We all love a good ghost story, but does Sandfields have ghosts? Some of us who know the site well have witnessed ghostly gonging on, or at least unexplainable events at the site.
The site was built following the cholera epidemics of the Black country in the mid nineteenth century. Tens of thousands of people died in that terrible period of history, and many of them were buried in communal burial cholera pits. It was not until Sandfields came online pumping clean water did the cholera epidemics stop.
The site has always been staffed by quite a few people, who from our research have had quite long relationships with the site. Joe Plant and William Robinson both worked for South Staffs for over 50 years each. We know too that both of these individuals were very devoted to the work they did and loved the massive beam engines as if they were part of their family.
Our first encounter with some unexplainable events starts in 1975 when on a photographic study.
In the beam, to the right of the centre pivot you can see a face. At the time it was not visible but is very clear in the photo. The photo reminds us of Joe Plant, the foreman engine drivers who worked at the site since 1897.
In this second photo, you can clearly see the faded face of a man. We are not sure who he is, but he reminds us of William Robinson the chief engineer. Again, Robinson worked for SSW for over 50 year and lives adjacent to the site in a cottage with his family. Does this prove there are ghosts? Not necessarily, but we cannot explain the images in the photos either.
What is also unexplainable is an event that occurred on the night of the 31 March 2019. We run two data loggers on the site. Both Independent of each other and both in different positions in the site. On the evening of 31 March both loggers recorded a sudden rise in temperature to 61C between the times of 01.20am and 01.50am.
Either side of these two times values were perfectly normal. We could understand one device suddenly malfunctioning briefly, but for them both to do it at exactly the same time.
Do you think there’s something supernatural going on at Sandfields in the middle of the night???
There is only one way to find out….