Santa Day Report

Shortly after 9.00am we arrive to find strong winds have blown over the two marquees.




A seemingly hopeless situation, but not so to the volunteers now arriving and within an hour they have achieved the impossible, one serviceable marquee from the original two.




Right on time, 11.00am, Santa is seen coming down the access



After greeting the children and their families he makes his way
into his magical grotto with his two helpers, ready to welcome
the children and give them presents.






Outside it begins to rain but the mill provides umbrellas and
spirits remain merry. Timed tickets are being used and this
keeps queuing to a minimum. The rain soon stops.

Elsewhere there are children’s activities, raffles and stalls, including Mulled Wine.

Children’s Activities Hamper Raffle Mulled Wine – Mince Pies – Soft Drinks




Cards & Preserves  – Bric a Brac – Guess the Bear’s Name – Bran Tub  – Tombolas – Derwent Valley Mills Book & Calendar Sales (Ashley Franklin)

And at the end of a busy but delightful day Santa drew out the A Grand Day Out & Hamper Raffle winning tickets.

Thank you so
much to The Great British Car Journey, The Midland Railway,
Denby Pottery, The White Peak Distillery and Heage Windmill
itself for these generous prizes.

Santa Day 2023


A Great Christmas Event
For All The Family

Sunday 10th December
11.00am to 2.00pm

(Santa arrives at 11.00)

Meet Santa in the grotto inside the windmill

Children’s games & activities
Mulled Wine, Tombolas,
Raffles, Bran Tub, Christmas
Cards and other stalls
Refreshments available

Price: £7 per child including a gift

Tickets & Booking
Tickets can be purchased on the day from the
Visitor Centre at the windmill. Tickets are allocated
a 20 minute time slot. Tickets can be pre-booked
at the windmill between 11am & 1pm on Saturday
9th December to reserve a slot. Telephone &
online booking is not available.


Santa Day Postponed


We hope to reorganise Santa Day for next Sunday 10th December
Details will be announced


Operation Sail Lift

Pink dawn sky frames a large mobile crane resting in front of Heage Windmill, without sails.
Shortly after dawn Operation Sail-lift got underway.

The first of the six newly refurbished sails was lifted from the ground and transported to the mill cap

…where Steve of Beighton’s Construction started the process of clamping it into place.

Every sail in turn was lifted up to the mill and secured with four clamps and a massive bolt.

Each sail weighs about three quarters of a ton.

We were lucky with the weather and wind speed did not cause a problem.

Occasional light rain did not hamper the project at all.

During the day the site was visited by a number of interested people, all of whom were delighted to see the mill returning to her full glory.
The next morning the villagers in Nether Heage were able to enjoy the sight of the mill with her full complement of six sails.

Eventually the crane from Shires Crane Hire of Chesterfield had finished its part of the project and was able to leave, only just in time actually because sunset was imminent.

Dusk came and we had to use lighting to finish the project and so when we left shortly after 5.00pm we could hardly see the mill in her new glory.
Anthony Sharp


Santa Day Sunday 3rd December 2023

(I would like to add here that although the sails are back on and the mill is functioning again, there are still internal checks and adjustments to be made, meaning that milling and the sale of flour will not happen in the immediate future.)

Help us keep the sails turning!

A huge thank you to everyone supporting us!

Support Us through

Did you know that you can help us raise money… for FREE?

It’s time for Christmas shopping and EasyFundraising partners with over 7,500 brands who will donate part of what you spend to a cause of your choice… and Heage Windmill is one of them! Just

Heage Windmill viewed from across fields covered in snow
Heage Windmill viewed from across fields covered in snow

search for ‘Heage Windmill – Belper’. It won’t cost you any extra – the cost is covered by the brand.

There are thousands of brands including M&S, Argos, John Lewis and Tesco!
Head to for more information and to sign up.
Thank you all, sincerely.

Moving Sails at The Mill

Crane arm extended, putting the sail into position

Further to Lifting the Cap back in place, last Wednesday we needed to move two sails into a position ready for their forthcoming installation back onto the Windmill.

Not for the first time we were expertly assisted in this delicate task by J C Balls and Sons of Ambergate using their large Lorry Loader Crane operated skillfully by Alan the driver.

Sail being moved on flatbed

They have frequently helped us in the past and completely free of charge.

Crane positioning to lift the sail

As a Charity it’s a pleasant feeling to be given this type of assistance by a local company who obviously have a strong interest in the preservation of local attractions such as Heage Windmill. We are very grateful for this help as we would find it both difficult and expensive to obtain it elsewhere.

Our sincere thanks to all at JC Balls & Sons
from everyone at Heage Windmill.

Cap Lifted Back

Thursday, October 12th… the weather was dry with just a little wind – a perfect day for lifting the windmill cap back onto the mill tower.

First, the temporary cover was removed from the tower. After all the necessary checks, the lift began.


As the cap was lifted up into the sky, everyone had a fine view of the massive timber sheers that had been replaced.

At the top of the tower, the contractors – Beighton’s from Chesterfield – were there to guide the cap into place, a very delicate procedure in spite of the weight of the cap.

In the photo above, one can just see the brake wheel with its iron band, and four of the 24 rollers, upon which the cap rests and turns.

Before leaving, the crane helped turn over the last two sails that required one more side to be painted. Once that paint job is finished, the sails will be ready to go back on.

Our thanks to the guys from Beighton’s as well as McGovern’s Crane Hire for their great work.