Lichfield Waterworks Trust August 2019 public meeting takes place Monday evening


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 12th August 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 August Newsletter

The next public meeting of Lichfield Waterworks Trust will take place on:  Monday 12th August 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.

Latest News

Building Lease Update:

Persimmon have not offered a revised lease to the trust that unfortunately has given us no alternative to reject on the following grounds:
The main issue for the Trust is the limitation of Persimmon’s responsibilities for repairs, outgoings and insurance to 5 years, despite the following undertakings.

 The 4th schedule of the S106 agreement dated 24 Dec 2004 between Persimmon, LDC and others states that Persimmon will submit maintenance arrangements for Sandfields Pumping Station to the planning authority and thereafter maintain it.

 The Development Strategy Document which formed part of the planning documents for the residential planning permission headed Future Use of the Pumping Station said, ‘Persimmon will set up an adequately funded management company with trustees to maintain the property in perpetuity.’

Design Drawing AAA4729 which was submitted and approved as part of Planning Application 06/00763/FUL and listed building consent 06/00762/LBC included the words ‘Original pumping station basically renovated for weather resistance, security and safety, prior to being donated to a charitable trust.’

Persimmon therefore acknowledged responsibility in a number of documents for this now Grade ll* listed building in perpetuity, not for 5 years.  If you want to pass some of this responsibility onto LWT the Trust will require decades of financial support or a capital payment in lieu.
Turning now to the other amendments, with regard to the Term, and the repairs needed prior to the lease commencing, LWT would additionally need the following identified in the ‘Urgent and Essential Repairs’ document provided to the Staffordshire Historic Buildings Preservation Trust in the 2013 Options Appraisal:
1. Improve security at rear
2.Test and repair lightning conductor
3. Treat stanchions to 1960s building
4. Provide tanking to areas below ground level
5. Reseal concrete panels in the 1960s building
6. Reglaze with toughened or laminated glass
7. Carry out health and safety and access audit
8. Reposition metal staircase to provide safe head height
9. Improve access arrangements to roof
With regard to the Termination, we understand that you would like to have a Landlord’s break, but that would make it impossible for the Trust to seek external funding, as a guaranteed 35 year plus tenure is required by most funding bodies including the Heritage Lottery Fund.   

With regard to Outgoings, we suggest using the definition in the draft lease you sent the Trust in October, plus the annual inspections identified by our Quantity Surveyors, Greenwoods Project Management, for electrics, fire, lift ,crane, and lightning conductor.
With regard to Outgoings, Insurance and Repair, we find the 5 year limitation period as discussed above unacceptable, although we agree that the future repairs could be those requested by LDC/HE.
With regard to Consents, we accept your proposed amendment. 
This is not the end of the world, just another round of negotiations with the Persimmon.

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:

This month’s talk is by our very own Katy Shore-Kapsis and is all about Bee Keeping.
How the Victorians made key discoveries and developments which have led to current bee keeping practices.   Also, a look at what is involved in a typical year for a beekeeper.
We will be selling some honey on the night – with the profits going to Sandfields.
Honey will be on sale – £4.50 a jar, with a £2.50 donation of that going to Sandfields



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 new tower scaffold has proved its worth, enabling the difficult to access parts of the cylinder lagging to be cleaned and lacquered, and the remaining brass banding to be cleaned. Good progress has been made and this task is nearing completion.

Work to clean the chequer plates on the middle floor has proceeded well. Whilst the work to examine the regulator valve on the valve chest, carry out repairs to the corroded valve spindle and reassemble the valve has been proceeding, the team have been cleaning the chequer plates around the valve gear on the engine house ground floor. To protect the cleaned plates – in an area which is subject to a lot of foot fall – temporary matting has been secured in place with taping. In the long term the intention is to use some form of matting such as coir matting, which would have been used to cover walkways when the station was in use.

Read more here: Progress notes from the engineering team.


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 is now completed and the team are focusing improving the office and remaining toilets and shower.
Electrical Supply
Great news, we now have a power supply. This is a significant step forward and has improved the working environment for all of the members and visitors.

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.

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