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
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
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.
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; email@example.com
Worthing BN13 3BS
The Mill is researched and edited by Bob Brooks, (01903 691945), email: firstname.lastname@example.org