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4 corrections, most recently by kenmcinnes - Show corrections


We have to record the death of Mr. Francis Bell, C.E., M.I.C.E., late City Engineer. The deceased gentleman was appointed, some six or seven years ago, to succeed Mr. Edward Bell, as City Engineer, and soon after he entered upon the duties of his office he turned his attention to the Botany watershed, with a view to improving its storage capacity. The borings which he had made over different parts of the shed proved the truth of the theory then held by many, that the watershed consists of an immense bed of drift-sand varying in depth from 100 to 120 feet or more, and that this sand was capable of retaining an enormous quantity of water. The Municipal Council was contem- plating about this time the expenditure of £25,000 in the construction of a dam of mason work to back up the water of the Lachlan Swamp, parallel to the Randwick Road.   The uselessness of a dam of this kind, under the circum-

stances, was pointed out by Mr. Francis Bell, and under his advice a dam of sand with a core of clay was substi-

tuted. This dam proved so successful, and answered the purpose of impounding the surface waters so well, that

other dams of a similar plan were made, and existing dams   greatly increased in size. The result was exceeding grati-

fying to the engineer, the Council, and the citizens, for since these works were carried out the city has had a very largely

increased supply of water, whilst portions of the suburbs,   previously unsupplied, have had the water supply extended   to them. With many other works connected with sewerage   and water, Mr. Bell's name in honourably associated. Pre-   vious to entering the service of the City Corporation, he   constructed several public works both in this colony and in  

Victoria. He was a member of the Sewerage and Health   Board, and contributed to the large amount of information     which that Board collected in connection with the duties     which it was called into existence to fulfil. He also   planned a system for sewering the city in the direction of   Bondi. He was projecting other works for the improve- ment of the city when his health failed him. Although he

continued to hold his position for two or three years after his first serious illness, he never sufficiently recovered  

strength to enable him to carry out any of the more im- portant works which he specially desired to see undertaken   in Sydney. A few months ago his health gave way alto-  

gether, and he was compelled to relinquish the office he held. He died on Sunday at his residence, Petersham. He  

was buried on the 9th instant, at the Necropolis. Consi- dering the fearful state of the weather, the cortege which   followed his remains to the grave was a large one. But for   the quarterly meeting of the Municipal Council, the Mayor   and aldermen would, we understand, have paid the deceased

the respect of following his remains to the grave.

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