Don’t forget that National Mills Weekend is starting today. Water and windmills are quite magical places and have been a part of our landscape for hundreds of years. Not only are they places of peaceful contemplation, they are the guardians of our past.
Holding memories deep within their foundations, telling stories of everyday people, the way they lived, worked and their lives. There are stories that enrich our lives….
….as we are creatures of memory. We cannot have a future idea unless we access a memory of the past….
Following on from last months talk from Alan Taman, a researcher based at Birmingham City University, Cholera, Burgers and Blame: The politics and psychology of health inequality we would like to continue with the theme of health benefits from engineering.
Our very own Alan Hill, who is a member of our extraordinary engineering team will be presenting a talk entitled:
Water as a Mechanical Agent – the many forms of water power.
Water is arguably the single most useful and valuable substance known to man. We drink it, bath in it and, since the earliest times, have used it to transport goods & people, and produce power – all of which are as important today as they have always been. This talk will look at ways in which water has been harnessed to produce power and some of the unusual uses to which it has been applied.
Alan is a retired manufacturing systems consultant, who has worked both in the UK and overseas. At the end of his career he worked for Warwick Manufacturing Group at Warwick University.
Born at Barrow-in-Furness a shipbuilding town in south Cumbria, from a young age he was brought up in a coal mining village near Barnsley, South Yorkshire but has lived in Birmingham for the last 45 years.
Alans talks are always interesting and innovating, this is certainly one not to miss, everyone is welcome to attend this talk
Here’s a coincidence. If you were at last night’s meeting of
LWT, our very own rail historian extraordinaire Ian Pell spoke about semaphore
signals and signal boxes. One a common sight in the landscape, now, sadly a rarity.
Who else but our very own community champion and keeper of extraordinary
knowledge of all things relevant Brownhills Bob would know of some still in use.
It shows that cycling maintains not only our fitness, but
our connection with the landscape; fitness for the mind and body indeed.
Following the trusts instructions to Persimmon that we would vacate the building, Persimmon Homes Ltd contacted the trust to clarify what they said had been a misunderstanding in the wording of the lease and instruction passed to the solicitors.
With the objectives of the trust and a commitment to work with the owners in a productive way, the trust agreed to postpone vacating pending further talks. Ian Prichard, Deputy Leader of Lichfield District Council kindly offered to facilitate an initial meeting with Persimmon.
This meeting has now been completed and some revised offers have been placed upon the table. The trust will be meeting with the owner’s early March 2019.
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.
Tonights Talk Tonight talk is from our very own railway historian Ian Pell
“The Lichfield Diamonds”
This illustrated talk takes along the South Staffs Railway from Sandhills to Lichfield City and discusses the evolution of the Lichfield City Station; its use; its signal boxes, and, its almost unique platform arrangement. We also look at St. John’s Street Bridge and the origins of the crests which adorn it.
So what are the Lichfield diamonds, and are there any still to be found?
In November 2017 the site owners Persimmon Homes Ltd decided
to remove the generator that the members had been using at Sandfields Pumping
Station to undertake restoration work and announced that they did not wish to
extend the licence.
Following a meeting with the owners in February 2108 the
trust received an assurance that a temporary electrical supply would be reinstated,
and lease would be granted. Lease documents arrived with the trust solicitors on
26 October 2018. The documents left several outstanding questions in terms of
repairs, the section 106 agreement and other commitments given to maintain the
building and set up an adequately funded trust.
The outstanding issues were raised with the owner who
responded that the lease is for one year then the trust must take ownership for
£1.00. The owners stated that if we did not wish to accept this offer, what are
our plans for vacating the building?
In view of the heavy financial burden these outstanding
repairs would inflict on the trust, the duration of the lease and the flat
refusal to fund any respiration costs the trust has decided in its best interest
to vacate the building as of 1 February 2019.
We know that this is a bitter blow and disappointment for all
of the hard work the members have put in. However, the liability of the
outstanding repairs and a refusal to fund any restoration costs are way beyond
the scope of the trust and would put the building at a higher risk of loss than
it is now.
The owners have come back to us and offered to discuss the
terms of the lease an outlining their concerns as to why they did not wish to
continue with the licence. On this basis the trust has agreed not to vacate the
building on 1 February pending further talks. Work on site to reinstate the
electrical supply has now started.
The trust is more than happy to enter into a meaningful
discussion with the stakeholders and will continue to work in the best interest
of the membership.
Thank you all for your continued help and support, we will of
course keep you informed of progress.