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Oldland Windmill - news from Roger Broadbent

Oldland Windmill - news from Roger Broadbent

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20 Apr 2018

 

OLDLAND WINDMILL

 

138  years before the Hassocks station opened in 184l, a quarter of a mile North West of Lodge Hill, Oldland Windmill started grinding flour. In 1703 Ditchling was one of the larger villages in the area and the opening of a new mill must have been an exciting occasion 

 

It is astonishing that the huge post of oak (calculated to weigh between 7 and 8 tonnes)on which the structure of the mill building is balanced and revolves (which itself is estimated to weigh around 20 tonnes) was raised using simply block and tackle and timber spars. 

 

Built nearly 100 years before Jill it is the oldest working post mill in Sussex. The mill stopped grinding flour in around 1912. In spite of a fund raising effort by Frank Brangwynin 1951 the mill was left to decay until fund raising and restoration work started around 1980 with band of volunteers who came together and rescued it from collapse (visit :- http://www.oldlandwindmill.co.uk/newsite/ )

 

It is pleasing to know that my aunts, Joanna and Hillary Bourne, who founded Ditchlingmuseum, were among the first to raise funds for the restoration work. The record shows they raised £1700 in 1980

 

This beautiful old mill has taken some 35 years to restore and today it is again grinding bread making flour which can be purchased at Ditchling museum. Since the restoration was completed in 2015  the mill has successfully produced over a tonne per year.

 

Our continuous programme of maintenance of the mill requires, that this year, two of the sweeps (sails) be removed and renovated. This includes restoring woodwork and  painting. For the latter we need volunteers. Anyone who can wield a brush and give time for this essential work will be made most welcome. If you can help please contact j.pryse@btinternet.com or tel 01444 871734Thursday morning the volunteers are usually working at the mill and welcome visitors. If you want to see the inside workings of the mill, Thursday morning  is  the time to come.

 

This year our open and special event days are as follows :

1st April               Open Afternoon

6th May                Special Event Day : Music & Morris

13th May              National Mills Weekend

3rd June               Open Afternoon

1st July                 Special Event Day : Wind & Steam

5th August           Open Afternoon

2nd September     Special Event Day : Milling Day

7th October         Open Afternoon

 

Roger Broadbent   24th March 2018

 

The photos are from 1887, 1980 and 2007. 

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