A huge milestone has been reached in a large restoration project at Billingford Mill in a bid to see it return to full working order.
A 65 tonne crane had arrived to remove the stock and cap but, due to soft ground, the mill could not be accessed. Using about 20 tonnes of crushed concrete was used as a foundation, and a wooden road was installed. A few days later, with crane in position, the first stock seized in canister, and it took millwright’s team three-and-a-half hours to ready the extraction by crane.
The second took nearly four hours to free off ready for lifting, and a day later the cap was removed and transported to the millwright’s works for restoration.
Martin Wilby, Chairman of EDT at NCC said: “I would like to thank all of the Friends of Billingford Windmill and all of the local volunteers that have raised the funds required over the last three years to make this day happen.
“This shows that the project of restoration is starting and I look forward to the day when the Mill is in full working order with its new sails turning in the wind and the flour being ground.
The Billingford Mill restoration and education project will cost almost £150,000 and include repairs and alterations to the cap, new timber stocks and sails along with training for new millers and guides, an updated guide book and a sponsors board in the mill. The works will be completed in 2018 when the mill will once again produce flour for demonstration purposes.
The project is led by the Norfolk Windmills Trust, working in partnership with the Friends of Billingford Windmill and Norfolk County Council. The Trust was founded by the County Council in 1963 and looks after 20 corn and drainage mills throughout Norfolk.
As part of the project volunteer training will be provided in particular to prospective millers and guides. Those interested should contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 01362 869394.