Newsletter March 2020

Sails get a clean sweep

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

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

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

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

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

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Behind the scenes in the kitchen

 

Toffee fudge cake

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

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

Green tea

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

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Mill represented at local events

Seed swap

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

 

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Hobbies fair

 

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

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In memoriam      John Simmonds

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Final link

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

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 Carol evening raises funds

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

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Group visits

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

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

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

 

Getting Involved

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

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

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

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

 

New website

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

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

Cleaning the stones

Bedstone exposed
The bedstone exposed

A word from our Acting Chairman, Jeff Best

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

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Helpers needed for the fete (12 July)

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

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

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

 

We have many volunteers but 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.

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