During the last few weeks the Windmill Society has had to close the Windmill to visitors as two partially constructed nine-metre-long sails and the scaffolding around the Mill (to enable the replacement of the circular Viewing Gallery) have created a very hazardous work environment.
The work replacing the Viewing Gallery has now been successfully completed and the oak structure with 25mm thick decking slats looks very sturdy and safe. The horizontal struts supporting the Gallery are located and penetrate through the 750mm brick wall of the Mill and are wedged into position. This aspect of the Mill will be used by Windmill
personnel to adjust weights hanging from the Head Frame when operating the Windmill to
control the speed of the sails.
The work continues on the sails. The first two have been assembled and the initial sail will require some adjustment to ensure ease of movement ofthe shutter operation. Work on the third sail will start within the next few days.
Whilst building the sails, some volunteers have refurbished the spider mechanism and this is now ready for installation as and when the sails are hoisted into position. Also, the ‘pull and push’ rods which operate from the spider to adjust the shutter opening and closing are being replaced. These 3500mm rods have been designed so that they can be
adjusted nearer to the spider for convenience and safety considerations.
The Windmill Society’s Technical Team has made considerable progress with the assembly of the sails and in the next few weeks we hope the late autumn weather will provide a window of opportunity to install the first ones!