Sandfields Pumping Station champion and public historian extraordinaire Dave Moore has been in touch to let me know that this evening, Monday 10th June 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.
Lichfield Waterworks Trust May Newsletter
The next public meeting of Lichfield Waterworks Trust will take place on: Monday 1o June 2019 at 7.30pm, in the rear meeting room of the:
The Bowling Green
Tel: 01543 257344
The Bowling Green serves some great food and real ales.
Building Lease Update:
The trustees continue to work on the heads of terms for the lease. It is important to get this part of the process right at the start, to avoid later complications.
The trustees hope you have the heads of terms completed by mid-June.
We see May as another month of significant progress, we would like to thank everyone for their ongoing support.
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.
Following on from last months splendid talk from Alan Hill of the engineering team,exploring Water as a Mechanical Agent – the many forms of water power, Richard Green our electrical engineer will be talking about the Tram systems of Staffordshire and the Black Country.
The talk will explore the various Tram operators that have worked the streets of Staffordshire and the Black Country. From the northern tip of the county Stoke on Trent to the furthest corner, Kinver and as far as Burton on Trent. The different operators involved and their success or failure in providing a transport system across Staffordshire and the Black Country
Richard’s talks are always interesting and innovating, this is certainly another 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 have made some significant progress this month.
The “difficult to reach” parts of the engine, at the cylinder-end, now have scaffolding in order to access them for cleaning and the team have wasted no time in getting stuck in.
Another job was to free off the valves and ensure that they are all in place. There is a story going around that one of the inlet valves had been taken and used on the Moor’s Gorse Cornish Pumping Engine. These engines were unfortunately two of the last Cornish beam engines ever to be scrapped. Fortunately, it was not the case.
A sigh of relief, the valves are still complete.
Some careful restoration works is need on the inlet valve stem.
Peter Ellis is an amazing photographer and was able to photograph the engines at Moor’s Gorse before they were lost.
Here is a link to Peters photos of Moor’s Gorse Pumping Station.
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:
Building Team Report
The building team continue to make steady progress. The focus has been to improve the welfare facilities 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.
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.
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
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.
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.”
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
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.
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.