Villagers' bid to repair windwill

VILLAGERS in west Suffolk are using their loaf to raise money to replace the sails for their windmill.Bardwell Windmill is currently undergoing major refurbishment, with £100,000 having been spent in the past five years on repairs.

VILLAGERS in west Suffolk are using their loaf to raise money to replace the sails for their windmill.

Bardwell Windmill is currently undergoing major refurbishment, with £100,000 having been spent in the past five years on repairs.

This weekend, those involved in the windmill project held a threshing day to raise much-needed funds.

Jonathan Wheeler, of Bardwell Windmill, near Bury St Edmunds, told how numerous people had been involved in creating the humble bread loaves at the 19th Century windmill site.


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Barry Heard, who farms opposite the windmill, allowed an old fashioned binder on to his land to harvest wheat earlier in the summer.

At the weekend, the crop was threshed out using a 1900s Marshall machine driven by a steam traction engine called Oliver.

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The corn was then milled into flour using millstones provided by Duncan Marston of nearby Icklingham Mill, near Mildenhall, before master baker Simon Wooster baked the bread at Bardwell.

Mr Wheeler said money raised over the weekend would go towards further work on the sails, which were destroyed during the storms of 1987, adding: “Work is progressing well on the new sails for Bardwell Windmill. During the last five years more than £100,000 has been spent on repairs to the cap and brick tower.

“More than £30,000 raised in cash has been raised by the Friends of The Windmill, a group of dedicated local villagers, who have helped organise many fund raising events. The balance has come from a grant from English Heritage and St Edmundsbury Borough Council and other generous donations.”

The first pair of sales should be up by spring next year and the second pair up by October 2007, the 20th anniversary of the hurricane winds that ravaged the windmill.

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