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Mill news and topical information - Archive page 16


windmills Work in progress on Sussex windmills

There a good number of photos added recently to the Rough Wood Mill Album, showing work in progress on a number of Sussex mills. These include Polegate Windmill, and Halnaker Windmill, both of which are currently surrounded by scaffolding to allow repairs to be made.

Other mills added to the site recently are Patcham windmill.
Mills: [Polegate] [Boxgrove] [Patcham]
Item: #399, Posted: 8/11/04.

windmills New sails for Shipley Mill

Jim Woodwood-Nutt, miller at Shipley Windmill, has written about the replacement of two sails on Sept 22nd at the mill with the help of a crane.

The operation supervised by millwright Neil Metcalf went quite smoothly - and the crane was done with many hours ahead of schedule. There is also information about the sails on the Shipley windmill news page.
Mills: [Shipley]
Item: #398, Posted: 8/11/04.

mills Leaden tokens and tallies

Ted Fletcher is writing a book about leaden tokens and tallies, and noting that a number have designs that look like millstones and windmill sails, he has been seeking more knowledge via the Sussex Mills Group site.

The response on the site includes extracts of a number of articles from the SPAB mills section that dealt with the issue in 1994 and 1995. There is also related information on my currency page.
Item: #397, Posted: 8/11/04.

windmills Danzey Green windmill in need of new sails

Danzey Green windmill at the Avoncroft Museum of Historic Buildings near Bromsgrove is in need of quite urgent repairs to its sails. The sails have lasted for 35 years, since the mill was rebuilt on the museum site in 1969, but will be removed by Chase Norton Construction Ltd next week to allow maintenance work to begin. Fund raising events are needed to pay for the work.

Update:[11/11/04]The sail removal went ahead as planned this Tuesday. The museum is hoping that by next Spring, the sails will be turning again.
Mills: [Bromsgrove]
Item: #396, Posted: 4/11/04.

windmills Painted magic lantern slides by H M J Underhill

Henry Michael John Underhill (1855-1920), an Oxford antiquarian and magic lantern slide painter, had interests which included entomology and microscopy, the anthropology of folk-tales and British archaeology.

After his death, his papers and slides were donated to various parts of Oxford University. The painted slides of windmills that he produced to accompany his 1907 lecture on windmills were amongst the bits of the collection that ended up at the the Institute of Archaeology.

Underhill also did a photographic survey of Oxfordshire and Berkshire windmills and those slides are not available online. This and other Underhill windmill material is variously to be found in the Oxford Bodleian Library, the Oxford Museum of the History of Science, and the Oxford University Department of the History of Art.
Item: #395, Posted: 3/11/04.

windmills A top ten list of English windmills

In the Sunday Times of 10th October 2004, Jeremy Clarkson wrote an article entitled "Call that a list of best films?" discussing a recent magazine list of the top ten best British films - which to say the least disagreed with Jeremy's own top ten. Starting with his premise that "Of course I know these surveys are supposed to prompt debate down at the pub. I know that listing the top 10 coolest windmills and the top 10 zaniest animals are all meant to be the start of an argument, not the end", the article then goes on to list Jeremy's top 4 British films - with the remaining 6 left as an exercise for the reader - down the pub of course!

Rising to Jeremy's challenge, I've put together my own list of the top ten English windmills... likewise designed to prompt dicussion, and not to be a definitive list.
Item: #394, Posted: 2/11/04.

windmills Unidentified post mill

I've been sent this picture of an unidentifed post mill in the hope that someone can identify it. There's a possibility that it may be a Norfolk location. Click the image to see it slightly larger.

Update:[3/11/04] Now identified as one of the two post mills that once stood at Forncett End in Norfolk.
Item: #393, Posted: 2/11/04.

windmills Round up of the history of DeZwann windmill, Michigan

The 243 year old DeZwann windmill was shipped from the Netherlands to arrive 40 years ago in Holland, Michigan, where it was reassembled over a period of 6 months as the main feature of Windmill Island.

The mill was purchased for $2800, and travelled by ship from the Netherlands to Muskegon, where on Oct 6 1964 it was transferred to a fleet of trucks. $450,000 was then spent reassembling it.
Item: #392, Posted: 2/11/04.

windmills Halloween windmill connection in Detroit

A roundup of Detroit myths and legends to celebrate Halloween this week, contains the following story:

The Devil's Grist Mill: More than 200 years ago, a brother and sister built a mill on Lake St. Clair at Grosse Pointe's Windmill Pointe. When the sister fell ill, her brother nursed her back to health. Rather than show gratitude, she suspected his motives. She vowed to "leave half of the mill to the devil" before she'd let him have it. When she died suddenly months later, lightning hit the mill splitting it in half. A horned creature was seen dancing in the ruins and one of the grist stones disappeared. Today, the Grosse Pointe War Memorial Gardens contains the remaining grist stone.

The story is illustrated with a picture of the millstone.
Item: #391, Posted: 2/11/04.

windmills Golden, Illinois has grant to repair broken tailpole

The tailpole of Golden windmill, Illinois, recently snapped, despite being just a few few years old. The report is confused as to whether it was due to "rot" or "dry rot" (one is physical deteriation, the other is a fungus), but the upshot is that with the aid of a $5000 grant from the Landmarks Preservation Council of Illinois, and $1700 from SPOOM the tailpole will be replaced with a metal one, and associated damage to the cap repaired.
Item: #390, Posted: 2/11/04.

watermills Alan Shearer's mill home

The Daily Mail on 30th Oct 2004 ran an article entitled "Footballers' Home Goals" which passed comment on various properties owned by football stars, awarding each a "naff rating" out of 5.

Alan Shearer's 18th century converted mill in Northumberland was one of the featured properties, which was actually rather liked, and awared a zero out of 5 for naffness. The property was also mentioned in a year 2000 interview as being on Newcastle's northern outskirts.
Item: #389, Posted: 31/10/04.

windmills Poster for Dave Matthews Band concert in Golden Gate Park

The Dave Matthews Band held a concert in Golden Gate Park on 12th Sept 2004. The event poster by San Francisco artist Chris Peterson featured the Dutch Windmill.


Item: #388, Posted: 31/10/04.

watermills Watermill photos by Ron Corso

The National Performance of Dams Program (NPDP) is an effort run from Stanford University, which aims to be the leading technical resource for information on the performance of dams, supporting dam safety, engineering, and public policy.

One of their supporters, Ron Corso (a former director of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission' Division of Dam Safety and Inspections) has recently contributed a large number of photos of watermills he took over the course of his professional travels. These mostly show mills in the USA, but there are a few from other countries, including Iraq. More photos are promissed, once they have been scanned.
Item: #387, Posted: 30/10/04.

windmills Alan Titchmarsh visits Thurne Dyke

The episode of Alan Titchmarsh's British Isles: A Natural History on 27th Oct 2004 included a visit to the Thurne Dyke drainage mill on the Norfolk Broads. The program entitled "Taming the Wild" looked at how man had affected natural landscapes, where draining the fens was certainly a big change.
Mills: [Thurne Dyke]
Item: #386, Posted: 29/10/04.

windmills More photos of Brill windmill

With the single line of description being just "Near my father's house there is a windmill", this blog entry from FrizzyLogic is hardly packed with information, but it does have 4 apparently recent images of Brill windmill.

The images are also nominally available at flickr, but this once useful site seems to have taken a big step backwards - suddenly the images are all presented as "Macromedia Flash" movies, whereas they used be plain HTML images. I can't see any advantage to this, just many disadvantages. To restore the old behaviour, you need to disable JavaScript in your browser before visiting the site.
Mills: [Brill]
Item: #385, Posted: 29/10/04.

mills Mills Archive passes 10,000 archive items

The Mills Archive continues to expand, and the website now gives online access to over 10,000 archive items. Recent additions to the online content include Suffolk windmills from the Peter Dolman Collection and Surrey watermills from the Derek Stidder Collection.

Expect more developments from the Archive in the coming weeks, and SPAB members should check their Mill News magazine for a very interesting fundraising initiative.
Item: #384, Posted: 6/10/04.

windmills Photo of Heckington

This recent photo of Heckington windmill is nicely composed, and marries the black tower and white sails with an almost perfect blue sky - with just a whisp of cloud which seems to keep floating in and out of the photo.
Mills: [Heckington]
Item: #383, Posted: 6/10/04.

windmills Maps of Historic Cities

Historic Cities is a joint project of the Historic Cities Center of the Department of Geography, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Jewish National and University Library. Its website has a good number of scanned historic maps of mostly European cities, together with selected links to other similar maps and information on historic cities. The UK maps dont show windmills, but I checked a good selection of likely continental European cities (such as Antwerp, Brugge, Amsterdam) and all show a good number of windmills.
Item: #382, Posted: 2/10/04.

windmills £2M project launched to restore Brixton windmill

The Friends of Brixton Windmill have assembled a board of experts with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Horniman Museum in Forest Hill and SPAB, with the aim of restoring the windmill and building a heritage centre.

The Friends website has not been updated all that recently, but they do have quite a good section on the history of the mill.
Mills: [Brixton]
Item: #381, Posted: 2/10/04.

windmills Three industrial windmills Zaanse Schans

This recent photo of Zaanse Schans shows the row of 3 windmills on the river bank - De "Gekroonde Poelenburg" (a paltrok mill for sawing wood), "De Kat" for paint production, and "De Zoeker" which extracts oil from nuts. This photo, and another one concentrating on De Kat were taken in May 2004.

Searching on the TrekEarch site for windmill and windmills turns up a number of other good images, thankfully dominated by traditional windmills, not as so often happens by wind engines or wind turbines.
Item: #380, Posted: 30/9/04.

misc Fire - a past and current enemy

Historically many a windmill or watermill was destroyed by fire. Their wooden construction and the presence of potentially explosive dust from the milling operations was a major contributer, and the possibility of sparks if the grain ran out and the millstones touched added to the internal hazards. In addition, by their nature, windmills stood tall, in prominent locations, so lightning strikes were a possibility.

The Sept/Oct 2004 issue of Renewable Energy World brings the story right up to date with an article called "Wind and fire: Reducing the risk of fire damage in wind turbines". Once again the major problems are lightning strikes, coupled with the potential sparking or overheating that may occur finding a ready fuel in the necessary oil that lubricates the systems. It does point out that fire damage to wind turbines is comparatively rare, but given the height of the towers and presence of whiring blades once fire takes hold there is little chance of fighting it, often leading to total destruction of the turbine. Fire damage is reported to account for between 9% and 20% of wind power insurance claims.
Item: #379, Posted: 30/9/04.

windmills Animated windmill theme for Pocket PC

Whilst I don't have an appropriate PDA to run this on, this animated windmill theme for Pocket PCs caught my eye (though quite why you would want a power draining animation running your battery down all the time is beyond me).

The image looks to be of a Caribbean windmill - note the waving palm trees in the foreground, and the telltale porch out the back to cover the sugar roller mill (the wind direction is pretty predictable in those parts!). However, the only workable mill I know of in the Caribbean is Morgan Lewis, Barbados, but its too open a view to be that - perhaps it's just a computer generated animation, rather than film of any one particular mill, but it does claim to be in the "reality series".

Update:[1/10/04] I've been directed at another working wind powered Caribbean sugar mill, that of Bezard Windmill, Capesterre, on the island of Marie-Galante in Guadeloupe. The island which is about 10 miles in diameter once had 600 windmills, of which 73 remain, including the one restored working example. That would appear to be the one featured in the animation. There is more information in French on the mills of the island.
Item: #378, Posted: 30/9/04.

windmills Shirley windmill repairs to be funded by Croydon council

Croydon council have agreed to fund the repair of Shirley windmill which they own. The repairs needed include repainting, possible damp proofing and other work to improve the condition of the outer walls. In order to avoid delays due to bad weather which can add to the costs, the repairs are scheduled for next Spring.

This year was the windmill's 150th anniversary.
Mills: [Shirley]
Item: #377, Posted: 30/9/04.

energy SpaceShipOne passing wind turbines

The announcement today of Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic which has signed up for the rights to produce passenger carrying space planes in the next few years caught my eye. The site included a small photo of SpaceShipOne with some wind turbines in the background.

With a little searching, I found the original full sized image on the Scaled Composites website:

Update:[2/10/04] Actually these pictures seem to be part of a press kit that Scaled Composites released in 2003. The photos are thus available from a number of other sites, in a cleaner image form or slightly larger. The same image I noted was discussed in November 2003.

A photographer covering SpaceShipOne's first trip into space on June 21 2004 also took some test shots of the Mojave wind turbines, as did this one. The turbines also show up on the Mojave Airport coverage of the June launch.

The Virgin Galactic site has been updated, and no longer shows the image that gave rise to this note in the first place, so I've linked it in directly.
Item: #376, Posted: 27/9/04.

mills Molen Magazine databases of Belgium and French mills

I have linked to Molen Magazine before, but since it's all written in Dutch or Flemish its most frustrating seeing the information there, but not being able to understand it, so I've not revisited for a while. (There are occasional English "translations" provided for small sections, but these are obviously machine generated, and generally as impenetrable as the original language).

On a recent visit however, I notice that they have newly added "databases" of mills in Belgium and France. These databases are rather strange in that they are provided as numerous pages via a photo hosting service, which unfortunately means there is no apparent way to search the "database", but browsing brings with it its own pleasures. There are separate pages for post mills, complete tower mills, ruined or converted windmills, and watermills, within each of the regions covered.

Also of interest for browsing on the site are the Old postcards pages.
Item: #375, Posted: 27/9/04.
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