Sail(s) Away

Two of Heage Windmill’s sails are being removed because of signs of rot but will be replaced in the summer.

Last year the Heage Windmill Trust had a report from our millwright that two sails on the windmill – both of which were over 20 years old – were showing signs of rot.

They were deemed to be safe for further immediate use but it was recommended that we should initiate a programme to replace them. Enquires to the few millwrights that could undertake the construction of sails indicated that it would be about two years before the work could be started.  After a careful investigation we have decided to construct them ourselves!

We have placed an order with Constructional Timber of Barnsley to supply the whip (the main timber) from laminated Siberian larch and a ‘kit of parts’ for wood required for the sail frames. These are due on site at Heage in the week commencing 27th of May.

We will be removing the existing two sails, which weigh about 1 ton each, and will then take off the shutters and other fittings which will be fitted to the new sails being assembled alongside.

This means the mill will be working for up to two to three months with only four sails, the timescale being determined by the availability of our volunteers.

We will, however, still be able to mill flour using a lower power input with the four sails – this being one of the great benefits of having six sails!