working in West Africa, mainly Nigeria and Ghana, and is now a Trustee of the P2 Locomotive Trust.


10.30: Registration, coffee & tea service

11.00: Welcome by Chair and announcements followed by presentations from Ian Boocock and Malcolm Frost; questions and discussion will be taken after each presentation.

13.00: Bar open and buffet lunch service

Lunch will be available after the talks - cost £14 per head, plus £2 for dessert; (pre-book only, payable on the day). 

Booking is essential for this event.

This event is joint with ICE and IET.


Ian Boocock & Malcolm Frost


Rogerthorpe Manor Hotel
Thorpe Lane
United Kingdom

Contact Details

Nicky Baxter
0113 391 0537
United Kingdom
Email: Send a message

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