Lichfield Waterworks Trust December 2019 public meeting takes place this 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 December 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 December Newsletter 

The next public meeting of Lichfield Waterworks Trust will take place on:  Monday 9 December 2019 at 7.30pm, in the rear meeting room of the
The Bowling Green
Friary Road
WS13 6QJ
Tel: 01543 257344
Everyone is welcome to this social event so please feel free to join us and be a part of an amazing community heritage restoration project.

Do remember, the Bowling Green serves some great food and real ales.

Latest News

Building Lease Update:

Two trustees met with Persimmon on Tuesday 5 November to discuss the lease. There are still a few issues to iron out, but we feel we made some progress. No further news relating to the lease the trust has drafted a chase up letter to 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

No guest speaker tonight as this is the last meeting of 2019. We will, however, be convening a round-up of the events and achievements of the year by the teams.
At times progress can seem slow, but when we look back over the year, it is surprising how much progress we have made.

Site Report

The team are back on site and in full swing mode. Progress on the renovation works is now really starting to show through. Apart from the electrical installation the beam floor of the 1870 building is completed and looking absolutely splendid, and a credit to the hard-working members.

This is indeed a delightful, careful and delicate restoration of an industrial heritage building that showcases the marriage of the classical features found in Romanesque architecture and the form and function of our industrial past.

Please feel free to pop in or lend a hand or just come a take a look around. We are open every Friday between 10:00am and 12:30 pm. Free tea and coffee.

Friday 20 December will be the last working days of 2019, so we plan to celibate in style, with food and drinks. Please feel free to join us and be a part of an amazing community heritage restoration project.

The site will reopen for normal working on Friday 10 January. As always you are most welcome to join us. Free tea and coffee is always available.

Engineering Team Report

Cleaning & lacquering of the teak lagging, and polish the brass bands on the engine cylinder continues and is now not far from completion.

Cleaning of the chequer plate flooring, on the middle floor level, is also not far from completion. This is a laborious job, but produces a pleasing result when finished….

Download the full report here

Archive and Historical Research team Report

Document of the Month
November 2019

South Staffordshire Water has always taken water quality very seriously and this is very evident in the recording and response to complaints from customers and in our inherited documents we have records from 1949 to 1975, although there are gaps in what we have available.

They are in ‘foolscap’ size and punched and bound in some very thick volumes (some in better condition than others) and most of them were beautifully wrapped in brown paper, never to be read again!  One of the main problems with this particular lot is because of the damp conditions they have been the paper clips have rusted themselves into the paper, making it tricky to separate the sheets without tearing.

This is a typical notification of complaint (from 1954) received via the Tipton Depot from a customer in Dudley about the taste of chlorine in the water supply to the property.  A visit was duly made to take a sample which was taken back to the lab at Sandfields for analysis and any necessary remedial actions taken.  I presume the customer was notified of the outcome although the letters are not copied into these files.

We feel privileged here at Sandfields because it is one of the rare industrial building that still holds a comprehensive archive of materiel form the past. The archive record held at Sandfields Pumping Station is an invaluable record and a window to the day to day activity of operating a waterworks. Here we see evidence of working practices and skills, now lost.

If you hold an interest in history or are just curious about the past and want to learn more, then why not drop by for tea.

Building Renovation Team Report

Re-decoration of the office is progressing well, the team have now removed all of the lose and flaking old paint. They have also filled holes and gaps in the brickwork, scraped and sandpapered the ceiling and walls. Applied a stain block to the damaged areas caused by the leaking roof and are ready for the first coats of emulsion paint.

Chris Rose has managed to get the crane working again. Chris is a specialist rigger and director of Complete Production Rigging, a company that specialises in working at height and sometimes at great depth.

Chris is a highly trained and skilled individual who has an in-depth understanding of electrical and lighting installations, both domestic and industrial, metal fabrication and general building repair and maintenance work.

Chris has a full understanding of the specialist needs required when working on and in listed buildings. His systematic approach to developing sympathetic solutions when bringing heritage building back into reuse is an invaluable asset. We are pleased to have him as a member of our team.

Health and Safety Report

We are pleased to say that we have had another accident free month. A very big thank you to everyone for embracing a heath and safety culture.

We never stand still with health and Safety, good safety is no accident.

We will be undertaking more training in the new year, so watch this space.

Electrical Installation Team Report

The electrical team are doing some sterling work. They have been incredibly busy removing damaged and water logged cables in readiness for the new installation. We are really pleased to announce that we will be working with both Dudley and Wolverhampton Technical College to provide on site training to students and an opportunity for students to work along side professionals.



Ghostly goings on at Sandfields Pumping Station.

We all love a good ghost story, but does Sandfields have ghosts? On 31 October the Lichfield Discovered team attempted to find out. A combined event organised by Lichfield Waterworks Trust and Lichfield Discovered held one of the first of a series of events at Sandfields on the theme of ghosts.
Most certainly the Sandfields looked the part. Lit only by candlelight on a dark late October night the building did not fail to please the visitors. We did not spot the well-known black cat which runs across the checker plates towards the well depth gauge, but there were certainly some strange noises.
It was, by all means a night to remember….

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 on the image below

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 on the image below


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.

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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