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Lichfield MP says city’s historic Sandfields Pumping Station “must be preserved”

Lichfield’s MP says the historic Sandfields Pumping Station in the city “must be preserved”.

Michael Fabricant made his comments as he visited the site to see restoration work being carried on the steam powered beam engine by volunteers from the Lichfield Waterworks Trust.

Michael Fabricant MP with Cllr David Dundas inside the Sandfields Pumping Station

Michael Fabricant MP with Cllr David Dundas inside the Sandfields Pumping Station

The building had originally helped to pump millions of gallons of water to the Black Country each day to help save people in the area from cholera.

Mr Fabricant – a chartered engineer – said: “This magnificent Cornish beam engine must be preserved.

“Reading about it in books is no substitute to seeing the massive beam working the force pump which lifted tons of water on each stroke almost 400 feet to push it up to the Black Country where thousands were dying from cholera caused by contaminated water.

“Fresh water from Lichfield saved the lives of tens of thousands of people in the Midlands in the 19th Century. Some might say, it saved the Industrial Revolution.”

David Moore, chairman of the restoration group, and Cllr David Dundas, a member of the committee, showed Michael the work needed to restore the engine and explained the workings of the complicated valve system which enabled the massive beam to rise and lower seven times a minute.

“Once the beam engine is restored, it will be open to the public and schools and will be a valuable resource generating additional income to our city,” the Conservative MP said. “The South Staffordshire Water Company are to be congratulated in ensuring that this magnificent 19th Century Cornish beam engine was not removed once the pump was replaced with more modern systems.”

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