Mill Newsletter March 2020

Since publishing the newsletter, the Board of the Windmill decided to close the mill to the public until further notice, due to the Coronavirus emergency.

Sails get a clean sweep

Since the last newsletter the sails have undergone a thorough clean. A cherry picker was hired and the team had much fun learning to drive their new toy before starting the serious work of jetting the accumulated dirt off the sails. The purpose of this was to inspect the sails’ condition and identify any remedial works required to be carried out later in the year.

  During the winter the stones have been prepared ready for cleaning in February, and the Glynde wind pump has been repaired and reinstalled. The wind engine has been without a pump since it was installed a few years ago but the good news is that a suitable pump has been found, and we hope to have it in place before the season starts.

  A disability table is likely to be available for this season, so that wheelchair users can comfortably sit at a table.

  The roundhouse roof was repaired in September, and we are monitoring water-tightness. A small leak was quickly repaired by the contractor and the new roof is holding up well.

The maintenance team meets most Thursdays. If you want to join us, please contact Ian by emailing him at iandxf@hotmail.com

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Behind the scenes in the kitchen

 

Toffee fudge cake

  “I have put you forward to bake the cakes for the tea bar at the Mill” That was how I got involved in baking the cakes. My husband knew that I enjoyed baking but didn’t want to be the one eating all the cakes! To be fair, I had always donated homemade cakes for the cake stall at the Summer Fete. Over the years I have baked many cakes and tried many recipes but the old teatime favourites win every time: Victoria Sandwich, Lemon Drizzle, fruit cakes and brownies. Coffee cake is always well received as well! Last year I had a couple of ladies who volunteered to bake cakes as well…pretty much for the same reason, a love of baking but few takers to share the joy of a freshly home-made cake (Paola, Pam and Frankie I am talking about you!) Their contributions were very welcome and each of them have their favourites to bake – be it muffins, savouries or a traditional Lemon Drizzle. Ladies, I thank you!High Salvington Windmill is renowned for the delicious home-made cakes served on open afternoons. Melanie Wickett, who is our chief cake-maker and catering coordinator tells us a little about how she started making cakes for the mill.

  If you would like to share the results of your pleasure in baking, feel free to contact me about making some cakes for the Tea Bar or any donations of homemade cakes for the Cake Stall at the Summer Fete would be extremely welcome. Melanie Wickett Contact 07710 469196 email melanie.wickett@me.com.”

Green tea

This year, teas and coffees will be served in recyclable cups. The older, but cheaper, polystyrene cups cannot be recycled, so we did some research and came up with a cup that can be recycled. They are a little more expensive, but so much more environmentally friendly. Did you know that polystyrene can take up to 500 years to break down? The new cups will be introduced this summer.

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Mill represented at local events

Seed swap

The mill had a stand at the Seed Swap organised by Transition Town Worthing on 8th February. The event was well attended, and the team on our stand handed out leaflets to visitors, including Mayor Hazel Thorpe, while also making some very useful connections for the future. The Seed Swap takes place each year in early February and is a wonderful opportunity to get started in the garden, learn more about recycling, composting, sustainability, health and local food produce.

 

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Hobbies fair

 

Our brilliant archivist, Wendy Funnell, once again organised a wonderful stand on display at the Rotary Club’s hobbies fair, held this year on 22 February at the Bohunt school. Several of our volunteers manned the stall throughout the day and talked to visitors about the mill, inviting them to come along during the summer months. We also made contact with several groups who would like to organise private tours of the mill outside of our normal opening times. The Town Cryer was in attendance and paid a visit to our stall. The Sompting Morris Dancers were also at the fair – they entertain us all at our annual summer fete. The hobbies fair is organised every two years by the Rotary club. Societies and clubs of all kinds come to show people a huge variety of activities throughout Worthing – anything from ballet to astronomy, stamp collecting to – well – windmills.

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In memoriam      John Simmonds

The mill sails were placed in the mourning position recently when we heard of the death of John Simmonds. Peter Casebow remembers him.

  “I first met John in the early 1980’s when he attended my evening woodwork class.  It was there that he told me he worked as an architect and where I showed him an item from the mill which I was restoring.  On his showing an interest I suggested he might prefer working at the mill to the woodworking class.

  He became a long-standing member of the volunteer group and obtained apple wood from Kentish orchards to make new cogs for the tailwheel in the mill.  During that period orchards in Kent were being grubbed up.

  Years later he drew up the plans for the Visitors Centre, built by the volunteers with Lottery money.  He also designed the gate hut, initially for use as a shop.  As the shop was unsuccessful in that position, we relocated it in the barn (or Visitors Centre).  The gate hut then became our archive store.

  I can remember one evening when tiling the barn roof, he was to be seen with his legs sticking above the apex of the roof like flagpoles while tiling near the top of the roof on the opposite side.  He was keen to get involved with the practical work: he and his two sons helped when the sail stocks were fitted using a block and tackle.

  In later years John always maintained an interest in the goings on at the mill.” 

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Final link

An announcement in the local paper informed us that Richard Davenport had passed away on the 17th January 2020, aged 96. Richard was Treasurer to The Friends of the Mill from 1987 to 1996, and was a very loyal supporter of the mill, especially in the early days of its restoration He was the borough housing officer who helped to rehouse Mrs  Douglas Jones, the widow of the last owner of the mill, when she became unable to look after herself.

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 Carol evening raises funds

Despite some awful weather and a distinct threat of cancellation, many residents turned out on 20 December to sing carols by the bonfire. £366 was raised, which was sent to St Barnabas and Chestnut Tree House hospices. The carols were led by Reverend Beverley Miles, and the bonfire built by our volunteer maintenance team. Thanks to everyone involved, especially those who supplied the hot drinks and mince pies.

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Group visits

If you are a member of a group or club, why not suggest they organise an outing to the windmill in 2020? We can arrange a private visit, including a tour and refreshments. Simply contact Roz at

tours@highsalvingtonmilltrust.co.uk to discuss suitable dates and times.

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Follow us on Facebook. Just look for High Salvington Windmill and “like” our page to see news about the mill and the planned events throughout the year.

 

Getting Involved

Calling anyone with a few hours to spare. We are always on the look-out for people to help us maintain the beautiful windmill. Our current principal need is for people with carpentry and/or engineering skills to maintain the building and keep it operational.

  Or perhaps you fancy actually grinding the grain? It takes some training, but we need some more millers to work on windy days.

  We are also looking for people to help at the fete – perhaps to man a stall, run the raffle, bake some cakes, grow some plants – all to help this fabulous community afternoon succeed. It is our main fund-raiser – and the mill needs funds. We have no paid staff, but often need to hire contractors and equipment to keep the mill shining as the jewel of High Salvington.

  If you are interested please contact us by visiting the website contacts page (see below).

 

New website

The windmill website has been extensively redesigned and relaunched. You can find us at www.highsalvingtonwindmill.co.uk. The site is now maintained by Jeff Best and Lucy Brooks.

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Preparing to lay the runner back on the bedstone after cleaning
Preparing to lay the runner back on the bedstone after cleaning

Cleaning the stones

Bedstone exposed
The bedstone exposed

A word from our Acting Chairman, Jeff Best

Welcome to 2020 and a new Windmill season. I look forward to seeing all of our volunteers on 22nd March. As this is Mothering Sunday, feel free to bring as many mothers as you like, the more volunteers the merrier! Seriously, volunteers are the life-blood of a charity like the Mill Trust. A few years ago, in response to a request from our insurers, I had cause to calculate the time donated to us by our volunteers and the total came to 433 person days per year. Numerically, that is equivalent to having two full time staff, which, if paid at the national living wage for our area, would cost over £39,000. In reality, our volunteers give us a range of skills and knowledge that this amount could never buy, and the Trust’s reserves would not last long if we had to attempt to do so. Two staff could not man as many stalls as 120 fete day volunteers, neither could they serve teas, staff the shop, take money at the gate, guide visitors or ensure safety on the steps on open days. Although we have a constant trickle of new volunteers throughout the year to replenish our team, we do need more. Over the next 12 months, we will be actively seeking to encourage a larger influx of volunteers. Look out for announcements relating to this. In the meantime, please talk to family, friends, neighbours, that nice new couple who have moved in a few doors away, or anyone else you know, to ask if they would be willing to volunteer a few hours each year. Whether your metier is with the toolbox, the teapot, a tally sheet at the gate, trestle table wrangling or tackling administration, we look forward to welcoming you up at High Salvington Windmill.

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Helpers needed for the fete (12 July)

 If you’d like to run a stall at our wonderful traditional fete this year, please contact Andy Campbell on andyrcampbell@btinternet.com and he will fix you up with a fun game or stall to look after. All the stalls at the fete are pocket-money priced, so children can enjoy the thrill of catching a fish, or hooking a prize.

And if you are a crafter, we welcome you as a stall holder at the craft fair in September. Again, Andy can help you with the information you need.

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It’s membership renewal time again. Below is a form to renew. We encourage you to set up a standing order to save having to remember every year. Contact the membership secretary if you wish to do that. The cost is just £4 per annum per individual and £7 for a couple. But why not become a life member?

 

do need more. Over the next 12 months, we will be actively seeking to encourage a larger influx of volunteers. Look out for announcements relating to this. In the meantime, please talk to family, friends, neighbours, that nice new couple who have moved in a few doors away, or anyone else you know, to ask if they would be willing to volunteer a few hours each year. Whether your metier is with the toolbox, the teapot, a tally sheet at the gate, trestle table wrangling or tackling administration, we look forward to welcoming you up at High Salvington Windmill.

‘The Mill’ is edited by Lucy Brooks. 01903 69195

 

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Newsletter of the Friends of High Salvington Windmill – October 2019

THE MILL

Newsletter of the Friends of High Salvington Windmill                                                        Autumn 2019

Our windmill blows the mayor’s mind!

The traditional annual fete was held on 14th July this year on a cool but dry summer’s afternoon. Hundreds of visitors arrived to enjoy an afternoon of fun and games. Attractions included many pocket-money sideshows such as splat the rat, smashing china, play your cards right, roll a penny and many more.

Honoured guests included Mayor Hazel Thorpe, with her husband Robin. Despite residing in Worthing since the 1980s, Mayor Thorpe had never visited the mill before, although her husband, Robin, and daughter Ange – visiting this weekend from Scotland where she lives – had both stopped by many years ago. Asked for her reaction to her guided tour of the mill, Mayor Thorpe said just one word: “mind-blowing.” She was very struck by the history behind the mill itself, and the work that volunteers had put into it over the years. Acting Chairman Jeff Best showed Hazel, Robin and Ange round the windmill, and later the Mayor introduced the Sompting Village Morris Dancers, aided by town crier Bob Smitherman.

Mayor Hazel Thorpe concluded by saying: “this weekend I have attended two events – Gay Pride in Worthing yesterday, and the fete today, and I am enjoying the contrast between the relatively new, and this wonderful look back at history. May your volunteers continue your good work, and we at the Council will do what we can to support you.”

The fete raised over £3000 – every penny of which goes towards the upkeep of the windmill.

Congratulations to Graham Carthew (left) and the rest of the committee (Ian and Andy) who organised this year’s event, and thanks go to every single helper who so willingly gave time and effort for the windmill.

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Diamond Open Day

This year, 2019, marked the 60th anniversary of the moment that the windmill passed into public ownership. The Borough Council, worried that the mill would be destroyed by neglect and the weather, purchased it for £2250 and repair work began. But damage sustained during a gale in 1976 meant that the mill was once again in danger. The High Salvington Mill Trust was formed and the decision taken to restore the mill completely. The hurricane of 1987 gave the mill its first taste of renewed life. The great wind turned the single pair of sails for the first time, although the brake was on!

Sixty years on, the Trust decided to hold an open day to the public, to promote the mill and spark the interest of local residents to help us to keep up the good work. May 12th was the chosen day and hundreds of visitors turned up to look at the special exhibitions organised by the team of archivists (thank you in particular to Wendy Funnell for her leadership), take part in a photography competition, and browse the exhibitions. And of course, the guides were kept busy.

There was no admission charge that day, but funnily enough, donations added up to almost as much as would have been charged at the gate.

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Our volunteers

Every single person you see doing a job at the mill is a volunteer. We are quite proud of the fact that we have no paid staff at all. Without our brilliant band of willing helpers, nothing would ever get done. And get done it does! In winter the mill is subject to its routine maintenance, in summer the lawns get cut, the teas get served, the cakes get made, the shop gets stocked, the gate is manned, the mill is prepared, the grain gets ground, and the visitors are guided round our beautiful mill. So, thank you to everyone who gives their time so willingly. And a quick mention for some new volunteers who joined us in 2019: Kathryn Penny, (steps and guiding) John Ranger, Jeff Gillat, Frank Patten, (maintenance) Pat Morey (guiding), Angela and Derek McMillan (books), Paul Minter (Membership, see his biography below), Paola Fleming, Pam Nicholson, Frances Biggs (cake-making), Janet Peete, Sue Morey, Nina Sigston (teas, shop) Lynne Rogers (gate).

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Captain Paul Minter – new Membership Secretary

Paul was brought up in Worthing and in 1975 joined the Royal Fleet Auxiliary, serving his country in the Falklands and the Gulf War. This service was followed by a period working in the Royal Navy, serving on a number of the Royal Navy warships and in several other senior posts in the MOD as well as onshore in Portsmouth.

On retirement in 2016 he became chairman of Worthing Sea Cadets and does voluntary work including for St. Barnabas and the Aldingbourne Trust. We are delighted to welcome Paul as our new membership secretary. He took over from Rachel Trickey, to whom the Board offers its thanks for her stalwart work, during 2019. Paul’s address (published with his agreement) is: 69 Hayling Rise, High Salvington, Worthing, BN13 3AG.  If you have a subscription payment you wish to make via cheque please use the form below and post it to this address.

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Star of TV and Dance

Channel 4’s “A Place in the Sun – Home or Away” chose our windmill to help property hunters Emma and Gracie Lofthouse to find the home they’ve always wanted by looking in the UK and abroad. Producer/Director Ruth Wilson, the sound engineer, and presenter Laura Hamilton filmed several sequences outside our windmill and mentioned some of the history behind it. Roz, Mel and Lucy let them in and gave them the information they needed to do the piece. The show will be aired within the next six months on Channel 4 so look out for it.

Another prestigious photoshoot was arranged with the Nicola Miles Dance Studio prior to their departure to take part in Dance World Cup. This is the biggest dance competition in the world.  Over 20,000 competitors from 62 countries competing at their country qualifiers and at the World Finals each year. Seven girls (age 12-17) from Nicola Miles Theatre Studios (in Worthing) competed for Team England (one of two dance schools in England in this category) in the junior small groups section on Saturday 6th July.  They danced a Turkish National Dance and came eighth in the whole world. Well done.

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Maintenance report

This autumn will see some major repairs to the roundhouse roof, which is leaking. It needs to be fixed before winter to prevent it from worsening and causing damage. A contractor has been selected and work started in September.

The team is still looking for a suitable pump to fit to the wind engine. Meanwhile, the lightbox on the wind generator is creating great interest, especially when the wind is fairly strong during an open day.

A vintage pump has been recovered from a local garden and work is ongoing to restore it and install it on the site, to create “hands-on” interest for visitors.

In our quest to make the site more wheelchair friendly Findon ‘Men-in-Sheds’ are working on a dual-purpose disability table/bench.

This year the Trust purchased a new gazebo which provides shade from the sun and shelter from showers. It proved very useful at the fete too.

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Carols by the bonfire – 20 December

As a thank you to residents, the Mill holds a torchlit carol singing event round the bonfire in the mill grounds. Bring a lantern and your singing voices. 7:15 start.

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Group visits

On 16 July some 60 children laughed and played in the grounds of the mill. They were the charges of Magic Minders, the Worthing Childminding Association. Aged from one to five, the children were engaged in all kinds of games. The childminders brought picnics and enjoyed the beautiful summer morning.

1st and 2nd Findon Brownies paid a visit to the mill on 8th July. An earlier visit had to be abandoned because of pouring rain, but this time the sun shone for this enthusiastic group. Three volunteer guides showed them round the mill, explaining how flour was ground in former times, and the girls had a chance to grind some flour themselves on our mini grindstones – the quern.

On Saturday 22nd of June, local members from the Institute of Mechanical Engineers (pictured) plus some guests enjoyed a fabulous tour of the Windmill. The sun was shining which made for some great photo opportunities before and after the tour. Organiser Charlie Allen said: “We were guided by two exceptionally experienced guides who had extensive knowledge of the mill and its restoration. Following the tour and many questions from our members, we enjoyed some beautiful homemade cake and a cup of tea in the sunshine. Thank you to all of the volunteers that made our visit so interesting and welcoming, and for the great conversations we all were part of.”

A group of millers from the Weald and Downland Living museum at Singleton visited High Salvington in July for a tour and information day. As experienced millers, they appreciated the differences between a water mill, as used at Singleton, and a wind-powered mill, which is designed rather like a sailing ship.

Earlier in the day, they had visited West Blatchington windmill in Hove, a more recent (1820s) smock mill. They enjoyed a delicious lunch in Worthing before proceeding to High Salvington. Founder trust members Bob Potts and Peter Casebow showed the millers the inner workings of the windmill. A spokesman said they had had a fascinating afternoon.

Other groups to visit our mill during the summer included Worthing Camera Club, a large group of year 1 pupils from The Vale school, and a group of “Grumpy Old Men” from Offington park Methodist Church.

If you belong to a group that might enjoy a visit to the windmill, get in touch with Roz Naylor-Smith on tours@highsalvingtonmilltrust.co.uk

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Craft Fair

The craft fair this year was a great success with 25 stalls selling all manner of stitched, painted, carved, and woven items. The weather was kind and the stallholders reported very high interest in their craftwork. Visitor numbers were high, and besides the stalls, entertainment was provided by the Sompting Morris Dancers.

But did you know that the craft fair was started by members of the Windmill Trust back in 1989? Betty Potts, Shirley Ashton, Pat Casebow, Dorothy Edney and Yvonne Welch (all Wives of the Millers!) met for coffee once a week and made small items such as lavender bags, purses and scarves. At first, they took a stall at the fete to sell their wares, along with donated costume jewellery.  Their first venture raised £75.70p for the mill. The separate craft fair held in September started later.

The picture shows the countryside turner, making chair legs and other turned items. He is known as a ‘bodger’. Shame that the meaning of the word has changed over time. He certainly doesn’t bodge his work!

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Follow us on Facebook. Just look for High Salvington Windmill and “like” our page to see news about the mill and the planned events throughout the year. 

And finally: a report from our Acting Chairman

The 2019 season has been a good one for High Salvington Windmill, with a number of successful events. National Mills Weekend open day was rebranded this year as “Diamond Day”, in May, to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Worthing Borough Council’s purchase of the mill. Graham Carthew organised a very successful fete in July, Quentin and Ann English again organised a very well attended Classic Cars day in August. While Ian Fairclough and Andy Campbell masterminded a much-enjoyed Craft Fair in September. I would like to thank our volunteer organisers for their very hard work that makes these events possible, as well as all of those, too numerous to mention individually, without whom we would not be able to keep the “mills” and grounds so well maintained, and open the mill to the public, along with those few who work tirelessly, behind the scenes, administering the Mill Trust and managing its various functions. I’d like to single out Betty Potts for her initiative and indefatigable flour selling that successfully converted the output of our millers’ several grinding sessions into additional income for the mill. Thank you to all our members and volunteers.

A number of you have been maintaining vigilance over planning applications that could impact the mill. We regret that sometimes the needs of the mill and desires of newly-arrived neighbours may conflict. However, the windmill does need wind to operate and losing the ability to do this would be detrimental to what is, arguably, Worthing’s greatest treasure. My thanks to everyone who has commented on planning applications in defence of the mill’s needs.

For personal reasons, Major Tom Wye had to step down from the Board and, for the first time in its history, there are no Worthing Councillors on our board. I’d like to thank Tom for the contribution he made, as a most able Chairman, a popular mill Guide and his facilitation of interactions with the Council. Thanks also, to Rachel Trickey, who passed over the mantle of Membership Secretary to Captain Paul Minter RFA (Rtd) so she could focus more time on her studies. Paul has much experience with other organisations. We have welcomed Paul, Lucy Brooks and Greg Page to the board.

Looking forward, we will be introducing a new look website, courtesy of Stuart Marler, and I look forward to seeing you all at the Carols round the Bonfire on 20th December.

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In memoriam

Newsletter editor Bob Brooks died earlier this year, shortly after completing the March newsletter. He had edited the newsletter for several years and was responsible for increasing its size and ferreting out interesting stories. The newsletter is now edited by his wife, Lucy, whom many of you know as a guide at the windmill.

We are also sad to report the death of Edna Godwin. In the early days of Sunday openings, Edna could usually be found on duty at the gate or selling souvenirs in the shed that served as a shop back then. In later years, when she was unable to help, she would offer parking space for helpers and visitors on busy days. She was always interested in what was going on and the progress of the restoration of the mill. 

The Mill is researched and edited by Lucy Brooks, (01903 691945), email: lucindafbrooks@outlook.com

 

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