THE FIRE TRUCK SILO

'LuLu'

 The LU 600 CFA Fire Truck, affectionately known as 'LuLu'. Local CFA volunteers have been added to the silo art over the last couple of days, dressed in their work clothes c.1949-50. The fire truck is pictured on the bank of the Waranga Western Main Channel, with the railway bridge in the background.

The Waranga Western Main Channel extends from the Waranga Basin near Rushworth, westward across Northern Victoria to between Birchip and Beulah in the Mallee, a distance of 233 Miles.

It supplies irrigation to the Farmland throughout this whole distance.

The construction of the Waranga Western Main channel, initiated by the Echuca and Waranga Waterworks Trust commenced in 1902 at Waranga Basin.

In 1906 the State Rivers and Water Supply Commission was formed and became responsible for the construction and operation of the channel.

In the Colbinabbin area, local farmers and labourers were contracted off season, to each construct one mile of the channel at a rate of approximately 6 pence a cubic yard. Some contractors used steam scoops. However, the most common method of excavation was using picks, shovels and scoops, each drawn by four or five horses. The material was first ploughed, then the scoop drawn backwards and forwards to remove it.

The bed width of the channel was 73 feet and 7-10 feet deep. The width at water surface was 94 feet wide. Sandstone and bluestone rocks were used to brace the sloping banks of the channel. The bluestone being carted from the Mount Camel range.

By June 1912, the channel was completed to the Serpentine Creek, a distance of 92 miles. In 1923 it had reached the Loddon River and Weir, to enable irrigation to lands further west. Since then continual improvements have been undertaken.