THE PROPOSED NEW RAILWAY WORKSHOPS.
[From our Special Reporter.l
On Monday evening, August 4, a meeting was held in the Salisbury Schoolroom to consider the advisableness of memorialising the Govern- ment to authorise the erection of the railway workshops near Salisbury. Although the weather was inclement there were about fifty persons present. Mr. J. Harvey, J.P., pre- sided.
The Chairman, in stating the object of the meeting, said the Government had signified their intention of erecting new railway work- shops, and the Salisbury people as well as the inhabitants of many other places were of opinion that Salisbury would be the most convenient place to erect the works. The first Government workshops were erected at Bowden, but the ac- commodation soon became too limited, and the large works at Adelaide were established. With the increase of railway work these shops had become too small, and the Government were now looking out for a suitable place in which to con- struct new works. In close proximity to the Salisbury Station and right alongside the line the Government could procure as much land as they would require for many years. The water supply in any place must be a great consideration with the Government in selecting a site, and in this respect they had a claim for favorable consideration since their water had been pronounced the best in the colony for engine purposes. The water was, as any one in the township could testify, non- corrosive. A question of this sort was one that concerned the whole colony, and as it was a national question they had a right to ask the Government to act carefully in their selection of a site, so that the works might be of a per- manent character and not constructed in such a place as to necessitate their removal in a few years. He felt sure that if it was shown to the Commissioner of Public Works that it would be advantageous to erect the works in that locality the proposal would receive every atten- tion; but the Government was in duty bound to act for the benefit of the community at large. (Hear, hear.)
Mr. Joseph Broadstock proposed—"That this meeting respectfully recommends to the Hon. the Commissioner of Public Works the desirability of erecting the Government work- shops at Salisbury, believing it to be for the benefit of the colony; and that a deputation wait on the Commissioner with the following petition : — "We the undersigned, believing it to be the intention of the Government to remove the Railway workshops out of Adelaide, would respectfully bring under your notice the de- sirability of building them at Salisbury, con- sidering it to be for the welfare of the colony for the following reasons : — It is on the line of rail- way, and not far from Adelaide or Port Ade- laide. There are about 100 acres of land adjoin- ing the Salisbury Station, with no other improvements than fences, and the rail way line and Government roads form the boundary. The land is level, and makes a very firm foundation for building pur- poses. There is an inexhaustible supply of good water, pronounced by the late Mr. Hanson, Engineer-in-Chief , to be of the very best quality for engineering purposes, and the locomotives now are extensively supplied therewith. The land could be procured at a trifling cost, and the Government would have ample room for ever for workshops. The district is without doubt as healthy as any in South Australia, and the workmen would be able to obtain for the purpose of building houses thereon, and at a cheap price, land of the best quality, Salisbury being celebrated for its fruit gardens. We believe this to be the most suitable place in the colony for the purpose, and if you and the mem- bers of Parliament could make it convenient to visit the spot we feel confident you will authorise the works to be erected there. We humbly pray that you will inspect the place and have the workshops built there, to the advantage of the colony at large.'' Referring to the fact that Port Adelaide had been mentioned by the Engineer-in-Chief as a suitable place in which to erect the workshops, he said it would be non- sensical for the Government to sink thousands of pounds in forming a foundation in the swamps. He regarded the Salisbury site pro- posed as infinitely superior in every respect to that advocated by the Engineer-in-Chief. Their water was unrivalled in the colony for engine purposes, and the place possessed so many natural advantages that scarcely a more desirable site could be suggested under any cir- cumstances. Mr. Geo. Sawyers seconded the motion. Mr. R. Vehco, J.P., supported, saying he had heard the other localities proposed as sites were Port Adelaide, Hindmarsh, and near Dry Creek. He had, in company with Mr. Broad- stock, visited the site referred to in the petition, and after thinking the matter over he felt, apart from any local interest, that the spot was the most suitable that had been suggested. It might be urged that Salisbury was rather far away from the metropolis. They had often seen it recom- mended in the newspapers that centralization was to be objected to, and that it would be far better for the Government to endeavor to spread the people through the country instead of getting them fixed up in the city square mile. He was of opinion that a vast amount of money
would be saved by erecting the shops at Salis- bury in preference to Adelaide, Port Adelaide, or the other places . If the Government took 30 or 40 acres of land in one of these latter places it was just possible that [if] the country went ahead, as they hoped it would, that this quan- tity of land would in about a quarter of a cen- tury be found too small, and the shops would have to be removed elsewhere. The Govern- ment would have to pay very smartly for sites at either of the places referred to. In addition to the price of land, they would no doubt have to pay large sums for compensation for the removal of houses and other property. There was nothing of this kind about Salisbury. As regards the conveniences for the men working in the shops, he thought no better thing could happen to them than to come to live in Salisbury, which was so healthy that they never heard of illness except from a broken leg or some other acci- dent. (Laughter, and hear, hear.) After re- ferring in terms of eulogy to the many advan- tages which were to be derived from residence in Salisbury, Mr. Terco said he had been informed that Salisbury was about 100 feet above the level of high water mark, and that the declines to the sea were regular and gradual, so that in the event of future extensive settlement deep drainage could be carried out without any diffi- culty. The rainfall for 1877 had been 23.820, for 1878 18.690, and for 1879 up to the end of July 10.370. He pointed out many of the good opportunities which offered for the comfortable settlement of workmen in order to remove any prejudice which might exist in their minds against living away from the centre of population. The great bulk of the rolling stock was north- wards, and the objection to bringing carriages and trucks to and from town would be counter- balanced by the consideration of the saving that would be effected in having the shops so many miles nearer northern stations. The site pro- posed was most conveniently situated to the railway and roads, and he felt sure this fact must impress itself on the minds of those who visited the place. He entertained an idea that the shops would be erected at Salisbury, and if they were not he thought it would be all the worse for the colony. (Hear, hear.) The Chairman endorsed the remarks of the previous speaker, and the motion was carried unanimously. Mr. J. P. Swann proposed—"That Messrs. Cavenagh and Darling, M.P.'s, be requested to see the Commissioner of Public Works and arrange for the reception of the deputation, and that they be requested to accompany the mem- bers of the deputation." He said the Salisbury people were all convinced as to the suitability of the site, and they wished to bring the subject before the country. He thought the residents of Salisbury had not been sufficiently forward in sounding their own trumpet — (Hear, hear) — and letting the people of the colony know how many advantages were enjoyed by them. He heartily supported the proposition which had been carried, as he felt they were not asking for any advantage at the expense of their neighbors or of the colony. They were
not asking a benefit for themselves at the cost of the community at large, as was too often the case. They firmly believed that if their proposition were adopted a great public boon would be conferred, and with a little tinge of selfishness they felt convinced it would benefit themselves. If the authorities saw that the scheme would not be advantageous they would no doubt condemn it, but if they thought otherwise no other site should be chosen in de- ference to vested interests. He had no doubt influence would be brought to bear to retain the shops at Adelaide or the Port ; but he hoped the efforts made in these directions would not prove successful. Mr. Thos. Wiggins seconded, and the motion was carried. A deputation consisting of about 30 gentle- men was appointed, and the meeting was ad- journed, pending the making of the necessary arrangements, until Tuesday, August 12. Some time ago the Victorian Govern- ment invited competitive designs for two new bridges in Victoria, and Mr. John H. Grainger, civil engineer, of Adelaide, has been successful in obtaining the first prizes for both. The first and most important bridge is across the Yarra River in a line with Swanston-street, Melbourne, and is to replace the present stone bridge known as Prince's. The other is a swing bridge over the Latrobe River, at Sale, in Gippsland, Vic- toria. The first prize in the former case was £200, and £50 in the latter. Both these designs, with accompanying estimates, were sent in under the joint names of Jenkins and Grainger, Richmond, but we learn that they were all prepared here by Mr. Grainger and forwarded to Melbourne. We are informed also that Mr. Grainger has already prepared and forwarded to Melbourne designs for two new bridges for the Richmond Town Council, both crossing the River Yarra, one at Swan-street, and the other at Victoria-street, in Richmond. Mr. Grainger, it will be remembered, designed the Albert Bridge in this city, which has lately been completed.