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National Mills Weekend

By Ashley Dace

A short blog to tell you about the mills weekend. I had originally planned to bring my motorbike up for a month to Uni and use it to get to various Leicestershire mills. My dad needed to be in the area for the Monday so it was decided that my parents would come up for the weekend. I was left to do the planning so decided to do Whissendine and Wymondham for the Saturday then Shepshed, Hough and Little Kibworth for the Sunday. Ullesthorpe was a possibility but thankfully I never bothered, the mill closed at short notice due to insurance problems.

After being collected at 11am we made our way to Wymondham tearooms in NE Leicestershire. The area was very rural and pretty, ironstone being the main building stone. On arrival we had tea before climbing the towermill in the grounds.

The meal floor was very impressive, each pair of stones had a governor underneath. A local radio was broadcasting from the mill. Climbing up to the next level one was greeted with a fantastic spur wheel with added external drive system. The next levels were all accessible, even the cap could be photographed.
In all a very nice preserved windmill with 80% + original machinery.

It was a 30 minute wait until Whissendine opened, Whissendine church was explored for a few minutes before driving to the grounds. A few cars were already waiting for the miller who lived next door. Several minutes late the sails started revolving before we ventured inside. This commercial mill was packed with machinery from head to toe. Everywhere was covered with a perfectly white layer of flour. It was something out of the 1950s, a must visit for IA enthusiasts. It is also of interest to photographers, no mesh in sight, all is accessible apart from the cap.

In the afternoon Belgrave hall was visited, a nice museum provided by the council.

For Sunday after breakfast in the city centre we followed the motorway north to Shepshed, getting off at junction 23.

Anyway on arrival we were surprised to find the carpark almost full, it had only been open for 15 minutes. An excellent restoration, fully working and producing flour (not for sale). Several Lister engines were also running. The rain meant a trip to Hough windmill was cancelled so Loughborough station (GCR) was our next destination to sit it out. Sadly a 5 platform ticket (15 overall) meant this was abandoned, instead the bell foundry was found. Closed for the day, my dad wants to visit so this is now an October target. Instead we headed down to Kirstead Harcourt mill south of Leicester.
Arriving at 2pm the postmill was explored for 20 minutes or so. An excellent building with a mix of iron and wooden machinery. The trestle was dated to the 14th C. Several carvings from the 18th C were clear.

All in all a very good weekend. I have exams for the next couple of weeks but once they are over I have the summer. I have booked my rail ticket (97!) to Mallaig for the 12th June for two weeks in Scotland. I'm geological mapping on the Isle of Rum around Kinloch, this trip is to get us ready for a month on the island in 2012 where I will be mapping the layered intrusion in some detail.

My photos along with others can be found here LinkExternal link


When
Mon, 16 May 2011 at 19:54

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