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.
Some 40 international experts on wind and water mills visited the windmill on Thursday, Sept 8th and were very impressed with Derbyshire’s unique, 220-year-old, six sail wind mill, mounted atop her squat stone tower.
All were members of TIMS (The International Molinological Society) with representatives present from 11 countries, some coming from as far away as Japan and the USA. The visit was part of a week-long tour of some 30 mills, mostly in central England, displaying the wide variety to be found in the area.
The International Molinological Society (TIMS) is the only Society which fosters worldwide interest and understanding of wind, water and animal-driven mills.
The sails were turning when they arrived, to be welcomed by John Boucher (himself a member of TIMS) who was a leading light in the restoration of the mill in 2000. He gave a short talk on how the mill had been restored and then the delegates were free to roam the mill to examine the mechanisms for themselves, with a mill guide on each floor to answer any specific questions.
The society members were very impressed and one delegate commented that ours was a ‘most unusual’ windmill, situated in a ‘beautiful location.’
At the conclusion of the visit Lynn Allen, who had organised the arrangement for this visit, was presented with a ‘TIMS’ mug to add to the mill collection. They also bought numerous books about the Mill plus various souvenirs of their visit – so the name ‘Heage’ will be spread around the world!
Heage Windmill is usually open to the public every Saturday and Sunday from Easter to the end of October, but is currently closed because of Covid-19. See home page for details>
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