Mill Meece News

20 May 2018

The first open days of 2018 got the year off to a cracking start. Although the first rally of the year is dedicated to stationary engines the good weather and lure of a good cupper and a slice of cake brought many more exhibitors out than expected.

There was a very good display of stationary engines and umbrellas, but this time being used to keep the sun off those who look after their engines.

Along with the stationary engines on display there was a good selection of cars from bygone days and a fine collection of classic motorcycles.

Even the Friday night Museums at Night event had a good turn out of visitors and one or two stationary engine owners were also in attendacnce to display their engines in an evening setting.

 

 

4 September 2017 - Tribute To Bill Buckley

In the years leading up to the retirement of the steam engines at Mill Meece one mans dedication and love of the engines laid the foundations for their preservation. In February this year William Buckley or to everyone Bill sadly passed away.

This unique water pumping station and its steam engines would not be here if it was not for Bills foresight at the time of the water works original modernisation in the early 1970's to get other people and organisations interested in preserving the station.

Bill was the last station superintendent at Mill Meece and was a wealth of knowledge and expertise. He could also on special occasions be heard playing his piano accordion in the Engine House, who's acoustics always complimented the sound of the instrument.  

As a mark of respect and to remember the work that Bill did for the Trust a memorial plaque based on the Blue Plaques has been mounted adjacent to the station plaque in the Engine house. As no doubt all who new him will agree this is a fitting tribute to a great man.

The inscription on the plaque reads.

William

"Bill"

Buckley

1928-2017

The Last Station Superintendant and Life Long Member of the Trust.

He Laid the Foundations for the Preservation of this Water Works and its Steam Engines

 

13 March 2016 - Out With The Old, In With The New 

After more than 30 years of corrosion there was little remaining in the way of the steel supports in the chimney flue and over the weekend a group of volunteers fitted a new set.

Mill Meece is odd in that the chimney is situated at the other side of the engine house rather than being located behind the boiler house. This results in a rather long flue, with one or two bends in it. Over the years the inside walls on these bends have started to bulge and more than 30 years ago steel support beams and trench struts were fitted to help support these areas.

Unfortunately the flue is not an ideal environment for steel components to survive in, being a very acidic atmosphere due to the soot and water present. So when the flue was recently cleaned all that was left of the original supports were some rusted remains.

A team of volunteers gathered at the station on a sunny Sunday morning and then descended in to blackness.

The remains of the old support beams were carefully removed from the walls and after sweeping up the remains off the floor new support channels and shiny new trench struts were fitted. Hopefully these will also last another 30 years before they require replacing.

 

February 2016 - Severn Trent Water Visit Site

Kirsty Parker and Lucy Sargent, Customer Journey Specialists, from Severn Trent Waters Customer Strategy & Experience Team visited site to have a look around and familiarise themselves with the activities of the Trust, the Station and its steam engines.

Kirsty and Lucy have been looking at the experience Severn Trent Water customers (and beyond!) receive when they go to a Severn Trent visitor site.  "We’ve been interacting with our visitors and finding out what makes their day enjoyable and promoting our other sites to them." said Kirsty. The obligatory selfie was taken by Kirsty in front of the Station before they left.

TThe Trust looks forward to working more closely with Severn Trent Water in the future.

 

September 2015 - Mill Meece Steps Closer To Steaming Once Again

Due to a collapsed support wall in the boiler flues Mill Meece has been unable to steam for the last three years. However the first stage of the boiler house restoration, being undertaken by Severn Trent Water, is now complete. The majority of the boiler house floor has now been lifted and the flues and passage ways under the floor have been cleaned in preparation for the next phase of restoration work to begin.

The picture on the right shows the area where the support wall had collapsed and the superheater header now being supported on props.

 

During the open weekend of 19th and 20th September visitors to the station will have a once in a lifetime opportunity to see the boiler house with the boilers fully exposed. The open weekend also includes a yesteryear rally of vintage cars motorcycles and station engines on display in the grounds of the station. The last time the station would have been in this condition was when it was built 101 years ago.

 

August 2015 - Picnic Time

Friends and family of the Chairman gathered at Mill Meece to enjoy the Staffordshire country side on a sunny but windy Sunday afternoon and a three course picnic.

The well maintained grounds of the station make it an ideal place to hold a picnic with friends and family especially on one of our open days when the station plays host to vintage ehibits of stationary engines, cars and motorcycles.

 

 

 

 

 

24 March 2015 - New Listing For Mill Meece Buildings

English Heritage has been considering amending the entry for the building on the List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest. We can now report that this process is over and new listings have been issued for the buildings on site.

In an e-mail English Heritage stated that,

"We have taken into account all the representations made, and completed our assessment of the building. I am pleased to inform you that having considered our recommendation, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport has decided to amend the entry for Engine House and Boiler House at Mill Meece Pumping Station on the List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest. The building is listed at Grade II*."

In a separate e-mail English Heritage went on to say,

"I am writing to inform you that following our assessment of the above building the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport has decided to add the winch house, weigh house and weighbridge, workshop and storehouse, and gates and gate piers at Mill Meece Pumping Station to the List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest. The buildings are now listed at Grade II."

This is great news for Mill Meece and recognises the historic significance of the buildings and of course the steam engines.

September 2014 - Members Supper

Members and their family gathered in the engine house last Saturday evening, 20th September, for a social get together. The Members Supper has been a traditional way to end the steaming season ever since the Trust was formed. This year fish and Chips were the order of the day with puddings being donated by a number of members.

Unfortunately with the engines not being in steam the sound of hot metal contracting and smell of steam and oil was not present.

 

 

 

August 2014 - Stafford Mayor Visits StationMayor and Mayoress of Stafford 

As part of the Centenary celebrations The Worshipful the Mayor and Mayoress, Councillor Ray Sutherland and Mrs Frances Sutherland, visited the Pumping Station on Sunday 17th August 2014. Chairman Howard Moore showed the Mayor and Mayoress around on a guided tour which took in the Sutherland Room. On asking if the Mayor was any relation to the Duke of Sutherland the Mayor replied "sadly not".

The Mayor and Mayoress showed great interest in the work that the Trust was undertaking and spent time talking to both members of the public and the Trust.