Water is in abundance at the moment, so Sandford Street seems quite an appropriate topic. The street was once split into two parts -Sandford St and Sandford St, below the water. I believe that the latter is now known as Lower Sandford St, lay outside the city gate, and was once the main road to Walsall.
Hopefully, this will make more sense in conjunction with John Snape’s 1781 map.
I’ve only just found out that around the same time as this map was made, an artist called John Glover painted a view of Lichfield Cathedral from Sandford St. It’s in the Samuel Johnson Birthplace Museum and can be seen here.
The water in question seems to be Trunkfield Brook (formerly Sandford Brook) which still flows, with varying success, through the Festival Gardens. It’s thought that the name Sandford (earlier Sondeforde) might relate to a crossing over the brook, near to the gate. Apparently, a bridge was built there around 1520. I wonder if the brook was bigger in the past, as I’m pretty sure even I could jump over it. Almost.
In view of the above, I think that the symbol on the Sandford St below the water ward banner, as shown below, is pretty self explanatory.
More of a challenge to decipher is the banner for the other part of Sandford St (i.e the bit within the city). Why did they choose to represent this with a bell?
In the absence of anything I can find that links this part of Lichfield specifically to bells, so far all that I can think of is that it might relate to the iron & brass foundry set up in Sandford St in 1879. On an 1884 town plan, it’s shown behind the Queen’s Head. Although it was set up by a Yoxall based firm called Perkins & Sons, Tuke & Bell, who already had a foundry on Beacon St bought it in 1923 and renamed it the Lichfield Foundry Ltd. The Sandford Street works lasted right up until 1983, so there must be plenty who remember it, or even worked there.
So, does this explain the bell? If so, it’s interesting that the foundry wasn’t in existence until 1879, and so the design on the ward banner is unlikely to date to before then. If not…..???
‘Lichfield: Economic history’, A History of the County of Stafford: Volume 14: Lichfield (1990), pp. 109-131. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=42349&strquery=sand Date accessed: 07 July 2012.
A short account of the city and close of Lichfield by Thomas George Lomax, John Chappel Woodhouse, William Newling