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Historic Suffolk windmill to celebrate 200th anniversary

PUBLISHED: 13:50 26 January 2019 | UPDATED: 12:16 27 January 2019

Thelnetham Windmill is looking for people to help celebrate its 200th anniversary by digging out old photographs and maps Picture: THELNETHAM WINDMILL

Thelnetham Windmill is looking for people to help celebrate its 200th anniversary by digging out old photographs and maps Picture: THELNETHAM WINDMILL

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A historic windmill which was saved and restored to its former glory will celebrate its 200th anniversary this year.

The windmill is celebrating its 200th anniversary this year Picture: THELNETHAM WINDMILLThe windmill is celebrating its 200th anniversary this year Picture: THELNETHAM WINDMILL

Thelnetham Windmill, near Walsham-le-Willows, is holding a special birthday open day on Sunday, July 14, and its volunteers want to hear from anyone who has old photographs, maps and memories.

The Grade II-listed tower mill, one of only four preserved mills in Suffolk, operated successfully in the 19th-century but slipped into decline in the early 20th-century and was derelict by 1926.

In 1979, it was bought by enthusiasts and by 1987 it had been restored to full working order and remains fully operational today.

Flour is regularly milled and available for sale on mill open days and in local retail outlets, including Redgrave Community Shop.

The derelict mill in 1979 Picture: THELNETHAM WINDMILLThe derelict mill in 1979 Picture: THELNETHAM WINDMILL

Now owned by the Suffolk Building Preservation Trust, which also owns Pakenham Water Mill and Little Hall in Lavenham, Thelnetham Windmill’s volunteers are hoping local people will make it a birthday year to remember.

Plans for the July open day include an exhibition of old photos and maps, planting a commemorative tree and burying a time capsule to mark the occasion.

There will also be an exhibition of old milling tools and memorabilia in the Granary on the windmill site.

Piers Hart, chairman of the Suffolk Building Preservation Trust, said: “We are hoping people will come and celebrate this important milestone with us.

“We’d love to hear from people who may have old photos of the mill or old maps featuring it or have a connection to it in some way.

“We would also welcome suggestions of what to put in the time capsule so those uncovering it in the future will get a real taste of life in 2019.”

A volunteer group has been established to help the trust operate and maintain the mill and additional volunteers are sought.

There are opportunities to be involved in milling, guide visitors around the mill or join a working party to help maintain and improve the site.

E-mail thelnetham.windmill@gmail.com or speak to volunteers at an open day for more information.

This year’s open days at Thelnetham Windmill are Monday, April 22 (Easter Monday), Sunday, May 12 (National Mills Day), Monday May 27, Sunday, June 23, Monday, August 26, Sunday, September 15 (Heritage Open Day) and Sunday, October 13.

Anyone with old photos, maps or information can contact Giles Smith at gilessmith@waitrose.com


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