On Friday 8 October Sandfields Pumping Station held an event in association with the 2nd International Early Engines Conference. This is the forth significant event to be held at Sandfields Pumping Station and signifies a key milestone in the campaign to save this industrial historic gem.
I have been working to save this site for over nine years now. During this time, I have seen a number of changes; stories of failure and many of success. It’s been both challenging and rewarding for me personally and the people I have been working with.
My intentions have always been to save this magnificent cathedral to the industrial revolution and to give a voice back to the everyday people who worked in the industrial midlands. I have always wanted to tell the remarkable story of clean water and how it extended the average life expectancy by over 30 years. I have also wanted this site to continue serving the community, and not to just sit and languish in a state of dereliction, uncared for and unloved.
While there is a huge amount of work still to do, the site is now in a safe pair of hands. These people will love and care for it. They are a super team who will go from strength to strength and bring to the community a facility that will bring benefit to all.
I am just an unremarkable person from an everyday background. I left school with no qualifications and in fact was thrown off the History CSE course at secondary school for failing to show an interest and failing to hand in any course work.
My dad came back from WWII bonkers and broken. Family life was challenging. I lived in childhood poverty and have experienced working poverty and homelessness too. Significant learning disabilities made life hard and work opportunity’s small. I would have loved a proper education. Despite this I am a very contented individual and feel that I have lead a wonderful and worthwhile life. Not only have I done alright for myself, but I have also always wanted to do alright for others. I like giving something back.
Saving Sandfields Pumping Station was challenging. It was also an opportunity to give something back. Seeing these recent events at Sandfields now makes me feel I have given something to the community, so now my job is done. I have now stepped down as Chairman of Lichfield Waterworks Trust.
I hope that I have given the team at Lichfield Waterworks Trust the roots to stand firm and resilient and the wings to fly with the confidence to remove the barriers to giving something back to the community. I thank you all for your support, I feel privileged and humbled to have worked with you all.