Last night, both my brother and I set out ten chairs in the meeting room of Darwin Hall, Lichfield. As we did this, I had a heart to heart discussion with him saying that if five or fewer people attended, maybe we should consider calling it a day.
Forty people turned up and crammed themselves into the tiny meeting room, not only did they wish to sit and listen to my rhetoric, they wanted to get this show on the road with immediate effect.
I am completely overwhelmed; we now are the Friends of Sandfields Pumping Station group.
I will publish details of the meeting later, but in the meantime, lets give ourselves a moment or two to remind ourselves and enjoy what we have here.
History is not about the dead, its is an understanding of how people lived. It is understanding what things were important to them, their identity, their culture and their heritage.
Not only did this building and its magnificent Cornish beam engine nurture great minds, it enabled ordinary people to breath life into the beleaguered industrialised towns of the Black Country, and keep the heart of our industrial past beating.
The engine did this almost silently, and efficiently; running almost none stop for over fifty years; delivering two million gallons of life-giving water to the Black Country every day.
Watching the Cornish engine at work is an aware inspiring sight; the vast mass of solid iron moving massively and silently. The steam valves quietly beating like a metallic heart, and the pump sighing gently as if breathing slightly laboured.
Listen carefully to the last twenty seconds of this film of a working Cornish waterworks engine (from 1:47 onwards), and you will understand why we should preserve this wonderful monument to out past.