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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This Sunday, Heage Windmill will again be visited by a large collection of vintage Tractors.
These machines displaced the horse as the motive power for farms and similar activities and now they are themselves being regarded as ‘collectables’. They will stand displayed adjacent to our 222-year-old wind machine!
Tractors will include 60-year-old Fordsons and Massey Fergusons. John Allsop, who organises the Tractor group, said: ‘We are always happy to come to the windmill’.
The tractors will be supported by some stalls, including a burger van and, if the weather permits, our now quite famous bric-a-brac stall, where one person’s junk becomes someone else’s treasure!
The tractors will arrive from about 10-30 am and will be with us until around 3-30. The mill will, of course, be open for guided tours.
All funds raised will go to the upkeep of the Mill.
Sunday 2nd December dawned cloudy and a bit damp, but mostly dry and mild. This was important because Santa Claus was coming to Heage Windmill and duly arrived at 11.00 am on a motorised sledge, (kindly loaned by Amber Valley Rotary Club) to be greeted by a crowd of happy and excited youngsters.
Helped by the mill’s head Elf (Lynn Allen), Santa soon made himself comfortable in his grotto on the ground floor of the windmill.
The excited children were able to see Santa in turn (as result of a numbered ticket scheme which worked very well) and during his visit he saw over 130 children, each of whom received a specially
wrapped present from Santa. As he rested afterwards he said ‘They were the best set of children I have seen this year!’
During the day over 500 visitors came to the mill and enjoyed the entertainments and refreshments available in the nearby marquee, and in the mill undercroft.
To pass the time waiting to see Santa, there were various games to play, raffles and food, including a very popular hot food van providing a range of food to suit all tastes.
They were also entertained by members of the Notts and Derby Rock Choir , suitably bedecked in Santa hats, who sang many seasonal songs.
The leaves are falling, the nights are drawing in and there are cobwebs visible almost every morning… it’s cobweb time again at Heage Windmill, signalling the time when we close for the rest of season and give our hard-working volunteers a chance to have a rest – until next Easter at least!
It has become traditional at Heage Windmill to make a large cobweb (out of elastic), the size of which is determined by the number of ‘spinners’ who come along and help produce ‘the web of the year’ – under the guidance of our master spinner Lynn Allen.
This year we start spinning at 12 noon on Sunday 28th October and invite anyone who would like to try their hand to come and join us make the biggest web ever!
The mill will then be closed from 4-00 pm for our normal weekend opening until next Easter.
However, as part of the Derwent Valley Discovery Days we have arranged a special opening on Wednesday, October 31st when we will be open for tours from 10-0 am until 3-00 pm.
Tractor Day at Heage on Sunday 23rd September started on a grey, cool and damp morning but the sun eventually came out as we welcomed a stream of tractors and their ephemera.
The poor start to the day did not deter some 35 assorted makes to find their way to Heage Windmill and many people came along to admire and pore over them.
It was amazing to see how the owners had managed to get 70 year old machines, which had worked hard all their lives, back to such superb condition.
Of particular interest was a green Fordson Standard, dating back to 1943 which, unusually, towed a ‘living van’ in which the driver had spent his ‘spare’ time when the tractor was not actually working!
John Allsop, who coordinates the tractor group, came on his 1947 Fordson Major whilst his daughter Libby was alongside on her 1952 Fordson Major.
John said ‘Tractors run in my family’s blood and we just love coming to this wonderful site at the windmill’.
The winner of the best tractor of the day was judged to be an International Farm All F12 dating back to 1936 and owned by David Land, who received a certificate and a small trophy.
The bric a brac, tombola and burger stalls did great trade and there were many who took a tour round the 220-year-old windmill which still stone grinds the popular grades of flour, simply powered by the wind.
All profits from the day will go to Mill funds so thank you to all who supported the event.
Heage Windmill is open every Saturday and Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday from April to the end of October, 11am to 4pm. For Admission Prices, Details of Group and School Visits and Where to Find us, click here >
Please note the wind speed. If it is more than 5 or 6 mph, then normally the sails will be turning.
Heage Windmill is owned by Derbyshire CC but is controlled and operated by Heage Windmill Society, a charitable organisation (Reg Charity No 1065980), to whom all profits from running the windmill are donated by the Friends to help ensure its continued preservation