Newsletter March 2021


Newsletter for Members and Friends of High Salvington Windmill           March 2021

We are planning to reopen in July

Of course, this will depend on the Government’s road map going according to plan, but we are making plans to open our gates to the public again on the first Sunday in July – the 4th. Put it in your diary.

The Board has also decided that on two Sundays in June, the mill grounds only will be open to members and their families by appointment. If you would like to bring your family to the mill grounds, enjoy a cup of tea, bring a picnic, and admire the mill, please contact Lucy Brooks on 01903 691945 or to book a slot on June 6th or June 20th. Up to nine family groups may enter the field on each of these days in three separate time slots starting at 2 pm, 3 pm and 4 pm. Volunteers will be on hand to ensure social distancing and cleaning between groups. We will also arrange to have guides stationed in the field to explain the history of the mill and to answer any questions.

Fete moved to August

The Board also decided to postpone the Fete until August 15th. This will give us time to get used to the new situation, and to see if the country really can start to operate normally again.

Do you have administrative skills?

We are looking for a new company secretary

We need someone with some corporate experience to act as our Company Secretary. The role involves making sure that our affairs are conducted correctly, and directors are eligible for service. It is a voluntary position and involves becoming a director. If you are interested, please contact Jeff on 01903 264409 or

Calendar: Here’s the revised calendar of events this summer – all very much subject to the Government’s Road Map

Pre-season meeting.   23 May (volunteers only)

Members’ visits           6 and 20 June

Normal opening          4 and 18 July

AGM                            25 June 2021

Classic cars                  1 August

Open Fun Day             15 August

Craft Fair                      5 September

Normal opening          19 September


Behind the scenes – the Board members

The Board of the High Salvington Mill Trust meets every quarter.
Acting chairman: Jeff Best

Treasurer: Hazel Marsden

Membership Secretary: Paul Minton

Company Secretary: vacant and currently handled by Jeff Best

Assistant Secretary: Andy Campbell

Catering: Melanie Wickett

Guides, Newsletter and Publicity: Lucy Brooks

Steps, New Volunteers Coordinator: Ian Fairclough

Councillor: Richard Nowak – Worthing Borough

Non-board members

Maintenance Coordinator, Social Media: Samantha Goddard

County Councillor: Elizabeth Sparkes.

The first special event of the year will be the Classic Car Day on August 1st. Ann English has already started to plan a wonderful display of beautiful motors for us to see and discuss with their owners. If you have a classic car you’d like to show off, please contact Ann on

 Meet the team

Over the next couple of newsletters, we will be introducing our stalwart volunteers on and off the Board. The first two are Ian Fairclough and pending board member Samantha Goddard.

Ian Fairclough:  Ian began volunteering at the mill in 2012 after he retired from a career in the public sector in the accounting and computing field. He has always had an interest in historical industrial/agricultural buildings and structures and to have a wonderful example close by inspired him to volunteer at High Salvington windmill.

He is predominantly involved in maintenance and describes himself as a very average DIY-er. Additionally, he assists with other duties on open days and special events. There is a great community spirit amongst the volunteers and local residents at the mill and Ian gains great satisfaction from seeing the sails turning on the ‘old girl’ on open days to the delight of our visitors.

Samantha Goddard: Samantha lives in Broadwater and joined us as Maintenance Coordinator in November last year. Her background lies in campaigns and communications and she has joined the Mill due to her love of working with people who come together to get work done – in this case, the upkeep of our local heritage. Samantha also enjoys photography and looks forward to sharing some content with you through our social media.

Peter Casebow, one of the engineers who restored our mill, has written a book called High Salvington: Saving Worthing’s Last Windmill. It’s a history of our mill and how it was restored. It will be available later this summer.

 Milling through the ages

The Mills Archive is a treasure trove of information about mills of any kind. Of course, mills are most well-known for grinding corn into flour. However, over the centuries, mills powered by wind, water and other power sources have been used for many other types of industry. Here are some of these.

Woad mills

Woad was the primary source for blue dye until the introduction of synthetic indigo. A small bushy plant, it was harvested by hand from August to November and crushed in a mill. It was also used to fix other dyes so they would not run. Woad was still used for police clothing and other uniforms at the beginning of the 20th century. The last English woad mills ceased work in the 1930s.

The introduction of synthetic indigo caused the industry to decline, and by the beginning of the 20th century, there were only three woad mills left in England, producing woad for the government to fix the dyes in police clothing and other uniforms. At Parson Drove in Cambridgeshire was the last of the old ‘peripatetic’ mills which at one time were moved every few years to new pastures when the old had been exhausted by the intensive nature of woad farming. Newer steam-powered mills remained at Algarkirk and Skirbeck, Lincolnshire.

Gunpowder mills

Although medieval Europeans gave the devil the credit for the invention of gunpowder, it was in fact Chinese alchemists who first began to manufacture it in the 9th century. It travelled through the Islamic World along the Silk Roads, and it is first mentioned in the West in the 13th century by Roger Bacon.

Gunpowder, or black powder, is a mixture of saltpetre, charcoal and sulphur. At first made in small amounts in a pestle and mortar, from the 16th century there were water-driven mills in England, and from 1589 these had to have a royal licence to operate, although some operated illegally.

The first stage in the manufacture of black powder was the preparation of the ingredients. Saltpetre (potassium nitrate) could be manufactured from decomposed animal dung, mixed with lime. Sulphur was imported from Italy and Sicily, while charcoal was made by charring wood. Powder mills were often surrounded by coppices of willow and alder trees for this reason. Before being mixed together the ingredients had to be powdered and sieved and weighed to ensure the right quantities were used, the proportions being 75 parts saltpetre to 15 parts charcoal and ten parts sulphur. They were then mixed together in a revolving drum to form ‘green charge’.

The next stage was incorporating. The earlier form of incorporating mill was the pestle or stamping mill, in which the turning camshaft caused stamps to rise and fall, beating the powder in troughs below. These could be powered by hand, by treadmill or by waterwheel. Later, edge runner stones became common, and the earlier stamping mills were made illegal in 1772 on safety grounds.

Paper Mills

By the time of the first paper mills in England, the principles of making paper by hand, using the vat method in water-driven mills, had long been established. These principles remained fundamentally the same until the eighteenth century when papermaking machines were invented. One of the first English paper mills was Sele Mill, just outside Hertford on the Beane, a stream flowing into the River Lea. The principal early method for making paper is as follows: After having been sorted, cut, washed and allowed to ferment, rotted rags were placed in water-laden troughs called mortars. They were macerated into pulp by a battery of iron-tipped wooden stamping hammers. These were lifted and dropped by the cams fitted to the main shaft, worked by waterpower.


Feeding an army in the depths of a Russian winter requires some handy ideas

Hand mills like this one were carried by thousands of Swedish soldiers during the Great Northern Wars of the 18th Century. They were used by the Caroleans, the highly professional soldiers of the Swedish Empire.  Grain lasts longer than flour and is far easier to store and transport. As a result, many armies throughout history have granted its soldiers rations in grain rather than finished food, a practice that dates back to the armies of Imperial Rome. Napoleon’s Grande Armée brought hand-cranked mills with them on the Russian Campaign, but these were heavy and cumbersome. In comparison, this simple Swedish mill could be carried by each individual soldier. Made out of wood, it was light and could be easily dismantled into three parts, and was easy to repair. As the mill was made of wood, the grains would have to be very soft: when we tried to grind modern grains in it, they were too hard.

The Mills Archive

Our thanks go to the Mills Archive Trust for these and other stories published in our newsletters over the past year. The Mills Archive is a permanent repository for the documentary and photographic records of traditional and contemporary mills and milling, as well as similar structures dependent on traditional power sources. It makes that material freely available for public inspection and use in research and learning.

The Mills Archive is one of the world’s great mill collections. It has rescued over 3 million documents and images that might otherwise have ended up in a landfill site. It is an Aladdin’s cave filled with memories and free to users. The collections show the rich and diverse crafts, buildings, machinery, equipment and people involved with mills in the UK and around the world.

The archive believes in the cultural and educational values of mills and historic power sources and wishes to turn that into practical support.

Tell your friends about us

Would your family and friends like to join us and support the mill as a member? As you can imagine, we had no income from visitors last year, and we are looking forward to changing that this summer. Members can come into open days free of charge by showing their card at the gate.

High Salvington Windmill currently has 204 members (ten honorary), and would love there to be more.

Any questions: Paul Minter on

Capt. Paul Minter, Membership


  The cost of an Annual membership is just £4 (£7 for dual membership). The cost of Life membership is £40.



Annual membership                  per person        £  4.00              o

per dual couple £  7.00              o

Life membership                                   per person        £40.00              o


NAME: ______________________________________________________________________________

ADDRESS: ___________________________________________________________________________

Post Code_________________

Signed _____________________       Date ___________________ email: _____________________________

Send to: Membership secretary, 69 Hayling Rise, High Salvington, Worthing, BN13 3AG


Data Protection: If you object to your name and address being kept on computer, please raise the matter with the membership secretary.

Registered in England Company no. 4199780                       Registered office: 12 Furzeholme, Worthing BN13 3BS


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‘The Mill’ is edited by Lucy Brooks. 01903 691945.

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