July Newsletter


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These engineers are expensive, but they are good……

The heavy work has been completed by the builders. They have chiselled away over four tonnes of sold mass reenforced concrete. It’s now time for some precision (building) work, enter the engineering team. Their task is to square things up, trim up loose ends, and part broken quarry tiles and make the whole area ready for screeding.

What a super job they have one. These engineers are expensive, but they are good……


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Voices From the Past – Edward James Grenfell

Voices from the Past

Voices from the past is a community heritage project that will enable the community to engage with the industrial, social, and cultural heritage relating to Sandfields pumping station and the story of clean water. The project will build upon improving and enhancing community access to Sandfields Pumping Station and its unique archive. It will provide and create volunteering and learning opportunity’s by undertaking a one-year research study of the workers and staff shown in in photographs taken from the historic archive of South Staffs Waterworks dated 1893, 1937 and 1974.

Aims and Objectives.

Voices from the past has four key aims that underpin the work of the trust:

  • To bring the heritage of Sandfields Pumping Station out into the community
  • To enable both individuals and groups from the community to work together and lean about social, family, and oral history to gain a greater understanding of the social change relating to the story of clean water.
  • To increase access and learning about history and heritage outside the academic constraints that the formal educational establishment normally offer and to be accessible to all.
  • To increase training and volunteering opportunities in local heritage skills.

The project will build of work already completed:

The Heritage group are currently researching an engineer who worked at Sandfields in the late 1800s, Edward James Grenfell, (bottom row, forth from the right).  He was a founder of the first Lichfield Operatic Society.  We would love to know what type of performances they put on  starting in 1896 through to the early 1900s?  Does anyone have any programmes, song sheets or tickets from the early performances we could copy?  Any information would help with building the picture of the life of Edward James Grenfell and the Lichfield Operatic Society.

If you can help, or would be interested in joining this project, please get in touch.  

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What a super team effort by the team working to restore Sandfields Pumping Station

What a super team effort by the team working to restore Sandfields Pumping Station and turn it into a community museum and venue.

The reenforced concrete plinths have now gone! Our volunteer team have chiselled off and shifted around 4 tonnes of sold reenforced concrete to make the floors fit for community use. It has taken over 6 weeks to complete this stage, but well worth it.

The people working on this project have learned new skills and worked together to build a great team. This is a splendid effort of teamwork and sheer hard graft on a project that will bring benefits to the community for ever.

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Going…. Going…. Almost Gone

These reinforced concrete plinths at Sandfields Pumping Station have been challenging to say the least. The team has pulled together remarkable well this last two weeks and really out in some overtime.

The space in the 1960’s building has started to look the part now. We will soon have a community centre and museum to be proud of.  

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Volunteer Week

A really big thank you to volunteers everywhere. When others claim to have done alright for themselves, volunteers are doing alright for others.

They are not paid, because their contribution is priceless. #volunteerweek #sandfields

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A Wildflower Meadow at Sandfields

Last year Emlyn wated to start a wildflower meadow in the grounds of Sandfields Pumping Station. While not all of the wildflower seeds, he sowed have grown, the results are is still impressive.

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Muliti-Skilled in May.

What an adaptable Multi-Skilled team we have here. Breaking out these reinforced hight density concrete plinths is not only labour intensive, its also physically demanding too. The teams have elected to work in half hour shifts on the plinths.

Both the engineering team and the electrical team have joined forces with the building team to make best use of the hired equipment. While the engineering team and the electrical team members are wating their turn they are busy scraping and preparing the walls of the 1960’s building for a fresh coat of paint.

What a super community project where everyone learns, and everyone wins.

Engineers decorating
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Volunteers make a significant contribution to community projects

Our volunteers are a key part of our project. They make a fantastic contribution to both the renovation and the community work we do. The Trustees of Lichfield Waterworks Trust would like to say a very big thank you to all of them.

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A Month of More Sheer Hard Graft – The Plinths

Our aims and objectives are to preserve and retain as much as the 1960 building as possible. After all it is a part of the story of clean water. We also have to remind ourselves that the overall all objective of the team is to preserve the whole site for the benefit of the wider community by bringing the building back into reuse.

Disused empty building deteriorates quickly and are a blight on the community. Unused it is a loose loose.

To bring our 1060’s building back into reuse, we need to utilise the space by removing the redundant electric pump plinths and making safe the wells. The electric pumps were removed by South Staffs Water around 1995. Unfortunate, the concrete mounting plinths were left in place making the useable space useless.

To compound the problems, the wells were covered in such a way that a trip hazard was created, again making the useable space useless.

Removing these reinforced hight density concrete plinths and capping the wells is both a technically challenging and physically demanding piece of work. One of the most difficult pieces of work we have faced so far. Fortunately, our teams are always up for a technical challenge and never shy away for hard graft.

There is no quick solution to the plinth removal, they are reinforced high density concrete. The only way to remove them safely without causing damage to other parts of the building is to physically chisel then off and to cart away the tonnes of rubble produced by hand.

Here we go….

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