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Newsletter 96, Spring 2012  © Hampshire Mills Group

Passing through the mill……………….

The Bracknell Sports Centre hosts an annual Family History Fair organised by the Berkshire FH Society in January.  This year in order to promote their milling family records, the Mills Archive Trust was invited to share a stand with the Devon FH Society.  Richard and Mike Mallet, two Reading residents who have milling family antecedants in Devon, were running the stand on behalf of the Devon group.  MAT volunteers, Talbot Green, Elizabeth Trout and myself had a very busy time promoting our cause and raised a great deal of interest amongst serious researchers.  We expect to repeat the experience later in the year in Oxford with our new found partnership.  The Berkshire FHS meanwhile, offered to carry MAT leaflets on their large stand at the “Who Do You Think You Are” event in February.

MAT stand at the Family History Fair Tuckered out at Knockando A Model Sale A New Mill in NZ

Meanwhile, back at Watlington House, we are celebrating on three counts: two of our volunteers, Guy Boocock and Nathanael Hodge, have secured Vodafone Award Grants which will fund their archiving work with us for four months; the third cause for celebration is that 2012 marks the tenth anniversary of the Mills Archives’ existence.  So, a party is being organised for all supporters in July.  The date and details will be confirmed in the next newsletter.  As we have a constant expenditure on vital archival quality methods of storing all the irreplaceable items pertaining to the vast subject of mill research, we hope more enthusiasts will join our Friends of the Mills Archive and share in our success and help to Save the Memories for generations to come.

Russell Jones has registered the SPAB Mills Section with Easyfundraising.  Agreements with many internet retailers, insurance, utility and travel companies afford the opportunity to raise funds for the Mills Section every time a participant makes a purchase online.  To find out how to be a participant and help the Mills Section’s funds, visit: www.easyfundraising.org.uk.

Mills in the Media  Nostalgic landmark or an attractive scene, our windmills and watermills seem to almost dominate many of the BBC’s programmes lately.  Knockando Wool Mill featured on Open Country (Radio 4) which prompted me to find out more. You can hear the programme on BBCiplayer.   Photo no.2 from the mill’s website shows a tired mill worker at the end of an open day or could it have been after a day’s interviewing for the Beeb? Opening credits of Escape to the Country and Britain’s Empty Homes feature Jack & Jill Windmills and the former Forge Bank Mill on the Hollywood River at Marple Bridge in Derbyshire respectively.  The latter forged shovels and other agricultural tools but is now a beautiful home which also caters as a b&b; alas no sign of the former industry, only the waterwheel remains.  Crakehall Watermill was renovated and brought into milling life in a 3-episode Big Bread Experiment ‘overseen’ by Sarah Beeney with the guidance of milling consultant Martin Watts, and education from Peter Morgan, miller from Tocketts Mill. Flour from the mill was used by some ladies from nearby Bedale who learned how to make decent bread.  The mill still works and now has a café. For further info see their websites: www.knockandowoolmill.org.uk; forgebankmill.com; crakehallwatermill.co.uk. Hundreds of windmill postcards are up for grabs on ebay – the Hampshire & IOW ones spotted were: Fawley, Hambledon, Southsea, Bembridge, Cowes, Freshwater, Ryde and Upton. 

Upminster Windmill is now the home of the lovely, authentic, model windmill (photo no. 3) built by Paul Stileman and offered for sale in our winter newsletter.  Made in Hampshire, its new owners say it will form part of an educational display at the mill in Essex. 

Photo no.4 is of a newly built smock mill at Foxton in New Zealand.  Friends visiting there sent me the postcard which states that ‘de Molen, a replica and fully operational 16th cent Dutch style flour mill (korenmolen)...result of voluntary work by Foxton Windmill Trust Inc.  Built entirely from donations and sponsors...is a totally unique NZ attraction.’  

Sheila Viner



Here are the answers to the Winter brainteasers.........

Andy Fish’s photograph showing an all iron contraption of concentric rings on legs is of a Rick Stand.  Once a common sight in East Anglia – were they used too in Hampshire?

The young Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip spent their wedding night at the Fulling Mill, Whitchurch. 

An Experimental Enquiry concerning the Natural Powers of Water and Wind to turn Mills and other Machines depending on a Circular Motion’.    The masterful tome bearing this title was written by the renowned eighteenth century engineer,  Joseph Smeaton.

And here are the
Spring Quiz questions for you to test your little grey cells..........


  1. Do you know what the machinery in the above image is ?

  2. What is the connection between the spikey plant in the photo and the world of molinology?

  3. An article in this issue mentions a ‘lade’; what and where would you find one?

  4. If you heard that someone had ‘wool sorter’s disease’ from what would they be suffering?


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