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This page features occasional news stories on Sussex Mills

Please visit our Facebook page for topical items and news

 

Due to unforseen circumstances, future open days at Polegate Windmill will be held on the 2nd Sunday of each month from Easter to October

Click here for news on Sussex Mills sorted in date sequence

NEWS HEADLINES
SORTED ALPHABETICALLY BY MILL NAME

 

 

Sussex Mills Group logo
MILL SUBJECT DATE POSTED
Millstones Stolen Millstones Stolen 10-Feb-13
Argos Hill Windmill Awarded Heritage Lottery Grant 31-Jan-14
Argos Hill Windmill Lease signed, fundraising campaign launched 13-Feb-11
Argos Hill Windmill Building at risk  23-Nov-03
Argos Hill Windmill Proposed demolition 14-Jan-08
Argos Hill Windmill New sweeps and red cap 13-Jul-16
Ashcombe Windmill Site Survey 21-Dec-06
Ashcombe Windmill Six Sweeps in place 14-Oct-15
Barnham Windmill Mill and tea rooms closed 2-Oct-05
Bexhill Downs Windmill Proposal to demolish remains 9-Jul-08
Fishbourne Bevel Gear 22-Feb-12
High Salvington Windmill Future maintenance and management 24-Feb-06
High Salvington Windmill Painting 5-Aug-09
High Salvington Windmill News 10-Aug-11
Ifield Watermill Conclusion of important restoration phase 13-Apr-08
Ifield Watermill Off-season work 11-Feb-09
Ifield Watermill Restoration & community work completed 26-Aug-09
Jack Windmill Jack Windmill loses a sweep 26-Oct-09
Jack Windmill Help on the way 30-Aug-12
Jill Windmill Society receives another national award 14-May-08
Jill Windmill Painting project complete 3-Aug-11
Medmerry Windmill Proposed formation of 'Friends' of the mill 5-Dec-04
Mark Cross Windmill Proposed replacement of hood,sweeps and fan 26-Apr-05
Oldland Windmill Major restoration grant awarded by DEFRA 22-Nov-04
Oldland Windmill Mystery Grinder 4-Dec-05
Oldland Windmill Sweeps and Mystery Painting 2-Jul-06
Oldland Windmill Grinding flour again ! 25-Oct-08
Park Mill, Batemans Mill working again 7-Aug-05
Plumpton Watermill Award winner 19-Jul-09
Polegate Windmill Sweeps Up 28-Apr-09
Poynings Watermill Update 19-Jun-11
Ringmer Windmill The Old And The New 16-Oct-11
Shipley Windmill Sweeps rehung by crane 10-Oct-04
Shipley Windmill Open for free - but only till July 29-Mar-09
Stone Cross Windmill SPAB Plaque awarded to Mill Trust 19-Jan-05
Stone Cross Windmill Cap, Sweeps, Stocks and Fan stage installed 23-Nov-12
West Blatchington Windmill Two Sweeps removed 28-Oct-10
Windmill Hill Windmill Critical components of Post Mills 29-Feb-04
Windmill Hill Windmill Heritage Lottery Fund support 8-Dec-14
Windmill Hill Windmill The largest single windmill project in the last 150 years 20-Mar-04
Windmill Hill Windmill Reinstatement commences on site 17-Sep-04
Windmill Hill Windmill The wrappings finally come off 27-Jan-05
Windmill Hill Windmill Sweep Governor returned 21-May-05
Windmill Hill Windmill Sweeps ready to be hung 21-Oct-05
Sussex Mills Brothers awarded ' silver ' badges 11-Jul-05
Sussex Mills 2005 Mill calendar 23-Oct-04
Sussex Mills 3D windmill models for use with
Microsoft® Flight Simulator 2002 and 2004
17-Jan-05
Education Training for potential Millwrights 10-Dec-06
Education Proposed online mill resource 5-Oct-07

NEWS ITEMS
SORTED IN DATE SEQUENCE

Sussex Mills Group

Posted 13-Jul-16 Sweeps fitted at Argos Hill Windmill
Following extensive restoration work, the mill now boasts four new sweeps and her unique red cap.
Argos Hill Windmill
For further details on the mill, please click here

Sussex Mills Group

Posted 15-Dec-15 Successful carol singing
Peter Hill reports that the annual "Carols at the Mill" evening held in the north barn of West Blatchington windmill on Wednesday 9th December was a resounding success. Having sung themselves hoarse, the 80 plus audience enjoyed free hot mince pies, sausage rolls & a hot drink. In return they bought raffle tickets and threw their loose cash (plus a few notes !) into the collection buckets all of which amounted to wonderful £366.61. This was duly passed on the following day to the local Martlets Hospice who was understandably extremely grateful. This made a very satisfying conclusion to the year and proved once again that the mill is there for the community not just for us old mill-nuts !

Sussex Mills Group

Posted 14-Oct-15 Ashcombe Windmill boasts six sweeps
The last four sweeps were fitted on Tuesday 13th October.
Ashcombe Windmill Photo by Simon Potter
Click here for more details on Ashcombe Windmill

Sussex Mills Group

Posted 8-Dec-14 Windmill Hill Windmill Trust wins Heritage Lottery Fund support
The Windmill Hill Windmill Trust has been awarded £80,800 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to restore the machinery and sweeps at Windmill Hill Windmill.

Led by volunteers from the local community, this exciting project is due to start this month and be completed in the autumn of 2015.

The project will restore the mill to working order, grinding flour once again. This includes restoration of the machinery, the sweeps, the unique patented governor designed to control the speed of the sweeps and to restore the original outside stairs for easier visitor access to the trestle (first) floor.

An outreach activity programme organised by the University of Brighton will see local schoolchildren visit the windmill and take part in a media project.

The restoration will be documented by members of the local photographic society who will mount exhibitions in the area, and a historian will research the story of early millers of the windmill.

As a result of the restoration there will be numerous opportunities for volunteers to witness, experience and keep alive the practice of operating a windmill and producing stone ground flour.

The Windmill at Windmill Hill, originally built in 1814 and a Grade II* listed building, is the landmark that gives the village its name. She is the largest post mill in the UK - the structure was authentically restored and opened to the public in 2006 as a fine example of our industrial heritage. She is one of the few remaining windmills of her type in Sussex.

Commenting on the award, Trustee Crispin Freeman, said: "The initial restoration of the structure of the windmill back in 2001 was funded through a major Heritage Lottery Fund grant, and it is wonderful that this new grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund gives us the opportunity to progress the restoration of the windmill to working order. The public will be thrilled to see the historic technology brought back to life."

Jonathan Cook, Chairman of Mills Section of The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB), said: "The Mills Section of the SPAB congratulates the Windmill Hill Windmill Trust on securing HLF support. We welcome such an initiative as it enhances the visitor experience, provides the mill with additional sources of funding and most importantly, returns the building to its intended purpose. We wish all concerned the very best."

Stuart McLeod, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund South East, said: "Money raised by National Lottery players has helped to protect more than 1,300 buildings across the South East. In 2001, an HLF funded restoration took Windmill Hill's namesake off the English Heritage Buildings At Risk register and we're delighted to support its continuing development to introduce even more people to this unique example of the area's industrial heritage."

Sussex Mills Group

Posted 31-Jan-14 Argos Hill Windmill awarded Lottery Grant
Argos Hill Windmill Trust is delighted to announce that they have been awarded a grant of £100,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund

Commenting on the award, Geoff Daughtrey, chairman of Argos Hill Windmill Trust said: "We are thrilled to have received the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund and look forward to restoring the mill, which is an outstanding example of our industrial heritage, to its former glory"

Stuart McLeod, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund South East, said: "Not only will todayís HLF grant restore and rejuvenate this historic listed Mill in the heart of East Sussex but it will also enable full public access for the first time in over 10 years. An exciting range of community activities means that more people than ever will have the chance to get involved with their local heritage Ė all helping to ensure a sustainable long-term future for the site."

Please click here for news on Argos Hill Windmill

Sussex Mills Group

Posted 10-Feb-13 Millstones Stolen
Millstone thieves are operating is Sussex

Millstones

These thieves stole five millstones from one Sussex Windmill.

It would appear that they used a lorry and hydraulic lifting equipment, as there was no evidence that the millstones had been rolled using manpower. Anyone who may have seen 'contractors' moving millstones or who has seen 4-foot-diameter millstones for sale should either contact Sussex Police quoting reference "0326 9 Feb 2013" or contact us.

Inscription
This Cullen Stone has the inscription
O   IE   1721
Inscription

Millstones

Sussex Mills Group

Posted 23-Nov-12 News on Stone Cross Windmill
Barbara Molog, Chair of Stone Cross Mill Trust, advises that extensive and essential repair work has been undertaken on the Cap, Sweeps, Stocks and Fan Stage.

"Most of this work has been undertaken by our Volunteer maintenance team, who have worked tirelessly over the last two years to overhaul these essential parts of the Mill. Sussex Sand Blasters kindly cleaned the tower, which is now awaiting a sealant and final coat of paint.

The View of Stone Cross Windmill for all to admire

On Tuesday and Wednesday November 6 and 7 the Cap, Sweeps, Stocks and Fan stage were successfully installed and the Windmill looks magnificent.

The Trust owes a debt of gratitude to all the team who have volunteered their time and energy to complete this mammoth task.

To date Stone Cross Mill Trust has spent in excess of £10,000 and there is still more work to be completed."

Sussex Mills Group

Posted 30-Aug-12 Help on the way for Jack Windmill

UPDATE : Please click here for restoration progress on Jack Windmill

Niamh Arnett, Press Officer of UK Power Networks, advises that a power line is being diverted underground to support a project to preserve one of Sussex's most important landmarks.

The Grade II* listed Jack Windmill, in Clayton, near Burgess Hill, is in the top five per cent of the most important buildings in England but has been in a state of decline. The mill's new owners are carrying out urgent repairs to help protect the 19th Century structure on the South Downs.

UK Power Networks is undergrounding one span of low-voltage overhead electricity line to enable the owners to get a crane on to the site to start vital restoration and maintenance work.

The three-day project, starting on September 11, will involve staff from UK Power Networks office in Lewes excavating a trench and installing 50 metres of new underground cable. Once the new underground cable is live, the overhead line will be switched off and dismantled.

Marc Lelliott, lead field engineer, said: "The power line was due refurbishment and was in the way of the restoration work the owner is planning on the mill. We decided to underground the line, which will enhance the landscape and ease the way for the restoration of the mill."

Owner Claire Maugham, who moved into the house beside the mill in May, said: "Jack Windmill is a very prominent local landmark on the South Downs but it's in pretty bad condition at the moment. The wooden cap needs lifting off for repairs and two sweeps need replacing."

"It's a hard-to-reach place on a narrow private drive so we couldn't have got a crane into the site to do the work without UK Power Networks' assistance. The work is very urgent because we don't think the cap will last another winter. We are very grateful for the way the staff got things moving and made this happen. We couldn't have started the preservation project without their help."


UK Power Networks engineers gently lower the power line to the ground

This is not the first time the company's staff in Sussex have got stuck in to help a local windmill. Six years ago, 32 staff from Sussex spent four days repainting Stone Cross Windmill, near Pevensey, scrubbing the building from top to bottom, treating it with herbicide and then painting it.

Jack and Jill Windmills have been used as television and film locations, including the 1970s spy thriller The Black Windmill, starring Michael Caine.


David Meares and Simon Potter advise that local volunteers and members of the Sussex Mills Group have joined in informal discussions with Jack Windmiill's owners to determine details of the work that will be needed, particularly in the short term. Vitally important is the need to remove the remaining sweeps and stock from the windshaft before the strong winter winds arrive. They are currently positioned above the Duncton roundhouse and, as Jack's cap is currently unable to turn to wind (35+ years of rust is holding it firmly in place), any falling debris could damage Duncton.

The fan stage is also in a dire condition and it is hoped that this can also be brought down to ground level this autumn. In this case, the desire is as much to preserve the cap, fan star and other castings as it is the protection of items below the fan stage.

Discussions with Sussex Mills Group members will obviously continue as necessary to assist with the preparatory work, the designs (including a new temporary roof for the tower during the repair of the cap), consultation on details and contractors etc, sweep and cap removal, the building of new sweeps, and repairing the cap and tower.

Local volunteers have already helped improve security at Jack and the granary. They have also started investigations, together with minor works, to determine how to release the curb wheels the top of the tower. Such preparatory work is essential to determine how the cap can be released for lifting.

Damage {seen here} to the Gallery and its handrail has been caused by items falling from the platform at the rear of the cap.

Click here for details of progress on the repairs to Jack Winmdill

Sussex Mills Group

Posted 22-Feb-12 Bevel Gear at Fishbourne

Allan Blamire, who is a keen fisherman and has a small boat down at Dell Quay, has found a bevel gear on the western side of Fishbourne Creek. It seems likely that this was connected with one of the mills at Fishbourne. His find is likely to be of interest to members of Sussex Mills Group and Sussex Industrial Archaeological Society.
Allan would be quite happy to be contacted direct:

Sussex Mills Group

Posted 16-Oct-11 Ringmer - The Old And The New

The photo below shows the remains of a late 18th to early 19th century post windmill standing beneath the new wind turbine at Glyndebourne. The photographer (David Burr) hopes that these remains will now be preserved.

Just prior to taking this picture it was being used by children as a climbing frame.

Ringmer : 15 October 2011 - Photo by David Burr
Picture by David Burr taken Saturday afternoon 15 October 2011.

Glyndebourne Mill : Photo supplied by Peter Hill
Glyndebourne Mill : Photo supplied by Peter Hill

Sussex Mills Group

Posted 10-Aug-11 High Salvington Windmill - news

Jeff Best advises : "Our Summer fete on 10th July was much enjoyed and raised more money than last year. The weather stayed fine and the crowds spent their money".

"On 7th August we held a very successful Classic Cars Open Day, with nineteen classic cars and ten classic motorcycles on display, mostly owned and presented by members of the Morgan Sports Car Club's Brighton centre which includes members from several counties in the South-East." Click here for a photo album of the event.

"We have recently welcomed the Yapton and Ford Local History Group to the mill, who provide an extremely appreciative audience and spent generously on souvenirs and refreshments, and back in June, a small group of 'SPAB Young Millers'."

Sussex Mills Group

Posted 3-Aug-11 Jill Windmill - painting project complete

The exterior of Jill Windmill has been re-painted as part of her seven year cycle of maintenance work.

The project started in mid-April and was completed in mid-July, with work taking place only on Saturdays and Bank Holidays.

Please click here for a report and photographs.

Sussex Mills Group

Posted 19-Jun-11 Poynings Watermill - update

Kevin Thornton advises :-

We have now excavated out the whole of the ruins, together with re-building the races so the water now flows past the house as opposed to into it.

Poynings Mill

We have found plenty of original workings and plan to re-build the Mill in its entirety in due course.

Poynings Mill Poynings Mill

Sussex Mills Group

Posted 13-Feb-11 Argos Hill Windmill - lease signed
Fundraising campaign launched!

Now that the lease has been signed, the trust is launching a fundraising campaign to fund the first stages of the mill's restoration.

Chairman of the Argos Hill Windmill Trust, Geoff Daughtrey, said: "This year will be make or break for the mill. We are launching a high-profile fundraising campaign with a target of £100K in 2011. This will enable us to shore up the mill with a temporary steel framework, while the main structural timbers can be repaired or replaced. This is the first phase of an ambitious five year plan leading to full restoration."

Click here for the Argos Hill Windmill website news page and a link to the press release

Sussex Mills Group

Posted 28-Oct-10 West Blatchington Windmill - two sweeps removed
After eleven years in place, the vagrancies of the British climate have taken their toll on the sweeps of West Blatchington windmill and with health and safety a key element in today's world, it was decided that the worst affected of the two pairs, should be removed before the winter weather caused them to fail completely.
Click here for a report and photographs

Sussex Mills Group

Posted 26-Oct-09 Jack Windmill loses a sweep
Paul Barber reports that the efforts taken by the Jack and Jill Windmills Society in replacing a stock on Jill Windmill in 2007 are justified by the recent damage to Jack Windmill.
In late October the inner stock on Jack split and the upper sweep fell to the ground. This stock was fitted by E. Hole & Son in the early 1970s for the mill's appearance in the Hollywood film "The Black Windmill". The outer stock only dates from 1983 as this was replaced after damage by lightning.

Jack Windmill : Photo by Paul Barber

Jack currently has a rather forlorn appearance next to his well preserved partner.

Sussex Mills Group

Posted 26-Aug-09 Restoration and community work completed at Ifield Watermill
David Roskilly advises that the work on restoring the Ifield Watermill wheel with Heritage Lottery Funds was completed last year and the associated Community Work finished last month.

They now have a web site up and running :
www. ifieldmill.moonfruit.com.

Sussex Mills Group

Posted 5-Aug-09 Painting at High Salvington Windmill
Jeff Best reports that the scaffolding was erected in the week after the Summer Fete took £3,330.
Volunteers scrubbed down the roof with wire brushes and repairs were made to the twenty-five year old window frames and weatherboards, where required. Window frames were painted and Sadolin was applied to the weatherboards. The lead on the ridge (shown) was also replaced.
View along the ridge of High Salvington Windmill through the sweeps, looking South over Worthing and out to sea
View along the ridge of High Salvington Windmill through the sweeps, looking South over Worthing and out to sea
Click here for more photos of the painting project and other works at High Salvington Windmill.

Sussex Mills Group

Posted 29-Jul-09 Eel racks and Sussex Watermills
Gareth Williams works for the fisheries and biodiversity team of the environment agency and is the lead for the eel and elver project on the Arun and Adur rivers. This project looks at improving habitats for eels and their access to these habitats by providing passage over weirs and other obstructions.

The aim for this project is to achieve 40% escapement of silver eels to our seas. In a recent meeting they were discussing how they could monitor this and it was mentioned that many watermills in Sussex still have eel racks !

Gareth would like to hear from anyone with knowledge of such racks and also from mill owners with regards to carrying out monitoring. They are putting together an eel implementation group with various partners and wanted to know if anyone would be interested in attending.

Contact details:
Gareth Williams
Fisheries, Recreation and Biodiversity
Technical Officer
Solent and South Downs
Guildbourne House, Worthing
E-mail : gareth.williams@environment-agency.gov.uk

Sussex Mills Group

Posted 19-Jul-09 Plumpton Mill wins award
Paul and Carole Nicholson advise that the mill won an award at the recent awards ceremony of the Sussex Heritage Trust held at Farbridge, Preston Farm near West Dean in West Sussex.

Judging took place earlier in the year with three judges visiting the Mill. The mill was entered the Commercial section in which there were 21 entries and it was one of four award winners. There were a record number of 85 entries overall in 2009.
Plumpton Mill : Photo by Paul Nicholson
Plumpton Mill

The judges said "An inspiring renovation of a working water mill, fully functional. A vocational project preserving an important part of our social history enjoying use as a working educational tool, by local schools and colleges. A project with passion in a glorious setting"

Paul and Carole both attended and received a slate plaque from Rt. Hon. Lord Lloyd of Berwick, PC.

They will take great pride in placing the plaque in the mill.

See Sussex Heritage Trust website for further details.

Sussex Mills Group

Posted 28-Apr-09 Polegate sweeps up - May 2009
Polegate Windmill volunteers will be making a double effort to raise the sweeps of their mill on the first two Sundays in May.

Volunteers are planning to hoist the two repaired and repainted sweeps into place on the May Bank Holiday Sunday, 3rd May 2009. They plan to raise the sweeps by winch and are looking for two strong persons to join the team and assist in the work.

Similar work will take place on Sunday 10th May when the team will be celebrating National Mills Weekend by re-adjusting the position of the second pair of sweeps, thus completing the major part of the refitting of the sweeps. It is hoped that the Long Man Morris Dancers will celebrate the completion of the work at 4 p.m.

During each of the days, the mill itself will be closed to visitors for reasons of health and safety, but the Museum and Education Room will be open, free of charge and refreshments will be available.

The work may be watched from outside of the mill plat and visitors are invited to take part in a Photographic Competition recording the two days of work at the mill. The competition is open to participants of any age and pictures may be of any size and there is no limit to the number of entries per person. The photographs should be brought to the mill by Sunday 31st May 2009 and all entries will be displayed in the Education Room until Sunday 28th June 2009.

Contact : Lawrence Stevens, Clerk of Works, Tel: 01323 734496

Photo : Justin Brice

Update: One sweep needed repair and was subsequently fitted on Sunday 28th June 2009.

Sussex Mills Group

Posted 29-Mar-09 Shipley Windmill open for free - but only till July
Shipley Windmill will open its doors for what is likely to be its last season on April 5th.

But if you want to visit the windmill you'd better hurry, as the windmill will close after July, when the Trust which runs it will be handing the mill back to its owner.

Shipley Windmill Charitable Trust and the Friends of Shipley Windmill have maintained the mill in working condition for the last 22 years, with the support of many willing volunteers; but its lease has only another three years to run, and the Trust is not able to get grants for urgent repairs from bodies like English Heritage and the Lottery without a longer lease.

"As our landlord is not prepared to renew the lease, we have no alternative but to close the mill and hand it back to him in July" said Trust Chairman Jim Woodward-Nutt. "The importance of the mill is recognised by its being a grade two-star listed building, and it is vital that its future is assured for future generations to be able to view and to visit."

"We removed one pair of sweeps - the sails of the windmill - last summer, but found that they need completely rebuilding, together with the other pair. Other repairs and repainting are needed urgently, and we just do not have the money, and cannot get grants due to the short remaining length of the lease."

As this is expected to be the last season that the mill is open, the Trustees have decided that they will not charge for admission to the mill.

The windmill will be open on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays from April 5th until 19th July. Opening hours will be from 2 pm to 5 pm.

Please contact us with your comments

Update : 16th April 2009
Those who don't read the Guardian may well have missed the item in Duncan Campbell's Diary column yesterday, which read as follows:
'Hilaire Belloc was famous for his Cautionary Tales. Were he still with us, he might have come up with a poem about the difficulties presented by autocues on busy news days. On Wednesday, Sally Taylor, of BBC South Today, introduced an item about the closure of Shipley Windmill in Sussex, describing it as "once the home of the famous poet, Hilaire Bollock".

No further comment is necessary.

Sussex Mills Group

Posted 11-Feb-09 Off-season work at Ifield Watermill
Neil Olsen reports :
Winter temperatures restrict major projects but work has continued quietly on other tasks in and around Ifield. On top of regular grounds maintenance, the steep outer banks of the Hammerpond have been cleared of overgrowing brambles and weed/soil encroachment onto the approach road has been cut back. Steps are being cut into the bank to improve access, and surplus wood has been cleared from the site.

A Memorial Hornbeam tree was planted in memory of our friend Ken Clements who passed away recently. Hornbeam was a favourite wood of Kenís to work and we hope that in the distant future the tree will provide a source of wood for small repairs to the mill.

Inside, small exhibits such as a Mitchell domestic Wringer and a Tylor Hand Pump have been restored. We hope to plumb in the pump for demonstration purposes. A larger project is the reassembly of a salvaged Bucket Elevator, which could be used to raise grain from the stones floor to the loft store. We donít know if such a device ever existed at Ifield but it will make a useful addition to our milling exhibits. The plan is drive it off an old low-speed electric motor.

Sussex Mills Group

Posted 31-Dec-08 Christmas Fund Raising
A number of mills in Sussex held fund raising events over the Christmas period. These included carol services at West Blatchington, High Salvington and Stone Cross Windmills as well as an Open Day at Jill Windmill.

Jeff Best reports that the carol singers around the bonfire at High Salvington Windmill on 19th December collected £419.29 for St. Barnabas Hospice and Chestnut Tree House.

Sussex Mills Group

Posted 30-Oct-08 Listings of Sussex Windmills
There are draft listings of Windmills in Sussex, that have been uploaded by Michael Roots onto the Wikipedia website.

Michael would appreciate comments on the lists, in particular any errors or omissions, so please do contact us or Michael with your comments

Click here for East Sussex Windmills and here for West Sussex Windmills

Sussex Mills Group

Posted 25-Oct-08 Oldland Windmill grinds flour
On Thursday 23 October, after many years of restoration, flour flowed from the millstones for the first time in around 100 years.
First flour for about 100 years
Click here to visit Oldland Windmill's website

Sussex Mills Group

Posted 9-Jul-08 Proposal to demolish the remains of Bexhill Downs Windmill
Following the application, an appeal was made to the Planning Inspectorate in respect of the earlier decision about Bexhill Down Windmill remains. The deadline for comments on this appeal was 23rd July 2008

Sussex Mills Group

Posted 14-May-08 Jack and Jill Windmills Society awarded
On Saturday 10th May 2008 (during National Mills Weekend) Jack and Jill Windmills Society was presented with a plaque by the Mills Section of SPAB (Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings).

This is the second major award made to the Society, for in 1986 it received the Dorothea Award for Conservation.

Please click here for further details.

Sussex Mills Group

Posted 13-Apr-08 Ifield Mill update
Neil Olsen advises that the recent long restoration programme at Ifield Mill is drawing to the conclusion of an important phase, which culminates with the re-starting of the new metal wheel (new cast-iron rims and steel buckets / backing).

Other important work, such as the repointing of the reservoir wall face has been carried out, and the site landscaping are continuing. Some dredging of the Hammerpond is under consideration to improve the hydrodynamics, hence oxygenation, of the pond, creating better conditions for a more diverse, healthier ecosystem.

Despite being in a fair condition it was decided to replace old wooden launder (water chute) with a new steel construction which has some adjustment built in to control the fall of water onto the overshot wheel - the old wooden launder did not have this facility. Refitting the launder should be done by the millwrights before final painting, sealing and tests.

We're still on schedule for our official re-opening on National Mills Day!

Sussex Mills Group

Posted 10-Jan-08 Proposal to demolish Argos Hill Windmill

Wealden District Council held a meeting on Monday 14th January at which they proposed to demolish Argos Hill Windmill and to put her in storage.

Please click here for further details.

Posted 5-Oct-07 Proposed online mill resource
There is a proposal to create an online collection of the windmill memorabilia of the late Frank Gregory.

Peter Hill writes :-
Frank Gregory was a remarkable man, whose knowledge of mills was truly encyclopaedic both regarding their history and their intricate, and at times, complex construction. This he was always willing to share with those who sought it and throughout Sussex many mills owe their restoration to his expertise. It is unquestionably thanks to him that we have so many fine examples of this aspect of our Industrial Heritage, a fact which is gratefully acknowledged not least of all by the many schools who are able to use these mills for educational projects.

It was to Frank that we at West Blatchington Windmill continually turned when we undertook the restoration project back in 1977 and for me to have him as my mentor was akin to having an apprentice master. Not only would he give advice as to how a particular job should be tackled but also in many instances he would roll up his sleeves and willingly set-to. We spent an uncountable number of hours of our spare time working to restore the mill and to create what is considered to be one of the finest mill museums in the country.

His enthusiasm in the continual quest to preserve mills was tireless and when not physically working on a project he would be out photographing and recording the mills for posterity. His collection of artefacts, memorabilia and, in particular, pictorial records (both photographic and sketched) was unequalled. On his demise this was duly 'boxed up' and deposited at the Weald & Downland Living Museum, where it has remained inaccessible ever since. This is such a travesty as much of the collection is unique and should be made available to the public not only just for the casual observer but also more importantly for the dedicated researchers.

The proposal to create an online collection of Frank's memorabilia will undoubtedly be a great undertaking and will entail a tremendous amount of time and effort to catalogue this incredible source of information, but once completed it will be a wonderful resource for future generations of mill enthusiasts.

Please contact us for further information on this proposal.

Sussex Mills Group

Posted 21-Dec-06: Oldland Windmill
The Oldland Mill Trust has announced the winners of the sealed bid for the last mill shutter.

Click here for details.

Sussex Mills Group

Posted 21-Dec-06: Ashcombe Mill, Lewes - Site Survey
Members of both Sussex Mills Group and Lewes Archaeology Society have carried out a survey of the site. A number of artefacts from the original mill, including shutter pivots, and millstone fragments were found.

Site of Ashcombe Mill - Photo : Philip Hicks

Ashcombe post mill, the only mill in Sussex to have had six sweeps, was blown down in a gale in March 1916. Click here for updates

Sussex Mills Group

Posted 10-Dec-06: Training for potential Millwrights
- 2007 William Morris Craft Fellowships

"There is no formal professional training available for millwrights . . . but there is a growing realisation of the need for organised training while there still exist experienced specialist millwrights who can pass on their knowledge" [Martin Watts - November 2004]

The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings believes that the William Morris Craft Fellowship, the advanced training scheme it runs for historic building craftsmen, could provide the ideal means for training potential millwrights.

SPAB's Mills Section is the national authority on mills, and its expert millwrights and millers would provide the specialist technical element of the training.

Briefly the Fellowship consists of six-months training - in three blocks of two months (full-time). It is entirely practical; there are very few lectures.

For the first two blocks the Fellows travel throughout the UK meeting contractors, craftsmen and women, building professionals and consultants on site. They see and discuss every kind of building material, its decay and its repair. The history of vernacular and polite architecture and industrial archaeology are covered and most importantly, the philosophy of conservative repair.

The final block is devoted to each individual Fellow's career, and at this point the potential millwright would work alongside professional millwrights and millers.

SPAB has been promised funding to offer a Millwright Fellowship in 2007 - as a pilot for a more long-term scheme, so are urgently looking for candidates, who should have a keen interest in old buildings generally and mills in particular. They need to be practically minded, observant, and physically fit (the Fellowship is hard work, mentally and physically). The closing date is 1st January and interviews will be held in London at the beginning of February.

Further details are available from Rachel Bower (rachel@spab.org.uk) or Simon Hudson (simon@spab.org.uk). Please mention Sussex Mills Group when you contact them.

Sussex Mills Group

Posted 2-Jul-06: OLDLAND WINDMILL
Work on the new Sweeps is progressing well. It is hoped that one Sweep will be on site at the next Open Day on Sunday 9th July 2006.

Please can you help Oldland Mill Trust to identify the mill in a painting which was shown to them by George Jones at Hassocks Village Market and was later shown at the AGM of The Jack and Jill Windmills Society.

As there are doubts as to whether the mill depicted is Oldland Windmill, they would very much welcome your thoughts as to the mill's identity and location. Please click here for further details.

Sussex Mills Group

Posted 7-Mar-06: "MOSTLY-SUSSEX" MILLS GROUP
Members of Sussex Mills Group ventured across the border into rural Surrey to assist with excavating infill from the brick base of Ockley Windmill.

Sussex Mills Group Members at Ockley Windmill, Surrey : Photographs by Peter James
  Click here for further details.

Sussex Mills Group

Posted 24-Feb-06: HIGH SALVINGTON WINDMILL
The Directors of High Salvington Mill Trust Limited held a public meeting on Wednesday 22nd February 2006 to discuss the future maintenance and management of the windmill, the site and the buildings it currently contained.

Following the meeting, at which 23 new volunteers came forward, the Trust issued a press release, which has been posted on their website.

Sussex Mills Group

Posted 4-Dec-05: OLDLAND WINDMILL
A "mystery grinder" has been donated to Oldland Mill Trust.

They would like to identify the grinder.

Click here for further information and photographs.

Sussex Mills Group

Posted 21-Oct-05: WINDMILL HILL WINDMILL
Brian Holdstock reports on behalf of the Windmill Hill Windmill Trust that the millwrights are planning hang the Sweeps soon.

The plan is to bring the Sweeps to site and then to wait for a "window in the weather" to hang them.

Update 25/11/05 :
Work began on Thursday 24th November.

Problems arose with the fitting of the second Stock.

It would appear that the Stock design did not take account of the taper within the Canister.

Click here for photographs.

Sussex Mills Group

Posted 2-Oct-05: BARNHAM WINDMILL
At the Sussex Mills Group Committee Meeting on September 30th, Barry Lee advised that legal problems have arisen since the lease terminated in February 2005 and the decision was made to close the mill and tea rooms until these problems can be resolved.

Currently there is rot under the cast iron ring on a five foot section of timber, which has compressed, causing the cap to drop and putting the worm drive out of mesh.

Sussex Mills Group

Posted 7-Aug-05: PARK MILL, BATEMANS
Volunteer miller Alan Wilmshurst reports that mill is working again. They are still awaiting the new penstock sluicegate, but they have been able to work using the pond sluicegate.

They milled for 2½ hours on Saturday 30th July, and were very pleased with the result. The mill ran very smoothly, and the new waterwheel seems much more efficient.

Milling again at Batemans : Photo Alan Wilmshurst

Their main difficulty now is water (or rather the shortage of it). They were waiting to see how well the pond fills up after Saturday's milling.

PREVIOUS REPORT : Posted 9-Jun-05
Volunteer miller Alan Wilmshurst reports that work on the mill has commenced. The new waterwheel is now being installed. It is made in French Oak, and to a genuine 18th century design. Because of the proximity of Kipling's turbine and the difficulty of access, the wheel was made in two parts and is being assembled around the axle-tree.

New waterwheel at Batemans : Photo Alan Wilmshurst

The tun has been removed to have its walls renewed, and the vertical shaft, which was quite out of the vertical, is being trued up. The dressing of the stones has not yet started.

Update 3-Jul-05
The waterwheel has now been fixed in position, and the casing of the pentrough and penstock installed. See previous news item posted 30-Jan-05

Sussex Mills Group

Posted 11-Jul-05: Brothers awarded Dusty Miller 'silver' badges
The presentation of badges to James and Toby Linazasoro by Simon Potter on behalf of Sussex Mills Group - Photo by Nick Linazasoro

The badges were presented to James and Toby Linazasoro by Simon Potter on behalf of Sussex Mills Group.

The presentation was made at Jill Windmill, Clayton.

 

James and Toby Linazasoro from Seaford were presented with our limited-edition silver coloured badges as part of the Sussex Mills Group Dusty Miller Passport Scheme, which is principally aimed at encouraging young people to develop an interest in windmills and watermills across the counties of East and West Sussex.

In order to qualify for a 'silver' badge and to receive Sussex Mills Group newsletters for a year, Dusty Miller Passports must be stamped by at least twelve of the Sussex mills in the scheme.

Undaunted, James, Toby and father Nick managed to get stamps from every single one of the participating Sussex Mills.

Sussex Mills Group

Posted 21-May-05: WINDMILL HILL WINDMILL
Hammond's Patent Sweep Governor, loaned to the Jack and Jill Windmills Society in the early 1980s, was collected today by members of the Windmill Hill Windmill Trust.

The Governor will be installed in Windmill Hill post mill at Herstmonceux.

Click here for further details of Hammond's Patent Sweep Governor

Sussex Mills Group

Posted 26-Apr-05: MARK CROSS WINDMILL

Andy Booty has advised that there are long term plans to replace the hood, sweeps and fan of this tile-hung tower mill.

Before a fire in 1911 this five floor brick tower was crowned with a Kentish hood, a fantail and patent sweeps.

The intention is that the sweeps and hood should look like the original, using modern materials, but that neither should rotate. The building will ideally be used as an observatory.

  Mark Cross Windmill circa. 1900

Sussex Mills Group

Posted 30-Jan-05: PARK MILL, BATEMANS
Volunteer miller Alan Wilmshurst has good news to report at last.
[See previous news item posted on 31st May 2004]
[See update posted on 9th June 2005]

The National Trust has now approved all the works needed. The volunteers have been told that the restoration will be completed by April 1st. (Let's hope that date is not significant !)

[Update 24/4/05 - The work is due commence on May 2nd]

The mill is having a new waterwheel, new pentrough, sluice gates and a brake. (Alan doesn't yet know how they are fitting a brake, but Health & Safety have insisted on one.) Also the tun is to be repaired and the millstones dressed.

Alan has asked to be notified when the work actually starts on site, but has not yet been told.

The volunteers will have to re-commission the mill when it is handed over, but if all goes according to plan they hope to start milling again soon after April 1st.

Click here for details of the Park Mill, Batemans and a photograph of the old waterwheel and pentrough.

Sussex Mills Group

Posted 27-Jan-05: WINDMILL HILL WINDMILL
The Eastbourne Today web site reports that the wrappings have finally come off this historic windmill.

When the mill is up and running, she will be moved into the wind to keep the sweeps turning. Bee Frost from the Windmill Hill Trust says "It has solar panels on the roof and a wind generator which will power batteries to keep the mill turning. This is a prototype device that has never been used before."

Click here for the full story.

Sussex Mills Group

Posted 19-Jan-05: SPAB PLAQUE FOR STONE CROSS WINDMILL
The Mills Section of SPAB has presented a prestigious SPAB plaque to Stone Cross Windmill Trust in recognition of their sterling work to bring her back to working order.

The presentation was made by Mildred Cookson to John Hone, the Trust's Chairman.

Click here for the story.

Sussex Mills Group

Posted 17-Jan-05: 3D WINDMILL MODELS
Tony Pick is creating a series of 3D computer models of Sussex Windmills as add-on software, designed to work with versions of the Microsoft® Flight Simulator 2002 and 2004.          Click here for further details.

Sussex Mills Group

Posted 5-Dec-04: MEDMERRY WINDMILL
John Bunn, the owner of Medmerry Windmill in Selsey advises that he is on the verge of creating 'Friends of Medmerry Mill'.

Pledges have been received for materials to rebuild the interior levels.

The mill sustained very serious damage in 1987 and although the sweeps have been renovated, the whole structure is in need of work.

Sussex Mills Group are advising Mr Bunn on fund raising, grant sources and the formation of 'friends'.

Sussex Mills Group

Posted 22-Nov-04: OLDLAND WINDMILL
The Friends of Oldland Mill, Keymer have been awarded a major restoration grant by DEFRA.

The grant for just over £62,000 will enable the sweeps to be rebuilt and critical weatherproofing of the mill, including replacing the skirt around the mill body, to be completed. In addition, the two pairs of millstones will be redressed and reset within the body of the mill, the brake and tail wheels rebuilt and refitted to the windshaft, and the roundhouse floor to be resurfaced.

Click here for further details.

Sussex Mills Group

BOOKS ON WINDMILLS
Windmills At Work In East Sussex compiled by Brigid Chapman from the research material of Maurice Lawson Finch.
The companion volume, featuring Windmills in West Sussex, has also been published.

Sussex Mills Group

Posted 23-Oct-04: 2005 MILL CALENDAR

The "Old Mill" 2005 calendar, published by Willow Creek Press in association with The Society for the Preservation of Old Mills featured both Jill Windmill and Polegate Windmill

Sussex Mills Group

Posted 10-Oct-04: SHIPLEY WINDMILL
One of the smoothest operations I have seen took place recently when two of Shipley's 34ft sweeps were replaced, together with a new 42 ft stock.
Click here for report and photograph

Sussex Mills Group

Posted 17-Sep-04: WINDMILL HILL WINDMILL
In early September 2004 the restored buck of Windmill Hill Windmill, Herstmonceux was lifted back onto the post.
Click here for report and photographs

Sussex Mills Group

Posted 31-May-04: PARK MILL, BATEMANS
Volunteer miller Alan Wilmshurst advises that Park Mill is at present unable to grind.
 "I'm afraid I have rather bad news. We have now had the mill inspected, and have been stopped from milling on Health & Safety grounds.
Apparently the water wheel needs replacing, and they have also condemned the pentrough and associated sluice-gates as unsafe and a hazard. Also because of recent H&S rules the work will entail erecting scaffolding, and the total cost will be quite huge.
As a result, the National Trust have now asked for detailed estimates, and are going to investigate means of funding. They now envisage doing the work during the next winter, provided the funding is agreed. So milling is out for this year, I'm afraid. We, of course, are gutted, but in the face of officialdom what can one do?
The mill is still open for visitors, but we will be unable to mill, just spend our time explaining to disappointed visitors why they can't see it working or buy flour. "
Previous report on 13-Apr-04  "The waterwheel started wobbling last week because some wedges fell out, but when we had inspected it we were told that the clasp-arms were unsafe and we should not grind until they had been repaired. We are awaiting a report and estimate. Following current Health & Safety regulations, the National Trust insist that work of this nature is done professionally".
"It is most frustrating, especially after we were down so long recently while the pond was being repaired."
[See update posted on 30th January 2005]

Sussex Mills Group

Posted 20-Mar-04: WINDMILL HILL WINDMILL
The largest single windmill project in the last 150 years . . .
Click here

Sussex Mills Group

Posted 29-Feb-04: WINDMILL HILL WINDMILL
An 18 page report has been prepared by IJP Building Conservation Ltd on how to balance structural integrity, stability and safety with the need to conserve historic fabric and detail.

The first conclusion to be reached from a 3D solid CAD model of the mill was just how vulnerable a post mill can be to the failure of a single "critical" component which can lead to instant destruction of the whole mill.

There are typically eight critical components whose failure could lead to disproportionate collapse (the two cross trees, the four quarter bars, the main post and the crown tree).

Further conclusions relate to just how far the technology was being pushed at the original time of construction and that several timbers were found to be operating beyond their allowable stress levels.

Sussex Mills Group

Posted 23-Nov-03: ARGOS HILL WINDMILL
Argos Hill Windmill Society have been banned from working on the mill themselves due to her dangerous state ...
An impending planning application for a neighbouring property is also threatening the mill's outlook ...  

Exasperated windmill enthusiasts in Mayfield fear they could lose part of their skyline ...
The windmill is currently on the English Heritage list of buildings at risk of total dilapidation ...  
Update 2014 :
Argos Hill Windmill Trust is delighted to announce that they have been awarded a grant of £100,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund

Please click here for news on Argos Hill Windmill

 



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West Chiltington




Patcham




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High Salvington




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West Blatchington




Battle




Medmerry




Rottingdean




Hogg Hill




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West Chiltington




Patcham




Chailey




High Salvington




Nutley




Polegate




Punnett's Town




Argos Hill




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