New sack hooks were probably the most visible sign of progress at the mill today as most of the other jobs were adjustments to things already done.
Headley used some threaded rod to make three new sack hooks, copying the pattern that you can just see on the left of the picture.
In the absence of a forge, the metal was heated with a gas torch and hammered into shape using the bench vice as an anvil.
The finished hooks will be fixed below the flour chutes from the stones to support sack to catch the grindings. With a bit of sacking over the chute, this will greatly reduce the amount of dust that fills the bottom of the mill whenever we grind at the moment.
As well as the ongoing lime wash application (Bob and John) there was a fair amount of general maintenance work being done from grass cutting to greasing bearings on the sack hoist windlass. While Martyn and Richard were doing this last job they noticed a badly chipped cog, a wooden tooth, in the windlass pinion.
Max and Dick soon had a new cog made from pear wood and Max and Richard fitted the replacement, with Colin casting a watchful eye to make sure we did it right.
Martyn and Jonathan got down to earth and planted a couple more laurel bushes to bring the developing hedge right up to the front gate.
We had a bit of a site meeting in the middle of the afternoon to study a collection of photographs from the Shelsley Walsh archives.
The mill was not part of the MAC lease until 2005 and it doesn't appear in any of the old pictures but many of the other farm buildings can be seen in the background behind cars from as far back as 1905.
We are going to assemble as many before and after pictures as we can for display when we fully open to the public. Although we are not formally opening the mill just yet we will be opening the mill to visitors this Sunday, 10th May as part of the National Mills Weekend.
The mill will be open from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. Entrance will be free but donations will be most welcome. A limited number of mill T-shirts will be available to those making a donation of £7 or more on a first come first served basis. Refreshments will be available at no charge but a donation box will be nearby.
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