Although there does not seem much happening at this moment in time, I feel things have been quite productive. I have been following a couple of really interesting blogs. I had a very interesting interchange of comments with Brownhills Bob, resulting in a pointer to Mark Lorenzo’s incredible site Tamworth Time Hikes.
Alas this most amazing blog seems to be no longer active, but please take a few moments to look, it has some really great stuff, especially some lessons learned when Mark was trying to save the woodhouse, Hopwas.
They say that your endeavours are only a failure if you learn nothing from the experience, maybe these lessons could be used in our campaign to save Sandfields Pumping Station?
Believe in what you’re doing
In the same way that the historian David Starkey argues the monarchy is the only English institution that is continuous, with the possible exception of the Church of England; so the monarchy is the one continuous lens, that you can look through and see the history of England and the history of Britain.
I will contend that a man is known not by the name he chooses to give himself, but by the things he does in his life that develop his integrity. Sandfields pumping Station is a monument to the lives of ordinary working people. It has preserved the integrity of men and places, and has nurtured advanced minds, giving us a sense of identity and a place in the world.
Take action quickly
I know we have done this, but must not take our eye off the ball. After a scheduled and cancelled meeting with Lichfield District Council, we have another meeting scheduled for 14 February 2013.
Have clear argument
I have tried my best to make an argument to save Sandfields, however it is important to understand that this has to be a collaborative project. It is not just the things from that past that interest me; make this a useable past, it has also to be from you.
Please, bring forward your suggestions, become a part of this and contribute to the comments on this blog, even if it is just to say I’m wasting my time, or taking through my backside.
Get expert support
I have been in touch with a number of other heritage projects, both in and around Lichfield, and further afield. I am going to London tomorrow to elicit support from some university cohorts and heritage ecperts.
Apply for spot listing with English Heritage
Quite important this; The building has a Grade II listed status, however it is my understanding that the engine does not have protection. I need help with this and am looking for unique features that we could use to obtain Grade II* listing which would give protection to the 1974 Cornish Engine.
Make noise to get support
I can only shout so hard, in fact my throat is feeling quite horse, not through eating beef burgers or lasagne. If anyone can add their voice to the choir, please feel free to do so. Comments here, or on our Face Book page.
Local media campaign
I have manage to get an article in the Lichfield Mercury, and there should be something in the Lichfield Gazette next week. I am also planning on writing something for Staffordshire Life. Again I am open to suggestions.
We have a Face Book page, I need to get to grips with Twitter, any help or advice would be welcome.
Get in touch with famous people
The BBC have been in touch, with a bit of luck I should be doing the local radio spot in early spring.
On the ground activity
I have a meeting with Lichfield District Council on 14 February; the developer has been invited to attend, so I will be asking for another opportunity for an open day which everyone can attend. Watch this space.
Finally, lets do our upmost not to allow this to happen, again!
Below are some photographs taken in 1975 and 2012 of Clay Mills Pumping Station.
Although the photographs of the Clay Mills engine were taken thirty Seven years apart, but the actual time taken for this level of damage to occur was actually only about 4 years.
The guys at Clay Mills have done a monumental job in getting some of the other beam engines on this site running on steam, but what a shame that things had to deteriorate to an irretrievable position. Sandfields is now showing the first signs of this one way trip.
Taken by me in 1975 a view of the beam loft in almost pristine condition
The same view taken in 2012
Taken by me in 1975 a view of the starting gear in almost pristine condition
The same view taken in 2012