by Rosemary Phillis
In 2013 a siren which was used at the Riverstone Meatworks was donated to the Historical Society.
According to former Meatworks employees, it was a World War 2 air raid siren, though we don’t know if it was used in this capacity at the Meatworks during the War.
Prior to the installation of this siren, the start and finish of shifts were signalled by a steam whistle connected to the old boiler house.
When that building was replaced around 1946-47, this siren was installed on top of the newly constructed Dry Rendering Department lift assembly.
The siren remained in use until the 1970s when it was replaced by a newer model. The siren was removed when the Meatworks was demolished in 1994.
The siren was given to a member of the Oakville Bush Fire Brigade as spare parts for their siren. Modern technology has replaced local Fire Brigade sirens and this siren was of no use to the brigade. It remained in Raymond Powe’s shed until being donated to the Historical Society in February 2013. The siren is pictured above at the Riverstone Museum.
The manufacturers plaque reads:
Crompton Parkinson (Australia).
M/c Number: 5643954 (we believe).
2.75 HP 2900 R.P.M. 3.8 AMPs
400/440 Volts 3 PH 50 CYCLES
CONT RATING STAR
Another plaque details the supplier:
Supplied by Noyes Bros (Sydney) Ltd
The photo below, taken in the early 1990s shows the siren from the front of the Meatworks. Although it looks small in the photo, the siren is large and stands around a metre tall. The sound was so loud, that if the wind blew from the west the siren could be heard as far away as Box Hill.