The Sandfields Table

The Friends of Sandfields Pumping Station are trying to raise money to save this magnificent building, raising money by auctioning this table.
Table 1

Table 2

Table 3
This is a traditionally made hand crafted coffee table in white oak, with mortise and tennon joinery, and handmade inlays of tulipwood, burbinga, purple heart and maple.The design was inspired by the decorative aspects of the original waterworks combining the graceful curves and decorative ornamentation. The table is unique and has been built as a one off by David Moore, Chairman of the Friends of Sandfields Pumping Station.
This piece of furniture is now up for auction at;

Ansons Solicitors
St Mary’s Chambers
5-7 Breadmarket Street
Lichfield
Staffordshire
WS13 6LQDX

To own it, please make a bid by leaving your contact details and your maximum bid amount with reception.

The auction will end at 4:00pm on Friday 11 July 2014.

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An incredible story, of an everyday person

Michael Buckle is a man who believes that what you do today is important; you are exchanging a day of your life for it. He is an everyday person who has lead a remarkable life, and has an incredible story to tell.

IMG_1094

Michael is the grandson of Joseph Plant, the son of a Lichfield railwayman, who was born in 1867, and in 1886 he Joined the South Staffordshire Water Company as a labourer and boiler cleaner at Sandfields Pumping Station, and was destined to spend his whole career at that location. Slowly rising through the ranks over the years Joseph Plant finally became foreman engine driver, in charge of the three James Watt engines and he drove the 190 horse power Jonah Davies “Cornish” beam engine.

In this oral history interview, Michael tells me of his past life where he both saw and experienced life living at the water works cottage, the poverty following WWII, a relative who died of septicaemia following a small cut on his finger and his exploits as an RAF pilot flying Wellington and Lancaster bombers.

I feel truly humbled and privileged to meet such a giant of a man, this is a sound track of 30 minutes; time well spent.

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Lichfield Civic Society Talk – The Story of clean water in the industrial Revolution

For most of us, running a tap to pour clean drinking water is nothing special. We take it for granted. Drinking water and effective sanitation now form part of the fabric of modern day Britain. However this has not always been the case.

Cholera had a massive impact on the Black Country, a centre of the industrial revolution. In Bilston, there were no families who had not been touched. Between August and September 1832, the death toll had reached 742; almost 20% of the population; the burial grounds had to close because they were full.

David Moore will talk about how Lichfield provided the solution with the establishment of the South Staffordshire Waterworks Company. Sited near to the railway at Sandfields, the building housed a magnificent 190 horse power Cornish beam engine built by Jonah and George Davies of Tipton….

Thursday 24 July 2014 @ 7:30pm

Lichfield Heritage Centre
Market Square
Lichfield
Staffordshire
WS13 6LG

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Piping down the valleys wild.

Architecture parlante; Speaking architecture that not only explains its own function or identity, it holds the memories of people from the past, and shows us how they lived….

Piping down the valleys wild..

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Where Are the Graves – Bilston Cholera Epidemic

Where are the cholera graves in Bilston?
Hundreds died, it was a calamity,
No deliverance from God Almighty,
Redemption for our daughters, wives and sons.
What great evil have Black Country folk done?
Our town drowned in a tsunami of tears,
A mute memorial to mark the years
To show where buried and where they have gone?

Where are the cholera graves in Bilston?
There is nothing, like Caesar turned to dust,
A suit of fine armour reduced to rust:
Extinguishment, life`s candle flame now run.
A monument should stand, courage hard won,
A permanent marker for these poor graves,
Ordinary people God would not save
Unmarked, no memorial in Bilston.

10th May 2014, Ian Henery

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Apparently Lichfield District Council have been taking part in a pilot scheme with English Heritage & have produced a summary of all the listed buildings in the district which are considered ‘at risk’. Interesting stuff – take a look at the report here

Sandfields Pumping Station did not even mentioned on the list, utterly amazing.

Sandfields pumping station is showing all the signs of “Deteriorating masonry; leaking roof; defective rainwater goods, usually accompanied by rot outbreaks; general deterioration of most elements of the building fabric, including external joinery; or where there has been a fire or other disaster which has affected part of the building”.

If we then take into consideration the fact that the building is unoccupied, it is clearly it fits the criteria perfectly as an at risk building, and yet there is no mention of it.

If we then develop this argument a step further and examine the back ground of the owner of the building Persimmon homes, they have vast resources available to protect this building for the benefit and use of a wider community.

Yet Lichfield District Council sit idly by and allow this to happen, I wonder why LDC consistently avoid any enforcement action against Persimmon Homes?

I have emailed Debbie Boffin, the Senior Conservation Officer for LDC, and asked her why, watch this space.

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Saving the Black Countrie’s Hidden Heritage – Talk

Public Historian David Moore will be at The Museum of Cannock Chase on Wednesday 21 May 2014 at 15:00am onward to talk about the hidden industrial heritage of the Black County and how it supported the growth of the area and the industrial revolution.

In the mid 19th century, the industrial revolution was at it’s peak when the deadly cholera struck, wiping out almost 20% of the population….

…. it was an organised waterworks system that saved peoples lives, and gave relief to the beleaguered community’s.

The waterworks at Sandfields is one of the Black Country’s hidden gems, and is at risk of permanent loss.

Address:
Museum of Cannock Chase
Valley Road
Hednesford
Staffordshire
WS12 1TD

Telephone: 01543 877666

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