Video: Trustees at Woodbridge Tide Mill take a step back in time to start milling flour

The Woodbridge Tide Mill has been milling it's own flour, which will eventually be used to bake brea

The Woodbridge Tide Mill has been milling it's own flour, which will eventually be used to bake bread at The Cake Shop in Woodbridge. L-R Peter Wright, David Wright, Tony Hubbard - Credit: Archant

IT is a practice that hasn’t been seen on the banks of the River Deben for quite some time.

The Woodbridge Tide Mill has been milling it's own flour, which will eventually be used to bake brea

The Woodbridge Tide Mill has been milling it's own flour, which will eventually be used to bake bread at The Cake Shop in Woodbridge. L-R Peter Wright, David Wright,Tony Hubbard, Nigel Barratt, Bob Spillett - Credit: Archant

But volunteers at the Woodbridge Tide Mill have turned back the clock to resurrect an age old craft.

Trustees have been learning about the tradition of milling, as would have been common during the landmark’s hey day.

Using the power of the tide they have used the recently refurbished water wheel and giant grinding mechanisms to create their very own flour.

To help with the process the trustees have been liaising with Peter Wright, who used to run The Cake Shop bakery in the town.


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Nigel Barratt, vice chairman of the Woodbridge Tide Mill Trust, said: “It’s been going very well. Peter has been on hand to give us advice and tell us what we should and shouldn’t be doing and how the flour measures up.”

It is hoped that once clearance is agreed with Suffolk Coastal District Council - to ensure it is fit for human consumption - the flour can be sold and used to make bread.

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“We’re hopeful approval will be agreed during the course of the year,” Mr Barratt continued. “It’s very exciting. The tide mill hasn’t been used to mill flour for a long time. The last 30 or 40 years of its life it was principally used for animal feed. So you’re going back a fair way.”

Mr Wright’s son, David, now runs The Cake Shop, and he has already baked a few loaves using the flour for his own personal consumption.

“My father has a long standing relationship with the guys at the trust,” he said. “They have been talking to each other throughout the whole process. As soon as they said they wanted to start milling we knew we wanted to have a go and see if the flour was suitable for making bread.

“I had a loaf just the other day and I think it’s the nicest wholemeal I’ve ever tasted. It’s a beautiful flavour. It’s quite rough but I like that. It’s delicious.

“Also, just the knowledge that it’s been milled using the energy from the tide - that’s quite nourishing in itself.

“When everything has been agreed we’re looking forward to putting it on sale for our customers. It’s a lovely relationship and one we hope will continue.”

The Woodbridge Tide Mill Living Museum, which reopened last year following a £1.2m restoration, plans to hold regular milling events throughout the year for its visitors.

Visit www.woodbridgetidemill.org.uk for more details.

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