Mill news and topical information
- Archive page 16
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
"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.
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.
Now identified as one of the two post mills that once stood at
Forncett End in Norfolk.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
were taken in May 2004.
Searching on the TrekEarch site for
turns up a number of other good images, thankfully dominated by traditional windmills, not as so often happens by wind engines
or wind turbines.
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.
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".
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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