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Woodbridge: ‘We’re still here, declare overlooked mill team

Woodbridge Tide Mill viewed from the River Deben

Woodbridge Tide Mill viewed from the River Deben

Archant

One of Suffolk’s most notable historic landmarks has been left feeling jilted by an unfortunate omission in the national press.

Volunteers working behind the scenes at Woodbridge Tide Mill felt the need to remind the public of its existence after being passed over for acknowledgement as one of only two working tide mills in the country.

The oversight meant that Eling Tide Mill, in Hampshire, was touted as Britain’s one and only regularly functioning landmark of its kind - a claim rebuffed by the Woodbridge Tide Mill Trust’s Nigel Barratt, who recently oversaw a £1.25m restoration project, which included the installation of a new four-tonne oak wheel for grinding corn.

Less than two years since the project’s completion, the mill is now turning out a steady supply of flour for the first time since the 1970s.

Mr Barratt said: “We would like to make people aware that we are still here and still producing.

“We are all volunteers doing it for love, devotion and a desire to support this asset for the community.

“We can’t match Eling for productivity - the tidal waters are much greater there - but we are milling regularly and have an established customer base.”

The Tide Mill can actually lay claim to being the last commercially operating tide mill in Britain before its closure in 1957. It reopened in 1973 following a restoration programme.

The mill started producing flour last year and has already sold about three tonnes in retail bags. It also supplies local artisan bakers, including The Cake Shop Bakery - last week declared Britain’s Best Bakery on ITV.

The Tide Mill is open to visitors from April 5 and will be milling, as usual, every day through the summer.

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