Sunday, 15 December 2013

Sails Go On

On Tuesday 10th December 2013 all four sails were fitted to the mill.
We are extremely grateful to the residents of Mill Close for putting up with the disturbance and any inconvenience that may have been caused.
Click on a photo to see a larger version. A video is to be found at the bottom of this page.
Before the sails went on.

Part of the Striking Gear on a sail.

The first sail goes on

Securing the first sail and attaching the striking gear.

The cherry picker stopped working so the Millwrights climbed the sail to tighten the bolts etc.

Add your own amusing caption!

About an hour later the first pair of sails have been turned to a horizontal position ready for the second pair to be fitted.

Neil, the Millwright, signals to the crane operator.

Luke Bonwick the Mill Consultant is interviewed for a visitor information video that will be played inside the mill.

Unhooking the crane from the sail. (Thankfully the cherry picker started working again after being turned off and on again!)

The fourth and final sail is lifted.

Neil prepares one of the nuts and bolts that secure the sail.

Four sails at last!

Neil shakes hands with Jane Phillimore, Fresh Wind in Our Sails Project Manager.

Neil also shakes hands with John Waller, one of the Museum Trustees. (Neil and his colleague Steve also received a round of applause from everyone watching the work)

The crane heads off.

Stevens' Mill seen from the museum site. The remaining shutters were fitted to the sails and the sails turned by the wind for the first time on Friday 13/12/13.

This video is in HD. 
Watch in Full Screen (click on the square symbol bottom right), click the Play arrow then click on the gearwheel symbol to select picture quality.
Video by Peter Heath

Wednesday, 4 December 2013


Santa has come early at Burwell Museum and has given us 4 shiny sails for our windmill!
The sails (click here to see photos)
The windmill sails are due to be fitted on Tuesday 10th December.
Check our Facebook or Twitter pages for updates.

Friday, 22 November 2013

Restoration Update - 22nd Nov 2013

Our millwrights have nearly finished the work on the windmill sails and now hope be be able to attach them to the mill sometime in the week commencing 8th December. The millwrights will need a couple of days to prepare the sails on site before they go on. Attaching the sails to the mill is a weather dependant operation - ideally a calm, dry day.
Our millwrights will update us closer to the time and we will the pass on this information as soon as possible.
Members of the public and media will be most welcome to watch the sails being attached.
Residents of Saxon Drive, Mill Lane and Mill Close will receive a letter from us to inform them of the work.

Before that, though, we are going to be on tv!
A couple of weeks ago a production company working for the BBC came to do some filming at Stevens' Mill which included interviews with Paul, the Museum Trust Chairman, Jane, Fresh Wind in Our Sails Project Manager, and Luke, Mill Consultant.
At the moment we don't know how much Burwell material will be shown in the programme. The programme is called Restoring England's Heritage and is due to be broadcast in the BBC Look East region on Thursday 5th December at 7:30pm. It should be available nationally after broadcast via the BBC iPlayer. More information here

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Restoration Update - 6th November 2013

The last of the scaffolding surrounding the mill was removed today (6th November 2013) as the builders have now finished the painting of the exterior of the mill. This means that the site is now clear for our millwrights to install the 2 renovated and 2 new sails later this month (hopefully - weather permitting). Our volunteer "Shutter Team" have finished making and painting all the new shutters and these have been collected by the millwrights and fitted into the sails. The sails will remain at the millwrights yard in Lincolnshire until the installation day.
Keep checking this Blog or our Facebook or Twitter pages for the date of the installation of the sails.

Sunday, 1 September 2013

The Cap Goes On

The cap of Stevens' Mill was lifted back on top of the mill tower on the morning of 29th August 2013.
We are very grateful to our neighbours in Mill Close for putting up with the enormous crane being parked in their street for half a day. Special thanks to the neighbours who allowed people to stand on their drives and lawns to get a better view of the cap lift. 
Photos below. Video at very bottom of the page.
Not an Anthony Gormley sculpture but one of the millwrights preparing to attach the crane to the mill's temporary roof. As seen from Saxon Drive.

The temporary roof is removed.

The millwrights prepare the cap to take the fantail.

The fantail is lifted from the museum site.

Fantail lowered in to place.

With the fantail attached the cap is prepared for lifting.

Cap lifting. Photo by millwright Steven from the top of the mill tower.

Another view from the top of the mill by Steven. You can see some local residents watching the lift.

Guiding the cap into position as it's lowered.

Millwright Neil lowers the cap the last few centimetres using the chain blocks.

The chains and strops are now slack meaning the cap is in place.

Safety rails for the fantail stage are attached to the crane.

Safety rails lowered on to the scaffolding for Neil to put in place on the fantail stage.

View from across Mill Close

View from Saxon Drive.

Inside the cap

Inside the cap

Inside the cap

The mill site looking tidier and bigger with the safety fence removed and the grass cut.

This where the cap sat from 13th March 2013 until 29th August 2013.
The grass will grow back soon.
This video is in HD. Click on the cog symbol once you have started the video to select picture quality.
Click on the dashed square symbol to view full-screen.