Lichfield Waterworks Trust September 2019 public meeting takes place next 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 9th September 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 September Newsletter

The next public meeting of Lichfield Waterworks Trust will take place on:  Monday 9th September 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

Important Note:

Throughout September Persimmon Home s Ltd will be completing some essential repairs to the building, therefore there will be no access until October 2019. We will post further updates.

Building Lease Update:

Following our submission of a set of revised Heads of Terms, we have received the following response from Persimmon Homes Ltd. on the 12 August:

‘We feel that we are still not in a position whereby we can commit to your requirements; and that a meeting would be better to thrash out the details.
‘Would you be available on 3rd or 4th September to come in and we can try reach a resolution to the HoT’s’

We are more than happy to meet, however in our opinion the most productive way forward would be to draw up a list of the items within the Heads of Terms that we can agree and a list of items that Persimmon cannot commit to.
We can then tick off as done agreed items and have an opportunity to first discuss and consider the implication of the outstanding items with the trustee team beforehand.
We have asked Persimmon Homes Ltd. twice for this information and are awaiting a response.

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 And has therefore submitted a five-point five-year plan which we feel is the best option in achieving a sustainable community reuse:

  1. Complete the essential repairs works as identified in the 2013 options appraisal.
  2. Bring the building into a condition that would make it safe and accessible to the public.
  3. Grant simple a lease and apply for a change of use and cover basic running costs for a five-year time   scale
  4. Allow the Trust to use the building as on an as is basis or meanwhile use to research and develop a sustainable end use that will benefit the community.
  5. Commit to a dowry to enable the Trust to apply for match funding. 

Tonight’s Talk

Tonight’s talk is a continuation of a previous talk by Ian Pell and his story of the South Staffordshire Railway called the “Lichfield Diamonds”. Tonight, Ian will be presenting:

‘Tales from Beyond’, an engaging talk that considers the South Staffs from Lichfield City to Wychnor Junction.



Lichfield Heritage Water Guided Walk
 September 14th and 15th 2019

The Lichfield Waterworks Trust will offer a joint experience with the Lichfield & Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust, that starts each day at 10:30 on Saturday and Sunday, September 14th and 15th, from Speakers Corner on Dam Street, with a walk along part of the line of the tunnel under Lichfield, that brought water to the pumping station at Sandfields, built to pump clean water to the Black Country during the Industrial Revolution, saving thousands from Cholera.

After a bit more than an hour’s walk, walkers will be able to stop and view the pumping station and then be guided back to Speakers Corners.

Walkers may also take an optional guided walk along the trails and towpaths of the nearby Fosseway Heath section of the Lichfield canal up to the restored Lock 18 (about 3/4 mile), and back, to be met by a Heritage free bus ride to take them to the restored Gallows Wharf on the canal near London Road, to see part of the Heritage Towpath Wall dating from 1797 on the adjacent Gallows Reach, recently exposed by the Canal Trust.

The bus will then take visitors back to the City Centre.

There is no charge but a donation would be much appreciated.

More details:
Lichfield Canals Restoration Trust

Details of the walk can be found here

From Speakers Corner in Lichfield City Centre:

Follow the line of the Hanch Tunnel to Sandfields Pumping Station

Take a look inside Sandfields pumping station 

The Lichfield canal passing Sandfields Pumping Station in 1924 

Walk up to Lock 18 at Fosseway Lane through the wetlands under construction at Fosseway Heath 

Travel by vintage bus to the restored Gallows Wharf, London Road.

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. This is now 20 moths of indecent fee working, so a very big thank you again to everyone for working safely and looking after your fellow volunteers.

Engine Team Report:

The cylinder teak cladding has been cleaned and lacquered & the copper retaining bands cleaned, at the engine house floor level. The cast iron cylinder pedestal casting (around the lower part of the cylinder) has been cleaned and a coat of linseed oil applied to the black paintwork. This part of the cylinder is now complete and the teak cladding & copper retaining bands around the top of the cylinder (on the middle floor) are now being cleaned.

The chequer plating on the engine house floor level (this is the floor level at which one enters the engine house from the outside), at the counterweight end of the beam, is currently being cleaned….

The complete report can be found on this link

Building Team Report:

The building team continue to make steady progress. The focus has been to improve the welfare facility’s on-site. 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.

The team have also freed up the sliding door and made it more secure and also made some improvements to the display area.

The electrical team are doing some sterling work on the electrical installation. There is now a temporary power supply to the building and the team have wired in power to the welfare facilities. This has bought a significant benefit for the teams on the Friday works teams and visitors.
We will be meeting representatives of Dudley college on Friday 6 Sep to discuss using Sandfields as a training facility for apprentice builders. The first item will be the commissioning of the power supply to the offices, toilets and kitchen.
The electrical team have also been removing redundant wiring. The existing wiring installation is now in such poor condition with the building being unoccupied since 2005 and with no power since 2012, that it is in the best interests to start afresh.

The pumping station grounds are looking splendid as if someone now cares. It would be a great opportunity to create a garden of the teams and visitors to enjoy.

Procurement Team Report:
The team has submitted a bid from a grant from the ScrewFix Foundation to fund materials to make improvement to the welfare facilities. The foundation meets in August and November, so hopefully they will look favourably on our application

Archive 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.

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.


We have no paid staff, therefore 100% of all money donated is spent on restoring this remarkable building or training the teams so that they can give everyone a better visitor experience.

With almost 3,000  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, the teams have been remarkable busy.  Looking at the engine and the building 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.
Please note, there will not be any workdays or visits in September 2019

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 12:00am, 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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