Santa Day

The dawning of December’s first day was chilly but welcomely dry and bright for the arrival of Santa Claus.

As he walked to his grotto in the mill, he told one small child how happy he was to see that all six sails were in place again!

He soon made himself comfortable in his grotto and during his visit saw over 140 children, each of whom received a specially wrapped present. The youngest one to see him was just 4 weeks old! Must be a record of some sort?

During the day at least 500 visitors came to the mill and enjoyed the entertainments and refreshments available in the nearby marquee and on site whilst they waited their turn for to meet the great man.

To pass the time while waiting to see Santa there were various things to do on site e.g. tombola, raffles, the bric-a-brac stall, and others. There was also the very popular hot food van plus a doughnut stall.

Angela Ward, Chair of the Friends of the Windmill said: ‘It’s been a great day, with every one of our volunteers working hard to make it a success.  All the profits will go to keeping the windmill working.’ Angela added that ‘it was a really festive occasion and so many people enjoyed themselves’.


Cobweb Day

Heage Windmill has now been put to bed following the ceremonial cobweb spinning.

A large cobweb is slowly spun in the apron in front of the mill, its size being determined entirely by the number of people, both grown-ups and youngsters, who take part in the spinning operation.

Under the guidance and tuition of our ‘head spider’ Lynn Allen, the cobweb – made from stretchy elastic – slowly emerges and then is gently laid close to the mill to ‘put her to sleep’ for the winter.

After appalling weather on the previous day ‘Cobweb day’ dawned fine and sunny and just over 50 people, of all ages, took part in weaving the web this year.

A web some 30 feet in diameter (one of our largest) slowly emerged, watched over by numerous onlookers on the mill apron. When completed,  the web was carried and gently laid on the nearby grass, where it gleamed in the sunshine.

Some people had been at previous web making events and we were pleased to welcome members from the ‘Coffee N Cars’ group of American car owners who visited the mill earlier in the season.  Hot drinks were popular and there were a large number who then enjoyed guided tours of the windmill.

Heage Windmill will reopen on the first weekend of April 2020 and our 222 year ‘Old Lady’ can now enjoy some peace and quiet.

However, the mill will open throughout the winter months on the second Saturday of each month for the sale of flour only (no  tours) from 10 am  to 1-00 pm and of course, Santa is coming on Sunday December 1st and will be with us from 11 am until 3-00 pm.  More information on this nearer the time.

Classic Bikes ‘a memorable day’

Well over 200 classic motor bikes came to Heage Windmill in what was their second visit of 2019.  The weather was exceptionally kind with lots of bright sunshine and the crowds flocked in to enjoy both the bikes and the mill.

The bikes were of all types, ranging from tourers to out-and-out racers, and included many well known makes such as BSA, Honda, Royal Enfield, Triumph and Kawasaki.

By the time the mill opened at 11-00 am there were already dozens of bikes lined up with their proud owners standing close by to answer any questions posed by the visitors.

The Best Bike of the Day was judged to be a Kawasaki Z1B 1975 900cc. The proud riders of this bike – Maureen and Neil Warburton from Draycott – were presented with the Dave Cleaver Memorial Trophy plus the certificate for the Best Bike of the Day by Colin Clemens, who organises the bikes coming to the mill. The owner of the bike is Maureen Warburton.

Photo of the winner courtesy of Lynn Allen and other photos by Anthony Sharp.

The ever-popular Bric-a-Brac stall was on site and received a lot of attention.  All in all it was a memorable day.


Tractor Day Great Success

On the first day of September, a beautiful dry day brought a host of tractors and a stream of visitors to see them.

While several tractors were completely restored, some were in their original state.  On display was a wide variety of makers, plus a gleaming steam engine and an assortment of stationary engines, all in steam.  A great favourite for the children was a working scale model steam engine with a trailer behind.



The winner of the Tractor Day certificate for the Best Tractor of the Day was Dave Watson with his Fordson Super Major (see below).  Also pictured are John Allsopp on the left presenting the certificate with a trophy being presented by Joe Hancock (in the middle).

The little boys enjoying the day are Thomas (left)  and Reuben on a Grey Fergie – tractor drivers of the future, perhaps.

All photographs are by Anthony Sharp.


The driver of the Pink Fordson Dextra is Mandy Phillips, whose tractor is sited next to the winning one.

There was enough wind to turn the sails of the 222-year-old windmill and a large number of people enjoyed guided tours and learned how her machinery produced flour. Event organiser Lynn Allen said ‘It’s been a great day and thank you to the exhibitors for coming and supporting the Mill – we are always glad to welcome them to Heage.’

There was a hot food van on site plus the ever popular Bric-Brac stall. All profits from the day will go to the upkeep and maintenance of the windmill.

Italian Cars Visit

In spite of other attractions last Sunday, like a certain Cricket World Cup Final, visitors thronged to see a collection of varied Italian cars on display at Heage Windmill.

Red 1970 Fiat 500, owned by Mr & Mrs Byrne from Derby, namerd Best Italian Car. The award was presented by Attila Corsoba (left) from Coffee N Cars

Some 45 cars on display included Fiats, Alfa Romeos, Abarths, Ferraris, and Lancias.  One car that drew the eye was a rare red 1972  ‘Justino’ made by Ferrari, which had raced at Le Mans.   

A black Abarth 595 Trofeo 1.4 turbo , owned by Rich & Cid from Nuneaton, was named Best Abarth. Attila Corsoba (left) of Coffee N Cars presented the award

Awards were made for the Best in Show along with the Best Abarth model. 

A great day was enjoyed by all and we hope to see the Italian cars again next year. 

Floral, Choral and Car Displays make up a memorable weekend

Heage Windmill’s floral display inside St Luke’s Church

Floral displays, choral singing and a ‘triumphant’ array of cars made the last weekend of June a memorable one at Heage Windmill.

This particular weekend sees the traditional flower festival at neighbouring St Luke’s church which the Friends of the mill continue to support by decorating not only one of the church windows but also the interior of the windmill.

All types of containers were brought into use and there were floral displays all over the windmill. They were much appreciated by our visitors and amongst the comments was: ‘A perfect match of containers and flowers for a windmill – Royal Horticultural Society watch out!’

Saturday also saw the Derventio Choir from Derby give a musical concert, entertaining us with a wide variety of songs, ranging from folk tunes to big show songs.  They were much appreciated by all present.

To round off an excellent weekend we had a visit from the Derwent Valley Triumph Sports Six club which was celebrating  its 25th anniversary.

They brought almost 50 cars of assorted Triumph models over the years, with a range of colours sufficient to match the flowers!

Several awards were made with the club presenting the ‘Best in Show’ trophy to the Triumph Renown (made 1949 to 1954), a ‘big brother’ to the Mayflower  model.  These cars were much enjoyed by all the people on site.

‘Best Bike Day Ever’ say Volunteers

Over 100 classic motor bikes made Heage Windmill their destination on a bright sunshine Sunday.

The crowds flocked in to view and touch these lovely, often gleaming, machines, ranging from tourers to out and out racers, with many well known makes, such as BSA , Honda, Royal Enfield, Triumph and Kowasaki.

The winner of the ‘Bike of the Day’ was judged to be a Kawasaki A1 Samurai 250. The proud owner, John Pridmore (pictured right), was presented with the ‘Dave Cleaver Memorial Trophy’ and a ‘Best Bike’ certificate by Colin Clemens, who organises the bikes coming to the mill.

The fact that it was also National Mills Day brought in other visitors and, to add to the interest, the Nuffield Amateur Radio club set up a mobile transmitter. They were able to make some worldwide contacts but also contacted many other mills in the UK where similar temporary stations were set up, all marking Mills Day.

It was a truly memorable day, judged by long standing members of the Friends of Heage Windmill to be ‘the best ever’.

Our thanks go out to everyone  who helped make the day such a success.


Tractor Man opens Windmill

In recognition of bringing Tractor Days to Heage Windmill, John Allsop was invited to officially open the mill for our 2019 season. 

In what was probably the warmest opening day since the windmill was restored in 2002,  John made his entrance in fitting fashion by driving his Fordson Tractor down the track to the windmill, escorted by two other tractors, driven by local men David Hornsey and John Gould. 

They were welcomed by a large gathering of people , including Alan Eccleston, Chairman of Heage Windmill Society, and Cllr. Angela Ward, Chair of Friends of the Windmill.

Alan welcomed everyone present and thanked in particular the team of volunteers who make the mill such a great attraction.

He introduced John Allsop, who was born and bred in Heage and has had a long standing love of the mill.  It was John who, many years ago, suggested he organised a tractor rally at the mill.  This has blossomed into memorable and well-supported Tractor Days which have greatly helped support the mill.

Angela spoke on behalf of Friends and mentioned the continuing need for more volunteers to help maintain the high standards set at the mill.

Alan then invited John to cut the yellow ribbon.  In doing so doing, he said he sincerely hoped the mill would enjoy a great season and that that weather would be kind throughout. 



Morgan Cars Visit

It was a cool, but a mostly sunny day, with just enough wind to gently turn the windmill sails, when the first organised visit by Morgan Sports Cars club  arrived at  Heage Windmill on Sunday April 14th.

Some 30 cars, in a wide variety of colours and models, were displayed on the apron in front of the working windmill and were much admired by the many visitors to the site.

We learnt that Morgan cars were founded in 1909, and  have since achieved fame throughout the world due to their unique blend of charisma, craftsmanship and performance and it was easy to see why they were so well loved by their enthusiastic owners.

The Morgan Motor Company, based in Malvern, has evolved over 100 years into a true icon, a darling of the automotive industry and a brand synonymous with unrivalled excitement. The cars displayed true British craftsmanship and their owners are justly proud of their vehicles, regardless of their age.