New Flour Miller Approved

Congratulations to John Lea of Crich who has become our latest qualified miller.

Congratulations to John Lea from Crich who has become our latest qualified flour miller. To qualify, John had to meet all the criteria set by the Trustees of Heage Windmill to operate the mill and produce meal and flour of various grades.  After working alongside other experienced millers, under various weather conditions, he was judged ready to be assessed by operating  the mill solo, though under the watchful eyes of a qualified miller. He has passed this test with flying colours and has been awarded a ‘Flour Miller  Certificate ‘.

The operation of Heage Windmill is only permitted by those persons who have undergone our detailed training programme, either to run the mill out of gear (free wheeling) or, when in gear, to produce flour. The windmill is Grade 2* listed and every care is taken to ensure the millers are fully trained before they can operate the 200 year old ‘machine’ in order to ensure she is safe at all times.

Why don’t you come and see if being a miller appeals to you?  We have both male and female millers. Come up to the mill at the weekend and talk to one of our millers, who will gladly show you what it’s all about. You need to be reasonably fit and to be able to climb the mill steps numerous times during the day, but all the rest we can teach you!  We look forward to meeting you!

Scarecrow Winners

A stunning and very scary Plague Doctor won first place at the August Bank Holiday Scarecrow weekend.


Plague Doctor, the work of Holly Wheat, was a clear favourite amongst the visitors to Heage Windmill.

Voted into second place was Andy Pandy by Lynn Allen with Jamie Povey’s Help for Heroes coming in third.



Although the turn out scarecrows was down on last year, the mill enjoyed one of its busiest weekends of the season.

Shore Families get together

Descendants of the Shore family may now be able to access information on their ancestors via the internet.

The brothers Isaac and Joseph Shore bought Heage windmill in 1850 and they, and their descendents, worked there as millers until the mill ceased to operate in 1919. From time to time their many descendents have contacted  the mill to try to

Joseph Smith Shore in 1905

trace their ancestors.  Up till now, this has always been handled on an ad-hoc basis . Just recently, however, use has been made of an email link – the ‘Shore’s Group’ , so far involving some eight different branches of the family.  As a result of the ‘Group’ we now have a much more complete Shore family tree.

However, if there are more Shores out there, do please contact us at We can introduce you to the ‘Group’ and you might just find the information you have been seeking!

Flour Power

The windmill has been featured in the first ever issue of Taste The Seasons, Derbyshire’s Food & Drink Magazine.  Under the title Flour Power, Andy Darlington pays a visit on Pat and Dave Hunter – ‘two of a 25-strong group of volunteers who keep the old girl looking her best and producing high quality flour.’

‘These volunteers have worked wonders,’ declares Andy.

To read the full article online, click here

Taste The Seasons Summer 2012 is free and widely available.  As well as the feature on the mill, you can read about how cheese making has returned to Derbyshire.


Flour Grades rebranded

Following our joining the Corn Millers Guild (TCMG) we have taken the opportunity of re-branding the grades of flour and bran we supply. These are now :-

Wholemeal  becomes Strong Wholemeal Flour

White Flour becomes Strong White Flour            

Middlings   becomes Strong Middlings Flour

Coarse Brown becomes Fine Bran

Bran becomes Coarse Bran    

The products remain the same – just name changes!                  


Heage Windmill features in The Guardian

Under the headline ‘How setting up a trust can help community restorations,’ Guardian journalist Jo Adentuji has written about the daunting task of restoring community buildings and uses Heage Windmill as a great example of how a combination of funding models, volunteers and expertise enabled the mill to be restored to working order.

In the Guardian article, published on May 25, Heage Windmill Secretary Alan Gifford points out how the local community was integral to the success of the project, and that a sense of community added to the mill volunteers’ grant propositions.

To read the article in full, click here

Opening of a New Season

The mill officially opened for the 2012 season on Saturday, April 7th. See all the photos…

Heage Windmill was opened for its 11th season by Mr Alan Gifford, Trustee, Volunteer and Visit Peak Excel Volunteer of the Year 2011.

Alan was driven  to the windmill in an open-topped, 1926 vintage, 3.5litre  Bentley and was welcomed by the Belper Town Crier and a retired Royal Marines Bugler, as well as fellow Trustees, Friends and other Volunteers, members of Midlands Mills Group, members of the Shore family and many other visitors to Heage Windmill.

Alan was first asked to unfurl the Derbyshire flag to open the site and then to cut a ribbon to open the mill doors for the season. Alan spoke of the journey that both he and the windmill had travelled during his 30 years of involvement, including the immense despairs and great triumphs that occurred during the restoration.

He was then presented with a specially made book recording his involvement working for Heage, and other mills, over the last 35 years.

The Chairman, Piers Bostock, spoke of Alan’s constant presence over the years and likened him to a post mill, as it is “the post round which the whole mill revolves”.

Alan then led the planting of a Hornbeam tree, from which it is hoped, eventually,  cogs which fit into the mill’s stone nut, will be made. Many volunteers assisted with the planting.


Alan was accompanied by his wife, Judith, his son Ian and daughter Anita and grandson Elliott Staley. Judith was presented with flowers from the Friends and Alan also presented flowers to two long standing volunteers, Margaret Bonsall and and Margaret Tomkins, who are recovering from illness,. Both were warmly greeted by all the Friends.

The Shore family, several descendants of whom were present today, had been owners, and millers,  at Heage Windmill between 1850 and 1919.


Sun shines on Vintage Tractors

The visit of vintage tractors on May 6 was highly successful and for once this year the sun (mostly) shone on us . We were able to use an additional adjacent piece of  land  for the first time, too, giving us additional space to  better display more than 20 different machines , some over 40 years old. They ranged in condition from gleaming restored tractors to some which were just starting their restoration life. The pleasant weather certainly brought out the visitors, with over 100 people touring the mill whilst another 260 visited the event and enjoyed the carnival-like atmosphere.



Morris Minor Meet

Sunday, April 22nd, Heage Windmill was a ‘Mecca’ for Morris 1000 enthusiasts as we welcomed the Mansfield and District Morris 1000 club.

The lovely little Morris 1000 was a first car for many in the 60s and in subsequent years, so the event was a great chance to become re-acquainted with them.


The Mansfield club, like all other Morris Minor clubs, was formed to promote the preservation and use of the postwar Morris Minor, 1.6 million of which were built between 1948 and 1971.  It was designed by Sir Alec Issigonis (creator of the Mini) and built by William Morris (Lord Nuffield) and later by the British Motor Corporation and then British Leyland. Its innovative design, simplicity, durability and style have created fame and familiarity known the world over.

The club exists to unite these people who have a fondness for these loveable jellymoulds, and those people who still use them as everyday transport.

Photos from the event will appear here soon…