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Watermill in Winter



Winter is well advanced and our watermill project has progressed slowly over the last few months.
The team continued to meet through November but December was just too cold, some of the lowest temperatures many of the team could remember.

In January we decided that one meeting a week was in order until the weather warmed up and the days got longer again.

We have concentrated on indoor jobs most of the time, working on the Petter engine and on the overhead drive.

The Petter is now in running order, complete with cooling tank and mounted on a sturdy trolley. It was duly wheeled out and started up on New Year's Day for the annual social gathering of the MAC.

The overhead drive is also complete once more, using a length of line shaft to connect a three foot diameter flat belt pulley outside the watermill to the new bevel gear above the millstones. The bevel gear was cast and donated by Purbright Castings using the other half of the pair as a pattern. The overhead drive in place.

The pulley outside was donated by a local millwright and strationery engine enthusiast and is a good four handed lift. Raising it onto the outer end of the shaft was done early in January while the webmaster was not around to take pictures.

There  was a great deal of discussion about how to erect the scaffold tower and it almost certainly took longer to erect the tower and dismantle it again than it did to put the pulley in place.

The shaft rests in new bearings and plummer blocks and the next step will be to connect up the Petter and see if it has the necessary grunt to turn the stones. We don't believe that it will be able to actually mill but we are hoping it will be able to turn the stones "light" to demonstrate the principle.

The millpool in winter (Fox lane Photography)Since early last year our project has been followed by a local photographer, David Evans of Fox Lane Photography. David has visited the watermill on many occasions, catching images of work being done (quite a trick) and also illustraing the winter beauty of the surroundings.

The picture on the left is an example of David's work and we are grateful to him for permission to use this and other photos.

As the days lengthen we can start to plan our year ahead. We will be running the mill during the lunch break at all the hill-climb meetings this year but the mill will be closed while competitors are running on the hill.

National Mills Weekend 2011 takes place on 14th and 15th of May. We will be open on both days and should be milling flour on the Sunday afternoon. As always admission to the mill is free but we do like to receive donations from visitors.

We alraedy have a number of group visits booked for the coming year bu we have plenty of free dates if you would like to arrange a visit. We take groups large and small and will do our best to accomodate special requests but sadly the site cannot be adapted to make it wheelchair friendly.

Why not get a group together and come and see for yourself. Just fill in our visit request to get in touch.

Click on the pictures to see larger versions

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