Water Walks, exploring the story of water in Lichfield

On Saturday 19th September, for the Lichfield Heritage Weekend, the Lichfield Waterworks Trust are putting on three Water Walks, exploring the story of water in Lichfield. They are:
1) A history and wildlife walk around Stowe and Minster Pools (Meet Speakers Corner 10.30am)
2) A walk from St Mary’s to Sandfields, looking at the history of the pumping station and the surrounding area (Meet at St Mary’s 12.30pm)
3) A surface walk along a stretch of the Hanch Tunnel (Meet at junction of Anson Ave/Beacon St 2.30pm)

Sandfields
Will be reminding people of this nearer the time, and details will also be in the Heritage Weekend leaflet.

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Monthly Progress Meeting of the Lichfield Waterworks Trust

Monthly Progress Meeting of the Lichfield Waterworks Trust, formerly known as the Friends of Sandfields Pumping Station.
Thursday 30 July 2015 @ 7:30pm – please note the new venue
The meeting place is;
Duke of York
23/25 Greenhill
Lichfield
Staffordshire
WS13 6DY

T: 01543 300 386

The Lichfield Waterworks Trust is a Community Incorporated Organisation, registered with the charities commission who are fighting to save the Grade II* listed building know as Sandfields Pumping Station for the benefit of the community.
The unique 190 Hp Cornish Beam Engine and building area magnificent monument to the lives of the people who died in the black Country during the mid ninetieth century due to the cholera epidemics. It also celebrates the achievements of the Victorian water engineers who gave clean water to the nation.
English Heritage has designated Sandfields Pumping Station as a building that has ‘more than special interest’, hence the reason it has been listed at Grade II*
Unfortunately, what some see as Lichfield’s most significant pieces of Industrial Heritage, a true hidden gem form the past is now a building at risk.
All are welcome to become involved in this challenging but rewarding project.

Excellent food and drinks are available in the bar.

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Fire and water…. acts of god and myths

John Child’s working model of a Newcomen Atmospheric Engine.
 
 

It was Thomas Newcomen who designed and built the first practical working steam engine in 1712; his invention changed the world. There is surprisingly very little known about Newcomen as a person and his first engine.

He was born 1664 in Dartmouth, Devon, to a merchant family eventually becoming an ironmonger by trade and a Baptist lay preacher. Newcomen and his partner John Calley built the first successful engine in the vicinity of Conygree Coalworks near Dudley in the West Midlands, the exact location has still to be defined.

It was most likely built from an eclectic mix of parts available to Newcomen as part of his ironmongery business; bits of scrap and allsorts, a BSA, but it worked. So why is it when people think of steam engines, the name James Watt springs to mind?

Newcomen was just an everyday practical hands on guy, he was not a member of the intellectual elite, the ‘intelligentsia’ who had always been ready to attribute bright moves by ‘their inferiors’ to other people. There is a myth that the intelligentsia explained away Newcomen’s discovery as an act of god. You do indeed question their ability to learn facts and skills and apply them, especially when this ability is highly developed.

You only have to read about John Harrison, and the obstacles carefully placed in his path of discovery by the academic elite while working on the development of the marine chronometer, a long-sought after device for solving the problem of establishing longitude.

John Child built this working model of a Newcomen Atmospheric Engine, and he bought it along to the Florette Festival Market in Lichfield in July 2015, for display on the stand of the Lichfield Waterworks Trust (the friends of Sandfields Pumping Station), it is a joy to behold.

John is a highly skilled engineer and an everyday, practical hands on guy. His model Newcomen engine is built from an eclectic mix of parts that you would find in any ironmongery shop. There are parts of locks, door handles, ceiling roses, baked bean tins, hopper heads and amplifiers, but it works.

By a strange coincidence, it was when James Watt, who was an instrument maker at the time, was trying to repair a broken model Newcomen engine and accidently allowed some melting solder let cold water into the cylinder, thus creating an instantaneous vacuum. An act of god?

Watt quickly realised the energy efficiency saving that could be made, by not have the cylinder cycle through hot to cold on each stroke, and the rest is history, or so it seems….

A very special thanks’ to John Child for ringing his amazing steam engine to Lichfield.

 

Links:

Lichfield Waterworks Trust

http://www.sandfields.org/

Lichfield Discovered

https://lichfielddiscoverd.wordpress.com/

A full sized working replica of a Newcomen engine can be seen here

http://www.bclm.co.uk/

The only remaining Newcomen engines still in its original location

http://www.elsecar-heritage-centre.co.uk/event/a-great-industrial-age-tours-of-elsecar-and-its-1795-newcomen-engine-3/

 

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Florette Festival Market at Lichfield Festival – Saturday 4 July

The Lichfield Waterworks Trust (Friends of Sandfields Pumping Station) have a stall at the Florette Festival Market in Lichfield, and will be on hand to chat and answer questions. Do pop along and say hello, stand C16 in the Cathedral Close.

John Child will have his live steam working model of a Newcomen Atmospheric engine on our stand, it is an amazing and detailed working replica of the very first working steam engine, invented right here in the midlands.

The Florette Festival Market  will also be featuring artists and craftspeople from across the region, the popular Lichfield Festival Market is a great day out for all the family. Choose from around 150 craft stalls or sample a variety of local food and drink. You can also watch demonstrations of traditional crafts or take a tour of the Cathedral, while younger visitors have their faces painted or take their turn at a number of charity game stalls.

With entertainment from local performers throughout the day, this is a perfect day out for all the family.

Stalls will be set up in and around the Cathedral Close, Dam Street and around Minster Pool will once again be brimming with artistic flair, as over 150 stalls are set up featuring local artists and crafts people selling handmade goods from jewellery to pottery and paintings, woodcarving and stained glass.

Keep a look out for those baby elephants

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Brindley Bank Pumping Station

Today the Lichfield Waterworks Trust and Lichfield Discovered seized at the rare opportunity to visit Brindley Bank Pumping Station.

IMG_4139

Built be the South Staffordshire Waterworks Company in 1903, this stunningly beautiful Grade II* listed building still contains the original Horizontal Tandem Compound Pumping Engine by Hathorn Davey of Leeds.

IMG_4116

There are more photos on our Flicker page

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Monthly Progress Meeting of the Lichfield Waterworks Trust

Monthly Progress Meeting of the Lichfield Waterworks Trust, formerly known as the Friends of Sandfields Pumping Station.

The Lichfield Waterworks Trust is a Community Incorporated Organisation, registered with the charities commission who are fighting to save the Grade II* listed building know as Sandfields Pumping Station for the benefit of the community.

The unique 190 Hp Cornish Beam Engine and building area magnificent monument to the lives of the people who died in the black Country during the mid ninetieth century due to the cholera epidemics. It also celebrates the achievements of the Victorian water engineers who gave clean water to the nation.

English Heritage has designated Sandfields Pumping Station as a building that has ‘more than special interest’, hence the reason it has been listed at Grade II*

Unfortunately, what some see as Lichfield’s most significant pieces of Industrial Heritage, a true hidden gem from the past is now a building at risk.

All are welcome to become involved in this challenging but rewarding project.

Thursday 25 June 2015 @ 7:30pm – please note the new venue

The meeting place is;

Duke of York

23/25 Greenhill

Lichfield

Staffordshire

WS13 6DY

 

T: 01543 300 386

 

Excellent food and drinks are available in the bar.

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Monthly Progress Meeting of the Lichfield Waterworks Trust, formerly known as the Friends of Sandfields Pumping Station

The Lichfield Waterworks Trust is a Community Incorporated Organisation, registered with the charities commission who are fighting to save the Grade II* listed building know as Sandfields Pumping Station for the benefit of the community.

The unique 190 Hp Cornish Beam Engine and building area magnificent monument to the lives of the people who died in the black Country during the mid ninetieth century due to the cholera epidemics. It also celebrates the achievements of the Victorian water engineers who gave clean water to the nation.

English Heritage has designated Sandfields Pumping Station as a building that has ‘more than special interest’, hence the reason it has been listed at Grade II*

Unfortunately, what some see as Lichfield’s most significant pieces of Industrial Heritage, a true hidden gem form the past is now a building at risk.

All are welcome to become involved in this challenging but rewarding project.

Thursday 28 May 2015 @ 7:30pm – please note the new venue

The meeting place is;

Duke of York

23/25 Greenhill

Lichfield

Staffordshire

WS13 6DY

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