Lock 1: early stages

With World War 1 underway, the call to duty was taking labour away from the state (and eventually from the works. Despite a ‘season of unprecedented financial stringency’ due to the war-time economy, some public works had to proceed; those involving water supply were seen of utmost priority, essential to national development and to guaranteeing water security for South Australia. The Millbrook reservoir, the Encounter Bay Scheme and the Warren Weir Scheme in the Barossa along with the River Murray works were going ahead as planned.[1] To provide for the ‘camp’ that was developing at Blanchetown and which would be characteristic of each site, Engineer Cutting was working on the establishment of a mess for the men where meals would be provided. By 15 February 1916 there were about 50 men employed on preliminary plant and site construction at Blanchetown. By April 1916, with a start already made on cofferdam number 1, worker numbers had increased to 61 and nearly all the required machinery at Blanchetown had been installed.

The photo from the Reed family collection is most likely taken of Blanchetown, circa 1917. James Clifton Reed was initially employed at Lock 1 as storekeeper but also worked as time-keeper at Locks 9, 4 and 7 before becoming Superintendent at the Lake Victoria Storage.

[1] Register 1916 02 15, p 6.camp-poss-blanchetown-copy