COUNTRY NEW» I
[from our own aoBusaraxDaurxa,]
Tho produce season is now properly opened, and the railway department have to run special goodB trains to onable the pro- duce to be brought into Devonport for shipment to Sydnoy. The steamers Glaucus and EaBby, which sailed for that port this morning, had over 11,000 bags of potatoes of which over 8.000 wore shipped hero, togothor with 2,200 bags of oats, 000 bales of straw, 'smaller lota of peas and turnips, and 147 tons of iron ore, which were transhippod from the Penguin. The shipment wus though to be too large for the requirements of the Sydney markut, and potatoes dropped down
from £5 5s. to £4 10a.
There is a probability of a second news- paper being started at Devonport, aB an effort is being made to float a company, whioh will huvo the benefit of the know- ledge of Mr. W. Aikenhead, so long con- nected with the Launceston Exxminer, and numerous influential residents are giving peouniary support. Mr. W. W. Bentley is severing his connection with the looa! journal, as he has joined the Daily Telegraph reporting staff, and is removing to Launces- ton. As a brother scribe I always found him oourteous and obliging, and sincerely wish him well in his new sphere.
DEVONPORT WATER SDITLY.
During this wonderfully dry summer, with it« extended season of drought, the benefit of a constant water supply is simply incalculable, and the advantages arising from the same are beyond an equivalent In £ s. d., conducing as it does to the main- tenance of good health and cleanliness. Whilst other towns bave been feeling acutely the prevalence of a water famiue, the inhabitants of Devonport have been revelling in a full supply, and to this acquired advantage may be nooounted the ¡noreaaing nnmber of visitors who annually make for this progressive town in which to agreeably spend their summer vaoation and recoup their physical vigour, which has become impaired by constant attention to offioo and nemes in the stifling cities of larger growth. Unfortunately the good people of Devonport havo to pay dearly for this valuable boon of a copious water supply, as their water rate amounts to half-a-crown in the £1, with a capital expenditure of £20,000. In the near future there is a probability of the rate being reduced; in fact, it would have pressed more lightly on the taxpayers during the Board year just closing but for the possible contingency of a new reservoir having to be constructed to replace that situated in Kelcey's tiers, and which, at its construction, was stated to be upon the site of a land-slip, and at present is in a leaky condition, estimated recently by the water superintendent at 21,000gal. in 24 hours. However, the Consulting Engineer to the Board has expressed himself »bia to reatify this defect at a very small oost, and if he ib only as successful in this venture as he haa been in connection with the machinery at the headworks, where he saved the Board a certain £100, nnd effected improvements which havo effectually remedied tho defects whioh existed there, and were a continual eouroe of trouble to the membors, he will do
This article has been called forth by reason of an offici -1 visit paid by the member) of the Board on February 17 to the bead workB of tho water supply, whioh ar. situated on the River Forth, about sevct miles from the township of Hamiltou-on Forth. Nearly three years had elapser. since the last visit of inspection, whioh was iu Apri1,1895, whon the catering waa on so liberal and generous a eoale, more particu- larly in the'drinkables, that the Auditor General refused to pass the account, and it hud to be refunded to the Board's funds The members who had the day out on the present occasion were the Hon, J. H. McCull, M.L.C. (chairman), Messrs. G. N. Levy, W, F. Slater, and A. 3. StokeB, the latter being also the only remaining repre- sentative ou the Board as it was constituted three years ago. They were accompanied by Mr, A. Currie (consulting engineer) who provod himself as efficient in handling the ribbons aB he is proficient in all matters pertainiug to his profession, no that the journey up waa sufely negotiated in a couple of hours, being pleasantly beguiled by the humorous experiences and anecdotes of the genial chairman, whose entertaining powers are too widely known to require mention in detail. The morning air was delightfully pleasant, and tbo strong wind which proved
bo embarrassing to dwellers in the town, in ? modified force only added to the pleasure of the trip by keeping away the flies and minimising toe rays of the sun. On the journey »over ni tourna wore met convoying produce to Devonport for shipment, and the condition of the crops were remarked, and from the cureory glance that could bo taken, the potato yield would be below the general average, and but few really good crops could be notioed from tho road, whilst the green condition of the stalks seemed strange after euch a spell of warm weather.
On arrival at their destination the horeos were taken out and supplied with provender, and the party easily crossed over the weir to tho obj.-ct of their visit, as the river was remarkably low, and in divers places between the bridge and weir could have been crossed dry -shod, und ut the head works ulta with a little agility, whioh ought not to be beyond the vigour of the city fathers.
The members were received by Mr. J. B. Mitchell, who for over l8 months has been l he enginoer-iu-charge, and had everything in applo pie order, the floor of the pump, house beiug clean enough to eat off, whilst the miobiucry woo aa carefully uttonded to, and was working with great smoothness. Ab the water was bo low, but one pump was working on arrival, and the water in the river gaining on the pump, the second one waa also set in motion, and soon reduoed tho available supply of water to tho capabilities of the singlo pump. The pumps are by Vale and Smith, and are driven by a couple of
Victor turbines, and tbolr capacity is 12,0O0gals. of watsr per hour on a pressure
of 2U0 to 250,
An adjournment was made to the care- taker's residence, where Mrs. Mitohell had an inviting dinner provided, which was heartily partaken of by tho hungry travellers. The building »as stated to bo too small for the incroASieg family of tho hostess, one of whom wns also an iuvulid, «o au appeal was made for au enlargement of tho (¡cartera, which will not be fruitless, and certainly is muoh needed. A quiot stroll was taken along the pipo track, until further progress meant attempting to walk along tho 6in. round pipe, as che main orossod a swamp before ascending an abrupt inclino desig- nated the Cliff. So discretion was the watchword, after commenting on cho splen- did condition of the cattlo that were feeding in tho swamp, which, contrasted with the parobed up land, was as a veritable oasis would bo in tho desert. Several aores have been
enclosed around the cottage, part of whioh is utilised as vegetablo and flowor gardens, and another 'enclosure is in with potatoes, whilst a blacksmith ehop and necessary tools enable the caretaker to repair any slight damage ; and ho also has to reset the joints aa they blow out on tho main, tho excava- tions on the routo showing whero previous work of this nature hue been performed. At tho swamp a scour valve had been inserted, which cleanses tho pipes in its vlciuity of any sediment which may become lodged in
The river was rccrostcd, and a start mado for homo, tho departuro being accele- rated by tho presence of a bush fire whioh might havo interfered with the pas- sage home, but which proved to bo somo distanco off, though at one homestead the occupants had ^presumably gono to watch the fire, as tho cattlo had found their way into a small paddock of potatoes. A little divcrtou was causod by nono of tho party, now six in number, being ablo to adjust the reins on tho pair, although ono of tho com- pany enjoyed a horsoy reputation, whioh, however, had boon limited to singlo har- nessed quadrupeds ; but in tho multitudo of counsellors thoro is wisdom, and after sovcra! attempts tho difficulty waa solved, but nono too soon, as an uwkward pinch was shortly after met with. Two of the occu- pants of the trap had fortiSed themselves with policios under tho Free Insurance System, and a supply of coupons waa also carried in case of acoidout ; but, fortunately, these were not required, and Devonport was regained in guod timo, ono and all having onjoyed a day's outing, in which business and pleasure were harmoniously blended, and tho expenditure judiciously