September 18 2014 Latest news:
West Suffolk chief reporter
Monday, August 18, 2014
Visitors to a Suffolk windmill stepped back in time yesterday as the historic site played host to a vintage steam threshing day.
Despite the showers and cooler temperatures, the popular annual event at Bardwell Windmill, near Bury St Edmunds, attracted several hundred people keen to see period farming machinery brought back to use.
They were able to watch the wheat cut from a field opposite the Grade II* listed mill being threshed with the Wheeler family’s 1920 Ruston traction engine and Marshall threshing machine.
In addition, there was a display of vintage tractors and cars, a selection of craft stalls and refreshments plus a chance to tour the historic windmill – with sails turning in the fresh, breezy conditions.
Built in 1823, Bardwell Windmill suffered devastating damage during the great storm of 1987 and has twice been restored. All proceeds from the day go towards the ongoing upkeep and restoration work.
As well as the farming demonstrations, visitors were able to learn how to make bread from start to finish the old-fashioned way, before sampling loaves produced in the mill’s bakery.
The event is particularly popular with the county’s former farm workers, who enjoy reminiscing about their memories of how things were done in “the good old days”.