Mill Wheel Work Party - Sunday 22nd October
Published 13:43 on 25 Oct 2023
On Sunday 22nd October another group of nine-mill rats, including several fresh faces, gathered to continue the work of clearing out silt and rubble from behind and beneath the larger of the two mill wheels. We probably shifted another two-tonnes of muck. Simon, starring in the photo above, was i/c wheelbarrows. One of our volunteers was not even a Club member, yet, but that speaks well for involving the local community.. We had perfect weather and all agreed that it was a fine, fun way to spend a morning. Starting at 09:30, by noon we were working together like a well oiled machine, amply boosted again by Rosellen's delicious brownies' like switching on an after-burner. This bodes well for future volunteers' efforts as we pursue the project.
Meanwhile, the core team have been investigating the methods and costs involved in dismantling, removing and refurbishing the cast iron mill wheel and the cast iron launder [sluice] above and have asked two contractors for cost estimates. One of those contractors is also investigating the alternative costs of installing one or more modern water turbines to compare with the costs of refurbishing the wheel, which would probably be more efficient and easier to execute but would lack the important historical perspective, which we feel is a vital, emotional part of this project.
Another contractor will shortly start repointing brickwork in the wheel pit and tailrace to stabilize it in the way of the smaller wheel, which as part of the listed mill building must be preserved. We shall then be able to replace the wooden bearing trestle of that wheel.
Last updated 14:18 on 25 January 2024