The memorable and historic opening of Hobart’s Waterworks Reservoir in 1861 will be re-lived with a free family event tomorrow.

‘Pomp & Mayhem: An outdoor theatrical celebration of the Grand Opening of Waterworks’ is part historical theatre, part family picnic, organised by local author Bernard Lloyd and Southern Water.

The Hon. Peter Underwood, Governor of Tasmania, and Deputy Lord Mayor of Hobart Ald. Ron Christie will be on hand to read the speeches delivered in 1861 by the then-Governor and the Mayor of Hobart.

The 1861 opening of Waterworks was a momentous day in the history of Hobart. Declared a half-day public holiday, the celebration was attended by a significant proportion of Hobart’s population. What began as a grand civic event quickly descended into chaos, ending, as The Mercury of the day reported, “about as disgracefully as possible”.

Southern Water Executive Manager Customer Services, Angela Wright, said that the event aimed to recreate some of the pomp and ceremony of the original opening, without the mayhem.

“We want as many people as possible to come along, bring a picnic and enjoy Waterworks reserve, while we recreate some of the moments from the opening in 1861,” Ms Wright said.

“It will be a fascinating event, particularly for those with an interest in Hobart’s history.”

Pomp & Mayhem is a free family event open to all members of the public.

What: Pomp & Mayhem: An outdoor theatrical celebration of the Grand Opening of Waterworks in 1861.
When: Saturday October 27. Join us from 1pm, theatrical performance begins at 2pm.
Where: Lower Reservoir, Waterworks Reserve, Hobart.
Bring along: Picnic rug or chairs, BYO snacks and drinks.
Southern Water