Over one hundred and sixty years ago Sydney’s first water supply
Came from the Old Tank Stream that never yet ran dry,
The people drank that water until eighteen twenty- four,
When John Busby Bore.
John Busby knew his business, he’d take the blame, he said,
If his tunnel was a failure, not blame a man who’s dead.
Busby’s tunnel, and it stands to-day, of this you may be sure,
The dimension of the completed work was a pre-determined bore.
Sydney grew at such a rapid rate, that to supply its wants
A pumping plant, in ’58, was built on Botany’s swamps.
That these old works were successful, is ample proof for sure
These old pioneers knew quite a lot in relation to a bore.
Our reticulation service for rider mains did not provide,
For the water mains in our streets are only on one side.
And for many years we’ve dug a trench, twelve inches wide or more
Across the roads to lay a pipe of only one inch bore.
Now a trench no matter how it’s rammed, still leaves a nasty bump,
And motorists call them plumbers graves as over them they jump.
So the knowing ones decided of these ruts they’d have no more;
A machine would be invented that under roads would bore.
After much experimenting the machine was quite complete,
And ready to push pipe or conduit beneath a tarred or metal street;
A depot was then choosen, and thirty feet of pipe, no more,
Was cut and placed beside the hole ready for a demonstration bore.
To help maintain and protect the roads is an alder-man’s desire,
So invitations were extended to them and Council-lors of a Shire,
Which were accepted and everything inspected, even the core
Of the pipe it was proposed to lay with this new thrust-bore.
One young man was duly placed where the pipe it would show out;
That it would do what they they averred, they’d not the slightest doubt.
When everything was ready, we’re told that only four
Of the Board officals gave the word, and so com-menced the bore