Lichfield Waterworks Trust May 2019 public meeting tonight

Sandfields Pumping Station – a great historic building with immense history and social significance – not just to Lichfield, but to the Black Country. Lichfield Discovered and local historian Dave Moore have saved this valuable asset for the community.

Sandfields Pumping Station champion and public historian extraordinaire Dave Moore has been in touch to let me know that this evening, Monday 13th May 2019 there will be the monthly Public Meeting of the Lichfield Waterworks Trust charity, formerly the Friends of Sandfields Pumping Station group.

The meeting is at the Bowling Green pub, Lichfield from 7:30pm and is of course open to anyone interested.

Dave wrote:

Lichfield Waterworks Trust May Newsletter

The next public meeting of Lichfield Waterworks Trust will take place on: 

Monday 13 May 2019 at 7.30pm, in the rear meeting room of the
The Bowling Green
Friary Road
WS13 6QJ
Tel: 01543 257344
The Bowling Green serves some great food and real ales.

April meeting notes are available here

Latest News

Building Lease Update:

The trusts had a meeting with Persimmon homes in March. The meeting was open, honest and frank. The trustees then met to develop a five-point five-year plan that they believe would give this magnificent piece of industrial heritage a fighting chance of a sustainable future. In view of the building being on the Heritage at Risk Register, the Trust has held a further meeting with the owners and asked them to:
Complete the essential repairs works as identified in the 2013 options appraisal.
Bring the building into a condition that would make it safe and accessible to the public.
Grant simple a lease and apply for a change of use and cover basic running costs for a five-year time scale
Allow the Trust to use the building as on an as is basis to develop an end use.
Commit to a dowry to enable the Trust to apply for match funding.
The owners responded to this plan in an encouragingly positive way therefore we welcome this improved working relationship and wish to continue with a productive dialogue that will be of mutual benefit to both parties.
We see April as another month of significant progress, we would like to thank everyone for their ongoing support.
Important Note:

After the visit by Historic England on 16 Jan, the site has unfortunately been placed on the Heritage At Risk Register.

This is indeed sad news to see that this magnificent piece of industrial heritage is now officially at risk of permanent loss.
The trust is committed to continue working with the owner, Persimmon Homes Ltd to find a sustainable solution that will bring this building and its historic contents aback into a community use.

Tonight’s Talk

Following on from last months talk from Alan Taman, a researcher based at Birmingham City University, Cholera, Burgers and Blame: The politics and psychology of health inequality we would like to continue with the theme of health benefits from engineering.  
Our very own Alan Hill, who is a member of our extraordinary engineering team will be presenting a talk entitled:
Water as a Mechanical Agent – the many forms of water power
Water is arguably the single most useful and valuable substance known to man. We drink it, bath in it and, since the earliest times, have used it to transport goods & people, and produce power – all of which are as important today as they have always been. This talk will look at ways in which water has been harnessed to produce power and some of the unusual uses to which it has been applied.

Alan is a retired manufacturing systems consultant, who has worked both in the UK and overseas. At the end of his career he worked for Warwick Manufacturing Group at Warwick University.
Born at Barrow-in-Furness a shipbuilding town in south Cumbria, from a young age he was brought up in a coal mining village near Barnsley, South Yorkshire but has lived in Birmingham for the last 45 years.
Alans talks are always interesting and innovating, this is certainly one not to miss.
Health and Safety

We are really pleased to report that we have been working for yet another month where there have been no incidents relating to health and safety. A very big thank you again to everyone for working safely and looking after your fellow volunteers.

Engine Team Report

The Engine Team are continuing to make steady but continual progress. The majority of the cleaning on the valve gear has been completed, but there are still a number of “difficult to reach” parts of the engine, at the cylinder-end, which will need scaffolding in order to access them for cleaning.
Work continues cleaning and lacquering the teak cladding on the ground floor level of the cylinder, the upper part of which may also be difficult to complete without scaffolding. The teak cladding and banding on the middle floor can be cleaned and lacquered once chequer plate cleaning, on this floor, has been completed.
Read more on the link below:

Progress notes from the engineering team are available here.

Building Team Report

The building team continue to make steady progress. The focus has been to improve the welfare facility’s onsite
The work on the one toilet to convert it to a washing area with a sink and drainer, improving the welfare facilities to benefit all visitors is almost complete.
Electrical Supply
Work continues in preparing the wring system for the new power supply.
Mains cables have now been installed, with the remaining connections still to be made. Contractors surveyors and engineers have been on-site to assess the final connection works. There are some issues relating to how and where the entry point is located for the connection that require further clarification. Our engineers have a clear plan on how this could be made to work safely.
Hopefully, electrical power will be available soon.

3D Walkthrough

Dudley Technical College has been extremely kind in producing a 3D Walkthrough for the trust. This is an amazing piece of work that not only showcases the site, it also provides an opportunity to those who are unable to visit the site or climb the stairs

Please click here to explore it.

History West Midlands – Podcast

History West Midlands have produced a stunning podcast titled – Making Cholera History in the Black Country.
Presented by writer and broadcaster Graham Fisher and Directed by Andy Partington, featuring David Moore, the podcast gives a detailed history of both Sandfields pumping Station and the story of clean water.

Please click here to find out more about the podcast.

Archive and Historical Research Team Report

The archive and research team are continuing with their sterling work preserving and cataloguing the historic artefacts left on site. Lists of water quality documents, tables, customer complaints and numerous other documents have been carefully and skilfully sorted, catalogued and stored. Their efforts are now bearing fruit as the extraordinary story of clean water unfolds, waiting to be told.
“The heritage of the modern water industry is almost entirely absent despite its unarguable relevance to human development.”
J. Douet


With over 2,500 volunteer working hours, (equates to more than two full time equivalents) and over £14,000 spent in cleaning equipment, materials and scaffold over the last two years. This month has seen quite a drain on our bank balance with invoices for the viability study and scaffolding landing on the desk. Looking at the engine now, as opposed to how it looked in 2016, the volunteers have made some remarkable progress.

We will also always invest in our people and we are planning further training days soon. All these costs soon mount up, so if you can donate, then please visit our donation page here.

Any amount is helpful, is well appreciated and will be carefully spent preserving our industrial past for our future generations, developing skills for our people and making our community a better place.

Please make cheques payable to; Lichfield Waterworks Trust, and send to our address:
22 Walsall Road
WS13 8AB

We would like this opportunity to welcome a few new members.

Thank you for joining the Lichfield Waterworks Trust. We hope you will enjoy your membership and become part of a very exciting heritage project that will benefit the people, the place and the community.
It would really help us if we develop and grow our membership. If you are not already a member and would you like to be a part of one of the region’s most exciting heritage projects then please, join us now by filling in Membership Application Form by going to our membership page here. It is free to join and be a part of this incredibly exciting project.
Thank you everyone for your continued support and helping to make a difference in our community. We hold work days every Friday between 10:00 and 12:00pm, please feel free to pop in a see us, we make everyone welcome and have free tea and coffee!

Do pop over to Dave Moore’s blog and check out the history of Sandfields Pumping Station, an almost forgotten gem – the group also has a Facebook page.

Dave is, of course, one of the leading lights of Lichfield Discovered, along with Kate ‘Cardigan’ Gomez from Lichfield Lore.

It’s great to see people like Dave encourage a better attitude to our historic buildings -please do attend if you’re able, it’s sure to be enlightening and educational.

This entry was posted in Environment, Events, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Just plain daft, Local Blogs, Local History, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.