Newsletter October 2020


Newsletter for Members and Friends of High Salvington Windmill                                                                                                                                              October 2020

Restoration Decisions, by Jeff Best, Acting Chairman

Posting pictures of the buck cladding repairs onto our Facebook page elicited a response from an enthusiast involved in repairing mills elsewhere. Why, he wanted to know, were we replacing with lengths of board shorter than the length of the buck, leading to end-on-end joins which might be more vulnerable to rot?

  The challenge in restoration is to decide to what state you are restoring something. This is as true of windmills, pumps, engines and generators as it is for any other artefact in need of restoration. Should the end result be “as new”? Do you want it to be as it was when it was last used? Are you going to repair using the latest materials and techniques, to give it a new lease of life? At High Salvington the philosophy has always been to aim for the “last use” state, with limited adoption of newer materials and techniques where unavoidable, hence the use of Sadolin to replace tar on the buck and the latest material used to keep the roundhouse roof watertight, which is quite modern but visually in keeping with materials of yore.

  Assuming this philosophy, I sought answers for our Facebook correspondent. If we had chosen to use larch cladding boards of this length then was there some evidence that this was the state of cladding when the mill was last in commercial use in 1897? I was soon put right by our veteran technical advisor, Peter Casebow. The 7” wide larch boards we use were originally as recommended by the members of the Weald and Downland Open Air Museum who sat on our Board in the early days of the restoration. This choice gives us a 55% overlap, so that we had two board coverage of the entire mill buck, and any abutting joints lay over a full board with soakers underneath. Working with boards, the length of the buck would also be a challenge, as the longer the board, the more prone it is to split. Our boards are “tanalised” before use, i.e. they are impregnated with the latest Tanalith wood preservative, using pressure and vacuum, so that it replaces water deep within the cells of the timber to protect it from insects, microbes and fungus. Our Facebook correspondent reported having to replace cladding that had rotted in less than ten years. According to Peter, the small number of boards we are replacing this year have been in place for nearly 36 years! Moreover, there is no evidence of any of the boards suffering from ends rotting.

  All this reminds me that while our objective is the preservation of the windmill, and more recently the additional pumps, engine and generator, an important part of our responsibility at the Trust is to preserve the knowledge of designs, materials and techniques so that future generations can understand how and why choices were made to preserve also the tradition of the restoration. So, while the handy-skilled doers do vital repairs, we need documenters to document choices and our archivists need to ensure that all of this recorded knowledge is readily accessible to the next generation so that they may continue the good work long into the future!


Major Painting Project, by Ian Fairclough

The painting of the mill by our contractor (Colin Brooker from Littlehampton) and the buck roof repairs carried out by volunteers have been completed and by the time you receive this newsletter, the scaffolding should have been removed, allowing the grand old lady to be displayed in all her glory. I’m sure autumn weather conditions will enable us to give her a quick spin too.

  This is the first time the sails have been painted in situ which presented the scaffolders and the painter with some challenges as only one sail could be painted at a time with it in a perpendicular position. The scaffolding around the sail had to be dismantled and re-assembled for each sail but this process was managed well.

  The Maintenance team have also been busy with their paintbrushes during the summer and all buildings and structures on site have or will have been freshened up with a coat of black (and white where appropriate!). This included re-caulking and the painting with tar of the Roundhouse walls. At the time of writing this update only the two metal wind engines require completion.

  Site gardening has continued throughout so the whole mill site will make a very pretty picture once the scaffolding has gone. What a shame our visitors can’t come and enjoy it until next year (hopefully!!).

  No peace for the wicked – the maintenance team are not sitting on their laurels as their attention has now turned to the installation of the hand pump acquired from a local resident’s garden. The pump will be sited outside of the small mills area so that children – young and old, can play with it. Work has started with a hole for the water tank (a dustbin!) being deftly dug by Ryan Flippance our local (very helpful) JCB driver. It is intended to have the pump installed and working before the end of the year.


Grain Measures, by Michael Steele

Winchester bushel
Winchester bushel

People didn’t trust the miller! He could “adjust” the measures of grain to his advantage.  Theoretically, there was just one single corn measure in England although individual bushels were often damaged by age or falsified by accident or design.  According to Magna Carta there would be uniform measures across the realm but this did not actually happen. In 1496 Henry VII set up the “Winchester” measures which were also never enforceable and parliament reported in 1758 that the standards were still far from fair and consistent. This led in due course to the Weights and Measures Act of 1824 when standards really were enforced and volume measures had to comply with a standard design of height and width.

Imperial bushel for Essex 1844
Imperial bushel for Essex 1844

  Our understanding of market prices is different today to what it was.  Bread was sold by the loaf and whilst its price stayed the same, its weight went up or down according to the harvest or market conditions and the size was regulated by the authorities. Similarly, a bushel of grain had many different sizes yet all with the same name. Goods were sold by “custom and usage” at a “fair price” rather than by uniform weights and measures.

How (and why) France changed to metric

C18 French bushel

  Let us consider the position in France before the Metric System when every town and village would have its own measures.  There were some 250,000 different units of measure in France in the 1700s and a bushel (boisseau) of grain could be manipulated by the way in which it was filled.  If the sack is tipped into the measure from rim height it is less compressed (i.e. of lesser weight) than if the sack is held at shoulder height – as could be enforced by the more powerful party to the transaction. The measure could be required to be heaped or level so as to influence the volume. A miller could ensure that machinery was running during the pouring so that the vibration shook the grains down and he received more grain than if it were done on a stable ground.  The actual volume of the bushel could also be manipulated by it having to be heaped or level. Also, the heap is affected by its shape (the heap above a wide neck contains more grain than a heap above a narrow neck) and the strickle used to level the grain could be flat or cylindrical (a cylindrical one compresses grain into the measure). There could be an “allowance” for mice depredation or for drying out or even for a higher or lower quality of a particular harvest.

  The bushel’s volume usually depended upon the type of grain being measured so that the same unit name applied to different quantities of wheat, barley or oats for example. There was a different volume for a bushel of small oats to that for large oats.

  Most of the abuses were based on the individual power of the party who could insist on his measure being used and how. The peasant wanted as little grain as possible when he took it to the miller – who wanted as much as he could get from the peasant but give as little as he could to the wholesaler. The miller wanted to pay his corn rent to the land-owner with as little grain as he could get away with. The Church or land-owner wanted as much as their agent could force into the measure (and the agent could extract a percentage for himself often from the heap above the measure itself) but wanted it smaller when paying tax. It was common for the landowner to have two bushels – one for receiving corn rent and one for selling. The king wanted to ensure that his exchequer was getting the maximum extractable from the owners. If bulk grain was rafted down a river to a port, the wholesalers had the whip hand even over the landowners: they could decree their own measures as it was impracticable to ship the cargo back upstream again.

  There was no effective independent check of standards and the size of the bushels even increased year to year as the landowner had larger measures made for corn rent purposes.

  By 1789 there was a build-up of complaints calling for one standard measure for all throughout the country and the Metric System was finally introduced. People didn’t really get what they wanted though as in the market place it is more practical to count in units that are divisible into halves than by 10 and the new system was not immediately effective. For a number of decades the authorities allowed a total confusion of hybrid measures with old names but with new quantities or vice versa. Eventually the old measures were finally destroyed (there are few of the old measures left even in museums) and a system of standardised units finally came in as the scientific and industrial revolutions gathered momentum.


SPAB Wind report, by Jeff Best

The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings recently advertised a Webinar, “Wind and Windmills: Friend or Enemy?” and two members of the board  attended. Steve Temple, SPAB Guardian and Mills Section committee member, addressed an issue of great interest to all windmills: how do we reliably establish the impact of proposed nearby developments?

Burgh Le Marsh mill after Storm Ciara
Burgh Le Marsh mill lost its cap in Storm Ciara in February.

  Steve provided two documents as homework, a Wind Report and a Storm Report. The Storm Report dealt with damage to mills during the recent storms Ciara and Dennis including Burgh Le Marsh which lost its cap and Soham Downfield which suffered a broken brake wheel. Furthermore, the storm-induced reversal of the sails had bent the short piece of RSJ used to sprag the wheel. We have neither a fantail nor a cap so the chance of our mill being adversely winded in a storm due to gusts against shutter sails is reduced. Our vigilant millers also rope the tail pole to reduce the risk of unwanted winding. We chock our brake wheel in both directions using stout lengths of wood which may very well be stronger than a short length of RSJ, eliminating the risk of sails reversing and then smashing back with force to break our brake wheel.

  In his Wind Report Steve showed that with a few months’ anemometer measurements he could calculate, for ten degree intervals, the difference between on-site wind power and the nearest meteorological station’s decades of data and then  transpose the data to produce a windmill “rose” for his mill. He used this to validate and calibrate the Molenbiotoop calculations used in the Netherlands.

  Combining a calibrated Molenbiotoop with heights of trees and buildings, derived from Google Earth 3D, for each ten degree point around his mill he produced a “milling rose” showing the average yearly hours of suitable wind force for milling in each arc. For Impington, he calculated that the 166 milling days his grandfather once enjoyed have been reduced to 23 days. His method simplifies calculating the impact of proposed developments and with SPAB Mills Section being asked to address planning applications every other day, often with only a few days to respond, this is a vital tool.

  I believe we need to acquire and fit an anemometer so that we can transpose wind records from our nearest meteorological station to supply this to SPAB when we are next faced with a planning application threatening the mill.


Wartime flour supplies

National flour bag during WWII
National flour bag during WWII

At the start of the war Britain was importing around 70% of its grain, but with the demands of war and the risk posed by U-Boats to imported supplies, the government sought ways to make limited grain supplies go further.

  Thus, National Flour was introduced in 1942. Its extraction rate was around 85%, which was much higher that the white bread that was almost universally eaten before the war: a similar rate to today’s brown bread. Extraction rate refers to the amount of flour produced compared to grain – for example, at an extraction rate of 85% per 100kg of grain, 85kg of National Flour would be produced. White bread in comparison is more heavily milled and processed, with a rate of around 70%. In 1941, calcium fortification was also introduced as Rickets was found to be common amongst those joining the Women’s Land Army. Fortification of bread continues today in all bread aside from wholemeal

  Bread was never rationed during the war, but it would come under rationing from 1946 till 1948. Commercial white bread, however, was banned altogether on the 6th April 1942, and sliced white bread wouldn’t be reintroduced until 1950, with the National Loaf abolished six years later. The National Loaf was unpopular and was dubbed ‘Hitler’s Secret Weapon’. It apparently had an unappealing colour and texture, but was much less wasteful than the more popular white bread and saved on limited supplies, as well as being healthier. Furthermore – at least according to the Minister of Food at the time – it acted as an aphrodisiac!

  In today’s health-conscious world, with a backlash against white bread, it is interesting to see the unpopularity of the introduction of what effectively was brown bread. Indeed, the National Loaf didn’t appear to have any lasting effect, and as soon as it was reintroduced people started buying white bread again. From the Mills Archive


Looking for the skills we need

In a bid to find skilled people to help to maintain the mill, we have sent out a mailing to companies and contractors with carpentry, joinery, engineering and general building skills. The letter asked for volunteers, inviting them to a virtual meeting on 18th October. The meeting needed to be online since we are currently unable to hold a physical meeting in the mill field. We will repeat this exercise – targeting large employers, but we may wait until we can have volunteers physically present.

No Carols this year but let’s support our hospices

As you all know, every year in December volunteers organise a bonfire and carol singing round the fire. We  collect donations from residents and friends who support us each year. All the donations go to St. Barnabas and the Chestnut Tree House hospices. This year, although there will be no bonfire or carols, on Friday 18th December from 8 am to 1 pm and Sunday 20th December from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. the gate house will be open to receive your donations. During the “lock down” the charities lost much of their funding. We are sure they would be pleased to accept our help. Thanks go to Betty Potts for organising this.


 Annual membership subscriptions can be paid by cheque or by Standing Order, and can be upgraded to Life membership at any time. Members can enter open afternoons free of charge by showing their card at the gate. We currently have 204 members (ten honorary), and would love there to be more.

Any questions: Paul Minter on

Capt. Paul Minter, Membership

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.

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

Newsletter August 2020


Newsletter for Members and Friends of High Salvington Windmill                                                                                                                                                      August 2020

Calling for engineering skills

Welcome to a special extra newsletter published by the High Salvington Windmill. As you know, the windmill has been closed all season. But we have taken advantage of this to carry out some essential maintenance work. We were fortunate to receive a Covid-19 business grant from the Government, and the Board decided to spend it to get some jobs done, and also to help the local economy by giving work to local businesses. It was necessary to hire a firm to paint the buck and the sails, while our stalwart band of volunteers will take care of the outbuildings, We thank them for so willingly giving up their time to paint and maintain these buildings. Our Chairman reports later in this newsletter on the measures the Board needs to consider for the long-term future of the windmill. We are specifically looking for a chief engineer with the right skills and experience to maintain the mill in its pristine condition, as well as a coordinator of works.

  Ever since the Windmill Trust was formed, volunteers have willingly given their time. Reader Janet Pelling sent us some pictures of her husband and son, back in the 1980s, helping with the restoration work. On the right you can see son Ian Pelling, aged 11, standing in front of the newly demolished tea-room, before the new roundhouse was built.


A look around the mill field

The millstone leaning against the Scots Pine Tree. This millstone was found beneath the patio of a house on the north side of Lowther Road, off Half Moon Lane. The miller in 1792 William Sheppard also owned Salvington Nurseries just south of Crockhurst Hill and it is possible that he brought the old millstone down the hill – although there are other theories. We think it may have been removed from the mill in the mid-19th century. Although they are very long-lasting, millstones do not last for ever. They are dressed (i.e. the grooves sharpened) regularly but eventually become too thin with the danger of breakage during grinding.  The millstone is of Derbyshire Peak stone which produces the rougher, wholemeal flour we produce today on the current stones.


The Tailpole and Talthur. The tailpole is the long white beam behind the mill that gives so much fun to visiting children as they move the mill round. The renovation team got the tailpole to the length it should be (as it had been left too short in the 1960s. They also made and installed the talthur, the lever we use to raise the steps, and so release the mill to turn. The image is of a group of visitors enjoying the thrill of moving the mill. Thirty-three tons of mill can be moved by just a couple of people and children enjoy the thrill of such power.

Stories taken from “The Mill Field Story” published by the High Salvington Mill Trust 2013, with minor edits.


From field to shelf – from the archive

Grain or corn includes most of the cereals – wheat, barley oats, maize, rye, rice, and buckwheat, to mention a few. These grains (apart from oats, which have to be rolled) can be ground as a part of the milling process to become flour – ‘a finely ground powder prepared from grain or other starchy plant foods’. (continued…)


Where did wheat come from?

The word cereal comes from Ceres, the Roman goddess of agriculture. According to myth, it was Ceres who taught humans how to plough, introducing them to grain and the art of grinding. It is believed that grain production began somewhere in or near Mesopotamia and Egypt and could have been growing as early as the 10th century BC. The early grains then crossed with each other to form hybrids, until we eventually ended up with the modern wheat of today.

  The first mills were saddle querns – a flat slab of stone and a hand-held upper stone. Hard work! Next came the quern millstones, similar to the one we have at our mill. On the right you see our own quern being operated by visiting schoolchildren. Querns continued for home use for many centuries but meanwhile, mankind learned to harness animal, wind and water power to turn much larger stones.

  Much later, roller milling began – where the grain was ground on rollers rather than millstones. Today’s flour mills are high-tech affairs, but the principle is the same: the grain has to be broken open and refined to produce a usable food product. To make good quality flour, millers must ensure the wheat is good. After a damp summer, wheat grains can begin to sprout before harvest, and the quality of the seed can degrade quickly. When sprouting occurs, enzymes begin to break down the long chains of starch into simple sugars. This impacts the quality of bread and other baked goods made from sprouted wheat. 

  There is a test called the “Hagberg falling number” to measure enzyme activity in flour. It refers to the number of seconds it takes for a plunger to fall through a mix of wheat flour in water. If the plunger falls quickly, it means that the starch has been converted to sugar. However, if the plunger falls slowly, the mixture is thick with starch and thus of good flour. Grain merchants must test their wheat because bakers will only buy flour with a falling number of over 250 (seconds). So millers must ensure that the grain they buy will meet the standard. Ours has to be higher than 250.

Information taken from “From Quern to Computer” by the Mills Archive, and thanks to Bob Potts for the Hagberg falling number pointers.


Spicy cheese biscuits

Our flour is produced as souvenir flour. But if you want to bake some souvenir spicy cheese biscuits – here is a recipe. The image is the result of your editor following the instructions. I can report that I put a tad too much cayenne in the mixture for my taste, but they are very cheesy!

2 oz High Salvington Wholemeal flour

2 oz butter

3 oz cheddar cheese (grated)

Pinch of salt and pepper and 2 pinches of Cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon of water

Rub the butter thoroughly into the flour, add the dry ingredients and most of the cheese and mix with the water. Roll out the mixture thinly and cut into a variety of fairly small shapes and place on a greased baking tray. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. Bake at 190oC (375oF, gas mark 5), for 10-15 minutes.

  For more recipes purchase our recipe book from the souvenir shop when we open again.


The Cootes – a Family of Millers and Bakers of Salvington

In the 19th and early 20th centuries, our miller would have been purchasing his grain from local grain merchant and baker Coote and Sons in Salvington Road. Although started by Alfred Coote, the business was really run by his widow Rhoda and her sons. As a family, they had worked as millers in various mills in Hampshire and Sussex, including ours. They settled in Salvington Road to create their bakery.


In memoriam for Quentin English

Quentin English died on 23rd June, after being diagnosed with cancer just two weeks earlier. He was a man who loved life, especially making happy memories for others. From artist to art teacher, motorcyclist to Morgan connoisseur, Balkan tour operator to travel lecturer/ examiner/author – and Classic Car Day organiser at the windmill – he did everything he could to make the world more fun for others.

  He loved telling stories and reminiscing about adventures (or ‘international incidents’ as they were often known!). His cancer was sudden and aggressive and took him quickly. His widow Ann said that she and Quentin have been organising the mill’s Classic Cars open day since 2010 and, via this, have raised substantial funds for the windmill. Ann says she is willing to continue in 2021 – this year’s having been, of course, cancelled. Our condolences go to Ann, and thanks for her continued support for the mill.


Maintenance Co-ordinator

The current Maintenance Co-ordinator, Ian Fairclough will be standing down from this role at the end of the year and the Board would like to hear from anyone who would take this on. The role is to manage the volunteer Maintenance team and liaise with contractors where necessary to arrange working parties to carry out work at the mill which ranges from gardening tasks to heavy engineering. An interest in ensuring the mill continues to be maintained in good working order for the benefit of the local community and our visitors is essential and an engineering background is desirable.

  If you would like more information about this role please contact Ian Fairclough on 01903 267354 or 07759 650540.


A word from our Acting Chairman, Jeff Best

Scaffolding erected ready for painting work in August

As I write, we have lost ten open days and events to the pandemic. We have also held a socially distanced AGM with proxy votes and some attendees via Zoom. Work behind the scenes continues. Some of you may have noticed scaffolding going up around the windmill, ready for further repairs to the sails, some cladding replacement and a complete repaint. Less noticeable to passers-by is the completion of the Nutley wind engine with the installation of a pump so we now have two working wind pumps. A few gusty days have pushed the Nutley Wind Generator to produce close to its maximum power output.

  Although we had hoped that we might be able to open the mill grounds towards the end of the season, with the currently reported daily averages of new Covid cases and related deaths per day, the Board has reluctantly decided not to open the mill field at all this season. Nor will we be holding the carol service in December. This is a shame, but we simply cannot take any risks with visitors’ and volunteer’s health. As reported elsewhere, the maintenance volunteers remain busy. They are not painting the windmill themselves but have commenced repainting all of the other buildings. The trustees are also active. We need to organise some effective recruitment of both volunteers and members, to fill some specific vacancies and bolster the skills and confidence within the maintenance team. While spending several months on planning is intended to ensure success, if the planned current way in which the mill is managed. Although prudent management by our predecessors has steadily accrued our current reserves they are insufficient to keep the mill maintained for more than a few years if we lack the skills and confidence to do our own maintenance and we have to be aware that our sweeps have already exceeded their expected life. Ideally, we will find a new chief engineer with the skills and experience to take on the management of the maintenance for the foreseeable future.


Membership – get your friends to join us

Without you, our members, we would not be able to continue to run the Mill. Do please pass this newsletter to friends, neighbours or family in case they might like to join as members. Perhaps you even consider buying gift membership for someone.

  Our members fall into three categories: Honorary Membership, awarded for long service to the mill; Life Membership, open to all for a one-off fee of £40; Annual Membership: just £4 for a single membership or £7 for a dual membership. A membership application form is included at the end of this newsletter, and please do not hesitate to contact me if you require more information on membership, how to pay by standing order, or how you can support the Trust in any other way.

  Annual membership subscriptions can be paid by cheque or by Standing Order, and can be upgraded to Life membership at any time. Members can enter open afternoons free of charge by showing their card at the gate. We currently have 203 members (ten honorary), and would love there to be more.

Any questions: Paul Minter on

Capt. Paul Minter, Membership


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.


  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



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

Mill newsletter May 2020

THE MILL                                                                              Summer 2020

Newsletter of the Friends of High Salvington Windmill     

Mill closed for 2020 season

Welcome to a special newsletter published by the High Salvington Windmill. Most of you will already know of the very sad decision taken by the Board not to open at all this season. As the Covid-19 crisis unfolded, at first, we thought we might be able to salvage our late summer events, and possibly the fete. But by April it was clear to all that, even with the easing of restrictions, public gatherings would not be allowed this summer. We could not ensure correct social distancing even for small groups, given the confined space inside our mill. We also needed to consider the health of our volunteers, many of whom are over 70, some with underlying health issues. We hope you will enjoy reading some stories and anecdotes about our mill, and others in the local area.


A look back at the story of our mill and those that went before

We hope you will enjoy this collection of items from the past. They include anecdotes and stories from the archives.

Fire at the mill

An entry in The Sussex Weather Book by Ogley, Currie and Davison tells us that on November 23rd 1755 “…A windmill in the parish of Durrington … was set on fire by lightning … which, in a short while, consumed the same ….”

  The Archive Group decided to investigate further and found a mention in the Kentish Post and the Brighton Herald, which further informed that with the mill, several loads of corn were also destroyed. We do not believe that there was a round house then, so the corn must have been stored inside the mill. It seems fairly certain that the mill then stood on an open hardwood (oak) trestle. Eighteen months after the fire, the mill was insured for £250 with the ‘Sun Fire Office’ for a premium of £5. Over the years, the mill was substantially and expensively updated, with a roundhouse being built to safeguard a trestle made of softwood, the buck enlarged, and a pair of spring shutter sails replacing a pair of common sails. Business must have been good!

Milling through the ages

Indentured labour

The Mills archive holds a wonderful document. It is an indenture between the millwright and engineer Thomas Pilbeam, and his new apprentice, Charles William Dew. Dated 14th October 1865, it agrees that Charles Dew will work for five years, and promises his good and lawful behaviour. In return he will be taught ‘The Art of the Millwright and Engineer’. It also agrees to an increasing rate of pay as his skills and abilities develop throughout the apprenticeship. He begins on six shillings a week and ends on fourteen shillings a week in his fifth year of employment.

  It seems Charles had a successful apprenticeship. In a reference, Thomas Pilbeam rues the fact that he does not have enough work for him. It seems that Charles was able to gain employment. A later reference from the foreman at Medina Mills explains that he worked to ‘full satisfaction’ as a millwright and engineer, leaving to work on another mill under construction. 

Sussex Weekly Advertiser December 5th 1774 


A MILLER, one that is a sober man and can write.  It is not material that he is quite master of the Business or not.  Apply to William EDE at Shermanbury, near Steyning.

 Muscle Power

Very early mills used man and animal power to raise water for irrigation and to turn stones to grind all kinds of products such as sugar cane, beans, corn, etc. The image on the right shows how water was raised in North Africa. Driven by two bullocks the machinery moved earthenware pots in a loop, scooping the water up from a well.  Another example from the archive shows a human watermill in China employing two workers to operate a treadwheel/scoop wheel contraption to irrigate paddy fields.


Good guy, bad guy?

Throughout the ages, the role of the miller has been subject to all sorts of stories and stereotypes: millers have been slandered, satirised, respected and romanticised all in equal measures.

  A volume called The Mills of Man by George Long (available in the archive) contains an account attesting that at one time, the jobs of milling and smuggling often went hand in hand.

Mr Long describes how, at the end of the eighteenth and beginning of the nineteenth centuries “when that nefarious traffic reached its zenith”, the miller had an important role to play in the highly-organised smuggling trade. The miller was “frequently the individual responsible for the actual delivery to the consumer of the articles ordered. The reason for this was that the mill was situated in every village – either wind or water – and could easily deliver contraband articles concealed beneath the sacks of grain or flour which formed its legitimate trade. Further, those small mills which had no delivery vehicles of their own could hand the articles to the callers as they brought their grist and took away their flour.”

  So it seems that millers took a leading part in the work of delivering orders to the customers in towns and villages – an ingenious method indeed! This business would not have taken place completely secretly: often the whole village would have been in on it as many of them would have benefitted, as we hear in Rudyard Kipling’s poem A Smuggler’s Song: “Brandy for the Parson, ‘Baccy for the Clerk”. Those that didn’t benefit chose to subtly turn their heads:

“Them that asks no questions isn’t told a lie –

Watch the wall my darling as the gentlemen go by!”

  Stories of the smuggling days are particularly rife around the Hampshire and Sussex coastline, In its heyday smuggling was common across the whole of the southern coast of England, from Falmouth to Folkestone and anywhere in between.

We are indebted to the Mills Archive newsletter for these stories. If you want to know more, look them up at this link:


Miller’s tomb at Highdown

The isolated tomb of John Olliver on Highdown Hill has been a focal point for gossip, jokes and rumour for over two hundred years. Olliver was a prosperous miller who built his own tomb in 1766 – 27 years before his death.  The tombstone reads: “For the reception of the body of John Olliver, when deceased to the Will of God: granted by William Westbrooke Richardson esq., 1766”. But there’s more.

  Olliver reportedly kept his casket under his bed all the years between securing the burial plot and actually entering the great beyond. Locals suspected that he was a smuggler, using sails arranged in code on his windmill to tell of his shipments and storing the illicit goods in his casket and at his future gravesite. We have to wonder what exactly he might have been smuggling!

  Over 2000 people turned up at his funeral to witness his passing, and rumour has it, he was buried face down. Apparently, the world would be turned upside down when the last judgment came, and his position underground would ensure he was the right way up! John Olliver was not associated in any way with our windmill in High Salvington, despite the fact that they could clearly see each other across the fields between their hills.

Sources: various including BBC Southern Counties and Dusty Old Things.

Rustington Smock Mill

One of our Facebook followers posted a newspaper article about the mill at Rustington which existed up to 1912. Rustington Mill stood at the end of Sea Lane. Apart from Cudlow Farm, Hobbs Farm and Knight’s Croft House, there were no other buildings in Sea Lane apart from Rustington Mill – a Post Mill or Smock Mill.

According to the article, some of which we reproduce here, it had stood for two centuries. A passage leading to the village was discovered, thought to have been used for smuggling. The nearby houses had similar passages. Smuggling truly was rife in Sussex back in the 18th century!

Thanks to Rustington Past and Present for permission to reproduce this cutting.

Sussex Weekly Advertiser 1774

October 24th


A Miller who understand the Business and can be well recommended and can write. Apply to Mr. JOHN STOVELD at Steyning

Our Hampshire neighbour

Bursledon Windmill is Hamp-shire’s only working windmill, and a fascinating example of the county’s milling history. Built in 1813, after a period of dereliction it was restored and reopened in the 1990s as a working windmill and heritage attraction.


Southern Weekly Advertiser, Monday, January 17th 1774

On Wednesday last one Combe a miller at Newhaven, was going from that place to Worth on horseback with a woman behind him. His horse took fright at something on the road when the woman too jumped off without hurt but unfortunately pulling Combe with her his foot hung in the stirrup and the horse dragging him a considerable distance he was horribly bruised that he died on Saturday.

October 17th

To be sold by AUCTION

On Wednesday the 26th of October Instant, at the Sign of the Wheel at Westfield Sussex except disposed of by previous Contract before

A WATERWHEEL and HUST and a Cogwheel and Boulter and the Building of a Water Mill thereto belonging. For further particulars enquire of Mr. HAYWARD Miller at Wartlington.

August 13th

Whereas the Ponds at BREAD POWDER MILLS near BATTLE in the county of Sussex have lately been several Times robbed and great Quantities of Fish stolen by Poachers and unjustified Persons in the Night Time. A Reward of TEN GUINEAS is offered to any Person who shall discover or give information against the offending Person or Persons so that they may be brought to Justice …




From the Southern Weekly Advertiser,

February 7th 1774

On Friday se’ennight Battle Powder Mill blew up, but happily no lives were lost.

February 14th

A few days since died at his house in Chichester Mr. Wm Woods, one of the joint proprietors of the large tide mill at Seaford; this gentleman has for many years laboured under heavy excruciating tortures from that disease of the Stone which he bore with great Christian fortitude; and within a few days of his death he declared that when dead he might be opened which was accordingly done and a Stone of above eleven ounces was taken out of his bladder.

Lewes July 4th

On Wednesday last as a lad, son to Mr Hoather, miller of the above place [Brighthelmstone] was chopping a bat with a handbill it unfortunately fell on his wrist which thereby received such a desperate wound, that it is fear’d his hand must undergo a Amputation.

Thanks to Wendy Funnel, our archivist, for these gems.

Stories from our guides

Backhanded compliment!

At the conclusion of the tour a lady turned to me and said, “Well, that was a lot more interesting than I thought it was going to be….” (Greg).

Out of the mouths…

One young and apparently very well-read visitor asked me why the mill hadn’t blown up, because

– they were doing long hours milling after the harvest and would need light.

– but they only had candles or oil lamps,

– and a working flour mill is full of flour dust – which is notoriously flammable. (Paul)

Perhaps they simply made the best use of summer daylight that they could. Or maybe they could see in the dark. Or was it just luck?  (Ed.)

Another guide reported that a young visitor to the mill at Singleton asked about how everything worked. She listened carefully as our guide showed her the grain, the stones, the bran and the flour. Asked if she had any questions she enquired “why do you have hairs growing out of your nose?”

  The same guide has often been asked about the ‘electric motor that drives the sails.’ Of course, there is no motor – the wind is the driving force. And to some of today’s visitors, it seems an alien concept. You never know what questions may be asked or what explanations you might be called upon to resolve. (Bob)


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.

A word from our Acting Chairman, Jeff Best

At this troubling time, when we are physically distanced from friends and family and the future is uncertain, I am very grateful to our maintenance and management teams who have adapted, with aplomb, to the new “normal”. The grass is still being cut and hedges kept in excellent trim. The mill is still being turned into the wind and the sails rotated regularly to balance wear. The buildings are being checked and a weather eye kept on known maintenance issues. I regret that this season, we cannot welcome visitors and many of our volunteers, but your health is more important. I look forward to the time when this infection is under control and we can resume operations. In the meantime, stay safe, and know that we are doing all we can to keep the mill and engines well maintained and the site well-groomed ready to welcome everyone back once this is all behind us. Finally, I would like to make special mention of Ian Fairclough, who has been managing maintenance diligently for the last few years, and Lucy Brooks, who is putting extra effort into producing an additional newsletter to remind us all of the heritage treasures we are all committed to preserving for those who follow us.


A miller’s poem

The windmill is a couris thing

Compleatly built by art of man

To grind the corn for man and beast

That they alike may have a feast


The mill she is built of wood, iron, and stone,

Therefore she cannot go aloan;

Therefore, to make the mill to go,

The wind from some part she must blow.


The motison of the mill is swift,

The miller must be very thrift,

To jump about and get things ready,

Or else the mill will soon run empty.

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

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


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”

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.


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.




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.


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.” 


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.


 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.


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 to discuss suitable dates and times.


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 The site is now maintained by Jeff Best and Lucy Brooks.

ooO oo




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.


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 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.


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


Newsletter of the Friends of High Salvington Windmill – October 2019


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.


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.


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).


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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!


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.


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:


Newsletter of the Friends of High Salvington Windmill Spring 2019

Newsletter of the Friends of High Salvington Windmill Spring 2019.

Bob Potts and Peter Casebow mourn the passing of Roger Ashton.

Some readers may have noticed that the sails of the Mill were set in an unusual configuration in December. This was a tribute to Roger Ashton, one of the Mill’s longest- serving volunteers, who died on 6 December 2018.
“Roger, who joined the Mill group in 1982, was a very meticulous person and worked on the restoration with Peter Casebow – often the only two volunteers on site”, recalls Bob Potts. “He spent many hours over many years in Worthing library tracing the history of the Mill and the development of High Salvington. Roger was a great collector of postcards, stamps, sugar wrappers (thousands of them) and was an expert on plants and all things in the garden. He compiled a list of all of the plants growing on the site. 

“In the early days he was one of three millers, and a guide. “A very level-headed person. When he was chairman of the Board, I consulted him regularly to discuss new suggestions.” During his years of research Roger put together six
large scrapbooks – now in the Mill archive. These cover the history of the Mill, the names of the millers, the uses of the Mill and the site – holiday homes in railway carriages, the office of an estate agent, and an animal injury centre during the second world war, the High Salvington Electricity Company, and many other topics related to the Mill.” 

“In the 1970s Roger, Bob Potts, and I first met”, says Peter Casebow. “Roger’s son, David, persuaded him to join me and we got Bob Potts to join us to form a group of three which has been a driving force in raising funds and in the
restoration of the Mill. We met every Thursday evening and on two Sundays a month – for over 30 years! Roger helped to locate and restore the granary and worked on other projects such as the visitors’ centre, gate hut, and wind
We shall always be grateful to Roger Ashton for his substantial and enthusiastic interest and input towards the restoration of the Mill and its operation over many years.


Mill buck straightening completed

Maintenance Coordinator Ian Fairclough reports on work done over the winter
As reported previously the buck (body of the Mill) leans forward, a condition known as ‘head sick’. The clearance of the sails past the roundhouse was extremely tight and by the end of the 2018 season they were clipping the
roundhouse roof. In addition, the Mill had become harder to turn as the wood wears – a wooden frame around the post that acts as a bearing for the post – were leaning hard against the Mill post. It was decided to straighten the Mill
buck and adjust the wood wears to suit in order to reduce the angle of lean and reduce the pressure on the wood wears and the post.
During the winter of 2017-18 a metal jig was fabricated. With the Mill buck held by the jig the wood wears could be removed and adjusted to hold the buck in a more upright position. Although the jig was tested and proved successful
the project was postponed as there was the risk of the work not being completed by the start of the 2018 season, making the Mill inaccessible for visitors. So, in October 2018 the project was restarted and by January 2019 was
completed, making the Mill accessible again.

The work required a great amount of volunteer commitment over the winter period.

Work carried out
The rear wood wear was tackled first and, after much chiselling and cutting, it was removed. The extremely large but delicate piece of wood was sent for repair – the work being done by Peter Casebow’s son, Stephen. He did a fantastic job as the wood wear virtually fell apart and required a complete rebuild. It was installed in a new position about 2.5 inches further back than previously in order to accommodate the new position of the Mill buck.
As with the rear wood wear, extremely large saws capable of cutting the large timbers were required for repair work on the front wood wear. Its timber is much newer and, therefore, more robust. The work was carried out by Wenban
Smith at a very minimal cost. We were extremely grateful to the company for its assistance and delivered Christmas chocolates and biscuits to the staff in appreciation.
The shears – large, original pieces of timber that run from the back of the buck and flank the Mill post – showed signs of rot in places and had to be repaired. This work was carried out by the maintenance team. With the
repositioning and repairs completed the floor supports and bird-proofing was reinstated to provide access to the Mill again.
What has been achieved 
The new position of the buck is clear to see from outside the Mill when viewing the height of the buck skirt (front of the buck) above the roundhouse and the roof. And the clearance from the roundhouse has been increased
substantially. On the downside the tail pole now is lower as the buck has been tipped back which makes it harder to raise the steps as the talthur is lower. It was decided to install a longer talthur – the pole that enables the Mill steps to
be raised and the Mill buck turned. Together with some pivoting adjustments to improve leverage, this should solve the problem.
For further technical information contact Ian Fairclough or Peter Casebow at the Mill.

• Barry Flanagan, who owns the Burton water mill and is an electronics expert, offered to look at the wind generator and has now got it working. It has been installed on the tower with the propeller and showed that it could generate
current even with just a light breeze. However, further calibration and set-up is required before it can be connected to lights. All that is needed is a decent wind.

FREE entry to Mill’s anniversary event – 12th May
2019 marks the 60th anniversary of Worthing Borough Council purchasing the land in Furze Road, High Salvington, on which stands the High Salvington Mill. Thus began the restoration, repair, and renovation of the ‘Grand Old Lady of High Salvington’. To celebrate this anniversary a series of events will be held, the highlight of which will be ‘Diamond Day’ on Sunday 12 May when, coinciding with National Mills Day, special
events will be staged. Entry will be FREE.

Although it is 60 years it could have been 65, says Wendy Funnel, Mill Archivist. It all began in 1954 when the County Planning Officer reported to W.S.C.C. in May that year that ‘little would need to be done to put it [High Salvington Windmill] in firstclass order’. Thus, it was chosen by W.S.C.C. to be preserved as an example of a Post Mill; the Mill at Shipley was chosen as a Smock Mill and Halnaker as an example of a Tower Mill – the cost to be shared between the County, Worthing, and a public appeal. Repairs were estimated to cost £300.  But Worthing Council decided at its July meeting to purchase the Mill for £100, and repairs were estimated at £1500 – the difference being that the Mill had deteriorated in the past year or so, and its condition was becoming critical. Captain and Mrs W. Douglas-Jones who lived in Mill Cottage and ran the Mill, which was owned by the family trust, would be offered a life tenancy at £6 p.a. However, a year later, an offer of purchase of £2500 had been refused and repairs were now estimated at £1800. Negotiations dragged on, delayed by the death of a senior member of the Trust and then in December 1957 by the death of Capt. W. Douglas-Jones, aged 82. He is buried in Durrington Cemetery.  Purchase principle was agreed in the summer of 1958 with a price of £2250; although repairs were by then estimated
at £3500. This allowed Edwin Hole & Son of Burgess Hill, professional millwrights, who had already repaired Shipley and Halnaker windmills, to begin work on the Mill in the early summer of 1959. And finally, the purchase
was effected on the 11th December 1959, conveying the Mill to the ‘Mayor, Aldermen, and Burgesses of the Borough of Worthing’. Mrs Douglas-Jones would be a tenant for life of Mill Cottage, which stood in the NW corner of the mill field. But Mill Cottage and other outbuildings were demolished in 1962 when their condition deteriorated. Mrs Douglas-Jones was re-housed.
Over the next two years the cost of repairs increased as the more the millwrights did, the more was revealed as needing to be done. So, when new sails were finally installed at the end of summer 1961 the cost of purchase and
repairs was around £7,500. But Edwin Hole was confident that the Mill would stand for another 200 years. Thus it was that the Mill was prepared, endured, and survived the harsh winter of 1962-63. Would it have done so, otherwise?
In the spring of 1975 one of the stocks fell off. More investigations followed and Worthing Council was looking at a repair bill of £20,000! Money it did not have. And so, the Volunteers of High Salvington Mill Trust and the Friends
of High Salvington Mill came to the rescue!! But that is another story.

The anniversary celebrations will include an exhibition of four boards which concentrate on the Mill in the state that it was when it was bought, the restoration, and today’s use of four wind-powered mills. In addition, the Mill has a
number of agricultural items – scythe, pitchfork, two-man saw, hay rake – along with immovable farm items in the roundhouse – farm scales, a sack truck, and a 19th
-century lathe. A photography competition also is planned. 

New Volunteers Wanted
The Mill will be using the event to try to attract new members and volunteers. Anyone interested should contact: 
Membership Secretary, Chandons’, Firsdown Close, High Salvington, Worthing BN13 3BQ;

Between April and September the Mill is open every first and third Sunday of the month. In addition, there are special events such as the Annual Fete, Classic Car day, and a Craft Fair.
Much of the information above is drawn from the research by Roger Ashton who visited Worthing Library every Thursday morning for three years, diligently to work through its store of newspapers for references to High
Salvington Windmill.


Membership Secretary.
The Mill Trust is looking for a Membership Secretary to join the High Salvington Windmill group on a voluntary basis. It requires someone who is prepared to give a few hours of their time once a month.
The membership spreadsheets are easy to use and already set up for the season 2019 – 2020. The current Membership Secretary will guide you through all that is required and help with the transition of the role so you will
not be left on your own.  This is a rewarding position and deserves someone who will want to be a part of the Mill and its team of dedicated supporters.
If you are interested contact Membership Secretary, ‘Chandons’, Firsdown Close, High Salvington, Worthing BN13 3BQ

• Angela and Derek McMillan have taken over the bookstall and are on the look-out for books to be sold at the Mill’s annual fete and other events. Telephone number is 01903 615219; email:

Calendar of events
The High Salvington Mill Trust Ltd has published its schedule of events to be held at the Mill site in 2019. As previously, the Mill will be open to visitors on the first and third Sundays of every month from April to September.
In addition, the Annual Fete, Car Club Day, and other special events will be held. The Board has decided to celebrate National Mills Day (12 May) with a sixtieth-anniversary event to mark the purchase of the land by the
Borough Council. Exhibitions, talks, etc. are planned.

Entry to the May 12th event will be FREE.
7 April Open afternoon 2.30pm to 5.00pm
21 April Open afternoon 2.30pm to 5.00pm
5 May Open afternoon 2.30pm to 5.00pm
12 May National Mills Day; High Salvington
Mill 60th anniversary celebrations;
and Radio Hams 2.00pm to 5.00pm
19 May Open afternoon 2.30pm to 5.00pm
2 June Open afternoon (including Book Fair)
2.30pm to 5.00pm
16 June Open afternoon 2.30pm to 5.00pm
7 July Open afternoon 2.30pm to 5.00pm
14 July Annual Fete 2.00pm to 5.00pm
21 July Open afternoon 2.30pm to 5.00pm
4 August Car Club Day 2.30pm to 5.00pm
18 August Open afternoon 2.30pm to 5.00pm
1 September Autumn Craft Day 1.00pm to 5.00pm
15 September Open afternoon 2.30pm to 5.00pm
20 December Family Carol evening 7.15pm


A welcome for the four-page Newsletter
Dear Editor
It was very pleasing to note that The Mill newsletter had been enlarged to four pages. Anything that promotes the
‘Grand Old Lady of High Salvington is to be welcomed.
What could be better than sitting in the sun on a Sunday afternoon with a drink and a slice of delicious home-made
cake and a tour of the Mill to follow.
Thanks for an interesting newsletter and best of luck in your efforts to promote such a treasure.
Dear Diane
Thanks for your message and your comments. If any other reader has anything to say regarding the Mill and the
Newsletter please write to: Bob Brooks, 34 Furze Road, High Salvington, Worthing BN13 3BH.
Bob Brooks, Editor, The Mill;
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 
per dual couple £ 7.00 
Life membership per person £40.00 
NAME: __________________________________________________________________________________________
ADDRESS: _____________________________________________________________ Post Code_________________
Signed ___________________________ Date ___________________ email: __________________________________
Send to: Rachel Trickey, ‘Chandons’, Firsdown Close, High Salvington, Worthing BN13 3BQ.
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

The Mill is researched and edited by Bob Brooks, (01903 691945), email: