Following my plug (and lots of others in the online community) for the meeting about Sandfields Pumping Station and it’s preservation, I was pleased to note that over 40 people turned up to the public meeting in Lichfield last night.
Dave Moore, the historian and relentless campaigner to save this historically important and architecturally glorious building was bowled over and very thankful for the public response. He’s posted a lovely, reflective and positive article on the campaign blog, and has also started a new Facebook group.
I have written a fair bit about Sandfields and South Staffordshire Waterworks, who were a Victorian concern that survives to this day because they were founded on solid principles of excellent engineering, top-notch expertise and public service. That we might lose and asset like Sandfields, which no longer in the ownership of the Water company, is a terrible proposition and this historic site needs to be properly preserved and protected.
It’s worth quoting blog contributor and prolific commentator David Oakley, who was a South Staffordshire Waterworks employee:
In addition to its historical connection, Sandfields Pumping Station enjoyed a vigorous existence as a key part of the Company until the 1990s, As well as its considerable output in terms of water, the use of the building diversified after the reconstruction of the mid nineties sixties.
The water laboratories were located there, together with a Chief Chemist. Water samples collected daily from other sites were brought to Sandfields for analysis. Later in the period, Cannock Area office and Burton Area office were relegated to the status of Depots and a new administration was formed at Sandfields, Entitled the ‘Northern Area’ Office, with personnel travelling in from Cannock and Burton.
This was a busy period in the life of the old pumping station, with a marked increase of personnel, so much so that temporary buildings were installed to house them. There was a very happy relationship at Sandfields, and certainly some sentiment. I would like to think that some of these old faces, a little more mature, now, could be at the meeting and support the hard work and endeavour of Dave Moore.
I’m glad, and quite moved if I’m honest, that so many people are ready to take an interest and active part in grasping this nettle. Getting people involved physically and emotionally with their shared community history is going to be key to this fight, and Dave has made a great start, and will enjoy the full support of both myself, and this blog.
There are some great things happening in the Lichfield local history scene, Kate ‘Cardigan’ Gomez has been very busy on something rather special, and details of that will soon be appearing here. Please stay tuned.