Burracoppin Well Refurbishment

Burracoppin Well is not where the signage indicates.

The second Explorers Wells Project ‘refurb’ was scheduled for the weekend of 16-18 September 2016. From an initial 20 starters, we left El Caballo, 50 kilometres east of Perth, at 4.30 p.m. with 12 people in eight vehicles.

It was starting to get cold when we arrived at Mindebooka Hill and set up camp. And the forecast was for zero and below.

Yep, the forecast was correct! Next morning it was good to get into the vehicle and away.

Burracoppin Well was hard to find, hidden behind bushes, long grass and fallen trees.

The plan of attack was simple – clear everything for five metres around the well.

Everyone pitched in with enthusiasm and the task was finished well within the time allocated.

With time to spare we headed to an historical site, two kilometres north-west of Burracoppin. It appears to have been a water supply for the railways when steam trains were in use.

Immediately on arrival we did some testing of approach and departure angles.

We found another, steeper embankment and Jon negotiated the Patrol over it and the associated gutter.

Even after testing approach and departure angles, investigating the ruins of an historic building and a dam there was still a huge chunk of time to fill in so we headed north towards Lake Campion. Along the way we tried a shortcut through the Conservation Reserve and came across an ephemeral lake – now nearly full.

We returned to Lake Campion Road and headed north, intent on having lunch at the site of the Chandler Potash/Gypsum Works that were in operation from 1942 to 1952. It took me some time to locate it – it had been radically altered from when we were there last only 12 months earlier.

It would appear that the intent in ‘cleaning up’ the site was the removal of steel/iron. And, while the site has been cleaned up, it is very short sighted that such heritage items have been removed. The site was so different that I did not at first recognise it as I drive past and consequently spent 30 plus minutes looking for it. And then those who had not been there before were wondering what all the fuss was about. On the evidence presented to them – nothing.

At cents in the dollar for scrap steel versus the heritage value of the site it makes one wonder at decisions made.

© Kim Epton 2016-2019
600 words.
41 photographs.
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