Rent is paid as mill sails into new sea­son

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Front Page -

TAK­ING his turn as coun­cil rent col­lec­tor, Cllr Michael Claughton re­ceived pay­ment for the lease of Willes­bor­ough Windmill – and promptly re­turned it, as tra­di­tion de­mands.

As own­ers of the his­toric mill that was built in 1869 and is a Grade II listed build­ing, the coun­cil is un­able to pro­vide the fund­ing re­quired for the up­keep of the tourist at­trac­tion, so hands re­spon­si­bil­ity to vol­un­teers from The Friends of the Mill.

At the start of each sea­son they hand over a sym­bolic wooden pep­per­corn mill as ‘rent’ which is im­me­di­ately re­turned.

Sup­port­ers gath­ered last Thurs­day to see the cer­e­mony as trus­tee John White made the pre­sen­ta­tion to Cllr Claughton, stand­ing in for mayor Cllr John Link who was a late ar­rival.

Tears were shed as tributes were paid to staunch sup­porter Tony Sta­ple­hurst who trag­i­cally died in an ac­ci­dent while on hol­i­day in South Africa, as Mar­jorie Burge and Pat White pre­sented, on be­half of The Friends, a paint­ing by Gra­ham Buck­ham of the mill to Mr Sta­ple­hurst’s widow Ann.

When Mayor Cllr John Link ar­rived he handed over a paint­ing from 1990 of restora­tion work at the mill do­nated by Ian Kirk­land.

Willes­bor­ough Windmill opens to the pub­lic for the sum­mer sea­son from Satur­day.

Mill trus­tee John White, cen­tre, hands over the pep­per­corn rent to mayor Cllr John Link and Cllr Michael Claughton

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