It’s hard to believe it’s over twelve years since Heage Windmill was restored to working order and started producing flour again, after a lapse of over 70 years. Time and the weather have both taken their toll and, whilst minor maintenance has been performed in the interim by volunteers, it has become necessary to bring in professional assistance. Skilled millwrights able to undertake mill work are few and far between and we have had Neil Medcalf, from Boston, on ‘order’ for almost 12 months. At last he has arrived and is currently doing some essential work for us!
The major task is to re-cover the cap with heavy duty canvas and then to re-paint it, ensuring the mill is waterproof for the next few decades. To do this, Neil has utilised a portable ‘cherry picker’ which enables him to access this elevated area without encasing the mill in scaffold. He has removed the old canvas and is presently replacing this before painting, so that once again we will have a shining white ‘topping’ to the windmill.
He is also resetting the mechanism which adjusts the shutters on the sails, since some of them have been failing to close and open properly. This will increase the power available to operate the mill stones.
The work, costing more than £10,000, is being totally financed by monies from the Trust and funds raised by Friends of the Windmill. It should keep the mill working for a few more years.