On a clear day

The wonderfully generous and knowledgable Sir Gerald of Reece recently sent me some scans of aerial images dating from 1948-52, taken of Brownhills and and stored on transparency, which I feature here today.
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All hands to the pump!

It’s really getting busy for top local history wonks Dave Moore, Chris Pattison and their Freinds of Sandfields Pumping Station campaign group, who seem to be really getting somewhere with this fantastic Victorian edifice; not only has their attention prompted the fixing of the roof recently, but the listing status of the building is now under review too.
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Due south

Following the recent interest in the Red, White and Blue pub in Springhill, near Sandhills, the wonderful Gareth Thomas from Lichfield District Council has been true to his word and gifted some fascinating aerial imagery of the area, and south to Mill Green and Aldridge.

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Saving Sandfields – August meeting tonight

The campaign to save Sandfields Pumping Station in Lichfield for the community continues to garner support. Local historian and activist Dave Moore has been putting heart and soul into this for some months now, and he’d like as many people as possible to get involved.
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Saving Sandfields – monthly public meeting tonight

The campaign to save Sandfields Pumping Station in Lichfield for the community continues to garner support – local historian and activist Dave Moore has been putting heart and soul into this for some months now, and he’d like as many people as possible to get involved.

Sandfields Pumping Station

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Friends of Sandfields – can you help?

The campaign to save Sandfields Pumping Station in Lichfield for the community continues apace – local historian and activist Dave Moore has been putting heart and soul into this for ages now, and he’d like as many people as possible to get involved.
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A memorial to the beam engines…

Here’s something I came upon by chance I think that not just the Lichfield and South Staffordshire Water contingents will like, but all those interested in steam engines, heavy plant and Victorian engineering.img009

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Purity was the gift

A couple of weeks ago, I alerted readers to a preview clip of a film that local historian Dave Moore was making in support of his Save Sandfields Pumping Station Campaign – well, yesterday Dave posted the complete film on the campaign blog.
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A film on the water

Dave Moore, late of this parish and tireless campaigner for all things local and historical is doing something really interesting for his Save Sandfields Pumping Statio Camapaign, and taking a really unique approach.Sandfieldsl

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Next steps – Saving Sandfields meeting tonight!

Following the success of the inaugural meeting called to find a way to save Sandfields Pumping Station in Lichfield, a second meeting is scheduled for this Friday to officially set up The Friends of Sandfields Pumping Station group.Sandfields Pumping Station

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Increasing pressure

Following my plug (and lots of others in the online community) for the meeting about Sandfields Pumping Station and it’s preservation, I was pleased to note that over 40 people turned up to the public meeting in Lichfield last night.

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Saving Sandfields – Public meeting this Friday!

The campaign to save Sandfields Pumping Station in Lichfield for the community continues apace – local historian and activist Dave Moore has been putting heart and soul into this for some months now, and he’d like as many people as possible to get involved.
Sandfields Pumping Station

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Poetry in motion

Apologies to Dave Moore, but he contacted me a couple of days ago about an event he’s putting on at Cafe Fuse, as part of the Lichfield Fuse Festival in Lichfield this afternoon – Dave is, of course, the passionate and educated local historian who’s working hard to rescue Lichfield’s Sandfields Pumping Station from decay.
Sandfields Exterior

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Finely tuned aerials

Rather than do the drip-drip-rip thing with the wonderful aerial images shared by top geographic geek Gareth Thomas and Lichfield District Council, I’m going to share the whole set of 1:5,000 aerials of Chasewater and surrounds. All were taken in December, 1976, and show some remarkable detail.
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The scale of things to come

Gareth Thomas, top geographical services officer and mapping wonk from Lichfield District Council has been dipping into the aerial photography archives, and sent me a whole truancy of new wonders.
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Mapping for change

Here I can share with you four excellent quality 1:10,560 scale maps – we don’t cover that scale issue much on the blog, as oddly, they’re quite scarce online in scanned or digitised form – they are generally poor quality even from professional map service companies, with contrast and other image aberrations.
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History is a mosaic

As readers will no doubt be aware, I’m really, really fond of local history and the way it’s evolving online, although I’ve noted concerns and issues, on the whole, the internet and cooperation it enables is making a huge difference to both the quality and quantity of work becoming available.
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Letting off steam

I was saddened to receive yesterday from Chasewater Transport Show organiser Helen Borton, a copy of a mail she’s sent to Chasewater Park management, detailing some conflict within the park community over this popular free show – it doesn’t make pleasant reading.
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Serving all his days

FIFTY years of unremitting service in the employ of the South Staffordshire Waterworks Company is the proud record of Mr. Joseph Plant, of Christ Church Gardens, Lichfield, who has recently retired as foreman engine driver at the Sandfields Pumping Station.

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Gathering steam

The campaign to save Sandfields Pumping Station in Lichfield for the community continues apace. Dave Moore has been putting heart and soul into this for some months now, and he needs a little bit of help.

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Levelling out

Those who follow my 365daysofbiking journal will be aware that I’ve been a little bit obsessed with the rising water level at Chasewater over the summer and winter months. Since the lake was drained to enable improvement works to improve the dam and overflow resilience, it was considered that, unless we experienced very wet weather, the lake would take a good couple of years to refill.

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The other ‘Wood: from the air…

Following a request made by reader Kevin Barnett, I had a rummage through the excellent aerial images so kindly supplied by Gareth Thomas, Geographic Whizz from Lichfield District Council, feeling sure he’d sent me some. Sadly I was mistaken, and I’d already posted the one of Chasetown that I had.

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Eighteen years later

Once again, Gareth Thomas from Lichfield District Council has gifted a whole bunch of fascinating geographic material to readers of the Brownhills Blog. If anyone had told me when I started this adventure that I’d have images like this donated to the blog, I’d never have believed them. This is the kind of stuff I…

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Further abroad…

Just a quick headsup to folk interested in the 1963 aerial imagery I’ve been featuring on the blog, kindly donated by Gareth Thomas of Lichfield District Council. Gareth has been sharing the love, and has also kindly donated some scans of this wonderful series to Kate over at the wonderful Lichfield Lore. As you might…

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Come fly with me

Following on from the previous posts featuring the excellent 1963 aerial images kindly supplied by Gareth Thomas form Lichfield District Council, I today feature two more from the collection. These are rather special, so I saved them for the weekend. The previous posts have covered south Chasewater, and north Chasewater. These images are from Lichfield District…

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The day after

Following on from the excellent response to my post of last week, featuring the fascinating 1963 aerial photo of Chasewater’s south shore, I’ve decided to post two more of the collection which should provide some interesting talking points for readers. These images are from Lichfield District Council’s archives, and have been very kindly scanned and…

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Chartered flight

This is a teaser. I have been supplied with eight images from this set, and frankly, they’ve blown me away. The image shown here will interest so many people – from Chasewater Wildlife Group, to Brownhills history enthusiasts, mining wonks and canal buffs. The images are from Lichfield District Council’s archives, and have been very…

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Wet noses and Waggy Tails

I’ve been sent this press release by Lichfield District Council about a fun looking event this Sunday for dog owners and canine aficionados of all kinds. I’m unsure of the wisdom of holding a ‘Prettiest Bitch’ competition in such close proximity to Norton Canes and Brownhills, due to the possibility of misinterpretation, but time will…

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Clear waters rising

The water level at Chasewater – as well as other questions – continues to fascinate. It seems I’m not the only one gazing on the waterfront – there’s another contender, top reader Andy Dennis. Following my musings last weekend on the nature of drought and the contribution of recent rains to the refilling of our…

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Chasewater: Bracing for impact

I notice today that grim news has been posted on the website of the excellent Chasewater Wildlife Group. I haven’t had time to get over to the park for a week or so, so haven’t been keeping up with progress on the dam works, and consequently I’ve been unaware of the pause in construction. I…

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Chasewater Railway reopens Saturday!

Further to my recent article on the matter, I’m genuinely shocked – but very, very pleased – that Chasewater Railway now has a complete, working track again and can recommence regular operations tomorrow. Normal timetables will be in operation all weekend and it’ll be excellent to see this dedicated band of enthusiasts able to offer…

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Chasewater: ‘From now on, it’s project-managed properly.’

A fascinating piece on Radio WM’s Ed Doolan show today about Chasewater, the predicament Lichfield Council has got itself into, and the handover to Staffordshire Councty Council. In an unusually thorough piece, Mark Winnington of Staffordshire Councty Council and Graham Evans, of the Chasewater Wildlife Group speak frankly about the delays and issues. It seems…

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Chasewater: Lichfield District Council wave the white flag

Tonight, Lichfield District Council posted on their Chasewater Dam Blog the news that the whole park had been signed over to Staffordshire County Council, who would henceforth be responsible for the completion of the dam works, as well as eventually, the site as a whole. At the moment, I’m not sure what this means in…

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Chasewater – dry, dry land

Well, conditioned to expect a big feature on the long-dry lake, I tuned in to the BBC iPlayer on Sunday night to learn all about Chasewater’s draining. As it was, the forlorn reservoir was barely mentioned, and the bit that did make it past the edit was along the Michael Fabricant ‘biblical disaster averted’ pitch….

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It’s starting to get interesting at Chasewater…

Finally, after long delays, work has started at Chasewater. Taking a stroll up there yesterday, I noted work going on on the marsh behind the dam and cranes were dropping portacabins into position near the pier. It seems that casual visitors will be in for a shock – although security was remarkably lax yesterday (I…

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Chasewater: subject to some delay

  Returning to the subject of the local reservoir that currently even the most committed atheist could walk upon, I just thought I’d mention that Lichfield Council have published a schedule for work to upgrade the dam. Although the lake was drained back in April, not much has been done on site since, much to…

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