Today, one small step

I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I live.

— George Bernard Shaw

Today we took one small step. Together we took the first step that will make a difference to people, communities and our industrial heritage.

Today was the first of a number of training sessions that Lichfield Waterworks Trust will undertake during the six-month licence to enter the building in our quest to save Sandfields pumping station.

Saving industrial heritage is not just about getting out the oily rags, the sandpaper and the tins of paint. It’s about inspiring people to make a difference to people, communities and our industrial heritage by building and developing the confidence, knowledge and skills of the people who are going to make it happen.

As a Community Incorporated Organisation (CIO), one of our key values is to keep our members, visitors and the community safe. So today was Health and Safety training for our building supervisors.

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Our trainer was Nick Platt from Growing Rural Enterprise. Nick is a health and safety professional who advises and trains small to large organisations at all levels. He is a qualified trainer with over twenty years’ experience managing health and safety and fire safety.

Nick made the training both engaging, interesting and practical. While a number of the team members already hold health and Safety qualifications, it was still nice to get down to some practical work that was relevant to Sandfields Pumping Station and our future objectives.

A very big thanks to Nick Platt: http://growingruralenterprise.co.uk/

Our host for the day was Annamarie at Woodhouse Farm and Garden. Woodhouse is a traditional small farm created in 1808 from the walled garden, cherry orchard (a seven-acre field which had wild cherry trees in it) and other small scraps of land which had once been part of the grand Fisherwick Estate.

Woodhouse Farm is a community interest company (CIO) that wants to encourage the use of local seasonal produce, growing and cookery as therapeutic activities and training in heritage skills. As a community interest company the farm goes about it’s business producing fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and eggs while having a secondary aim to use the farm for community good.

Annamarie is also a wonderful cook and provided the team with a lunch that made our mouths love us forever.

A very big thanks also to Annamarie at Woodhouse Farm and Garden CIC:

http://www.woodhousefarmandgardencic.org.uk/

A very big thank you to Philip Manton. Philip has been a supporter of our save Sandfields pumping Station campaign from day one. He has provided support advice and guidance on numerous occasions, and bought about clarity and direction when on a few occasions, we felt that we were pursuing a lost cause.

Philip has been great asset by inviting us to think about job roles within our organisation, helping us to learn to delegate and motivating others, by developing our teambuilding and leadership skills,

Thank you Philip Manton for organising today’s events.

Fillip Training – learning for change: https://twitter.com/Fillip_Training

Finlay, a big thank you to all of the people who took part in today’s training day. Working together we can make a difference to people, communities and our industrial heritage, sowing the seeds of community sprite so that our future generations can reap the benefits tomorrow.

 #AIAadvocacy

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There is nothing more invisible to the human eye than an industrial building.

#HeritageTreasures

sandfields-pumping-station-lichfield

There is nothing more invisible to the human eye than an industrial building.

The remarkable thing about industrial heritage is that one does not notice it, because familiarity and its sheer longevity with the everyday erodes away the curiosity of the passers-by.

Industrial buildings are Architecture parlante (“speaking architecture”) it needs someone to speak on its behalf, to tell its story. 

Sandfields Pumping Station can tell a remarkable story of how it saved a million lives, and extended the average life expectancy by more than twenty years.

Built following the Black Country’s cholera epidemics of the mid nineteenth century, where almost 20% of the population died within the space of six weeks, the pumping station provided fresh clean drinking water to the beleaguered communities of the industrial Black Country towns.

This building still contains it original and unique 190hp Cornish beam engine that pumped over 2.5 million gallons of water every day from 1873 to 1927. Within a few years, cholera was assigned to the history books in the UK, ensuring the industrial growth of the area.

By telling the story of industrial heritage, we are able to contextualise our past, and can begin to understand our parents, and grandparents, their lives, how they lived and their values. We can bring their past forward in time and make it a useable past, so that we can learn for our future.

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If you’re up for a challenge, join us now

We had our final meeting with Persimmon Homes Ltd today in preparation of the start of the licence to enter. Persimmon Homes Ltd have done an amazing job of tidying up the pumping station and have completed a number of essential repairs. The place is looking better than it has done for years.

The licence to enter the building starts on the 1 February and is a six-month opportunity to conduct a feasibility study to find a sustainable solution to preserving this incredible piece of industrial heritage in perpetuity.

This is not going to be easy, but this is why we do it.

It’s going to be an incredibly challenging six months, that will call upon individuals, the local community and the City of Lichfield as a whole, to come together to find a solution to preserve a site that is not only of significant historic interest, but a site that changed the lives of millions of people.

So, if you’re up for a challenge, then join us now.

 

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2017 and we are ready on the starting blocks.

The next monthly open public progress meeting of the Lichfield Waterworks Trust will take place on:

Monday 9 January @7.30pm, in the rear meeting room of the

The Bowling Green

Friary Road

Lichfield

Staffordshire

WS13 6QJ

Tel: 01543 257344

The Bowling Green serves some great food and real ales.

November Meeting notes can be downloaded here

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Persimmon have done a great job of tidying up the pumping station and have blocked of the open widows to prevent any further bird ingress. They have also done the asbestos survey and removed much of the bird mess. They have also installed a generator for our use and several safety barriers. 

The place looks better shape than it has for years, however we are still waiting for new on the handover the keys for the licence. We felt that it was in our best interests not to chase for keys late in December, as the holiday would have been time that we could not fully utilise. We have this week written to Persimmon or an update. 

Safety training is ready to start on Monday 23 January at Woodhouse Farm. Philip Mantom has done an amazing job of organising the training day for 16 people at a great venue. We will be serving a home grown and cooked lunch to the team from the kitchen garden at Woodhouse Farm. 

Please note the new meeting venue for the January and of course Monday will be the new meeting day.

2017 is going to see some significant changes at Sandfields Pumping Station. We now have a window of opportunity to save for future generations one of the area’s most significant pieces of industrial heritage, and make it accessible to all. 

At the end of the licence period we must produce a viable and robust business plan that clearly outlines how we will deliver an ongoing programme of funding, maintenance and renovation of the site. 

As a registered charity, we must show that we are capable of managing this site as an ongoing and viable entity that is both sustainable and accessible.  

As a registered charity, we must show that we have the support of the members, other stakeholders and the community in general. It is therefore it is important that we have a robust membership as a record of your support. 

So 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. 

We have incurred some considerable expenditure covering legal costs, insurance and training. We will always invest in our people, and we are planning further training days soon too. All these costs soon mount up, so if you can donate, then please visit our donation page here, any amount is helpful and well appreciated. 

We do not share your data with anyone else, but we do like to have your details correct. If there are any errors or omissions, please let us know. 

Our data protection policy is here:

 

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A Challenging But Interesting Year to Come

Thank you all for the continued support in our quest to save Sandfields Pumping Station. We have been working on this project for the last three and a half years and are now at a place where the pumping station is looking better than it has looked for years.

2017 is going to be a challenging but interesting year where we must now change to meet the new challenges ahead of us. Over the last three and a half years we have vigorously campaigned to save the pumping station by raising the public’s awareness of the historical importance of the building and engine. We have also told the story of how Sandfields Pumping Station bought clean water to the Black County saving tens of thousands of lives.

We will soon be in possession of a licence to enter the building to conduct a feasibility study, so that we can find a sustainable future for the site. Finding a sustainable solution is not going to be easy, but that why we do it, If it was easy, it would have already been done.

We now have to change tack, from a campaign group, to a business orientated entity that is able to work together and work with the community. So, that together, we can bring in ideas, provide solutions and raise money and ultimately deliver a sustainable outcome that benefits everyone.

Indeed, we have a challenging but interesting year to come.

Thank you again, have a great Christmas, see you in the new year.

Sandfields Pumping Station from above

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Maplebrook Pumping Station in Burntwood

Fantastic tour of Maplebrook Pumping Station in Burntwood this morning. Thanks to all who came and special thanks to Chris Pattison and all the volunteers from the Lichfield Waterworks Trust plus South Staffs Water for allowing us to visit. Do share your photos folks

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Lots more photos here

 

 

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November monthly open public progress meeting

The next monthly open public progress meeting of the Lichfield Waterworks Trust will take place on:

Thursday 24 November 2016 @7.30pm, in the rear meeting room of the

George lV

Bore St

Lichfield

WS13 6LU

Tel: 01543 523025

October Meeting notes can be downloaded here

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Full ahead, steady as she goes.

The trust held a very positive meeting with a representative from Persimmon homes on the 31 October. True to their word, Persimmon have done a great job of tidying up the pumping station and have blocked of the open widows to prevent any further bird ingress.

They have also done the asbestos survey and removed much of the bird mess. The place looks in much better shape. We are now just awaiting the return of some final documentation to handover the keys for the licence.

Safety training is in an advanced state of planning, details of which should be released soon. Finally, we have a arranged a new meeting venue for the January meetings in the new year. All of this is major steps in the right direction to achieving our aims.

The trust is also very busy preparing a bid for a Resilient Heritage Grant. The Resilient Heritage Grant will enable the trust to commission a specialist engineering company to conduct a feasibility study on the 190 HP Cornish Beam Engine with a view of returning the engine to steam operation again.

The Resilient Heritage Grant will also be used to fund some training for members of the trust, so that we can allow access to the building to the public.

Saving Sandfields Pumping Station is an incredibly exciting project, and we would like everyone to become a part of it. Please consider joining the Lichfield Waterworks Trust by clicking the membership link here.

Online membership application form

Membership is free, but a small donation would always be very much appreciated. We have an enormous amount of expenditure coming up with the legal fees relating to the access licence, so any amount, however small, will be most welcome.

You can donate either at our online donation link here.

Link to our donation page of our website

We do not share your data with anyone else, but we do like to have your details correct. If there are any errors or omissions, please let us know.

Our data protection policy is here:

 

 

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