Do a good turn and help out at pop­u­lar wind­mill

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Helping Others - By Vicky Cas­tle

Are you out­go­ing, in­ter­ested in her­itage and can spare a few hours a month?

Willes­bor­ough Wind­mill is look­ing for more vol­un­teers to help with a va­ri­ety of roles this year.

The vis­i­tor at­trac­tion is be­com­ing more pop­u­lar and so more help is needed around the his­toric site, a pop­u­lar vis­i­tor at­trac­tion, when it re­opens af­ter its win­ter clo­sure on Satur­day, March 12, the start of Kent’s Big Week­end.

The mill is then open on Satur­days and Sun­days from 2pm un­til 5pm ev­ery week­end un­til Oc­to­ber and vol­un­teers would be asked to give a few hours once or twice a month.

Pat White, one of the cur­rent vol­un­teers, said: “We are get­ting busier and busier and we need some more vol­un­teers.

“Peo­ple must be mo­bile, due to all the stairs in the mill, and in­ter­ested in her­itage.

“They also need to be able to talk to peo­ple, be­cause we get vis­i­tors from all over the world but there’s no par­tic­u­lar ex­pe­ri­ence re­quired and full train­ing will be given.

“Help would be wel­come for events, school trips, tours ,wed­dings, the kitchen and much more. It re­ally is a lovely place.”

The wind­mill was built in 1869 on a two-storey red brick base with at­tached miller’s cot­tage.

It is now a Grade II listed build­ing and in­cor­po­rates shut­ters in the sweeps in­stead of can­vas and sails. It once pro­duced enough power to turn four sets of mill stones as well as the maize and oats crush­ing/cut­ting ma­chines.

This mill re­placed a smaller smock mill on the same site.

In 1872 a steam en­gine was added to al­low the mill to keep work­ing when the wind had dropped.

The mill op­er­ated un­til the 1950s when fur­ther in­dus­trial mech­a­ni­sa­tion in com­mer­cial milling caused its clo­sure.

It was bought, in a very di­lap­i­dated state, and fully re­stored in 1991 to its for­mer glory by Ash­ford Bor­ough Coun­cil.

There will be a vol­un­teers’ af­ter­noon on Sun­day, March 20 from 2pm-4.30pm for any­one in­ter­ested in help­ing out.

Go to www.willes­bor­ough­wind for more in­for­ma­tion

Willes­bor­ough Wind­mill vol­un­teer Pat White, in­set, is ap­peal­ing for more peo­ple to help out when the at­trac­tion re­opens next month

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