Author: Jon Sass
I remember Foston Windmill very derelict in the early 1960s and still a noble landmark on the A1. I would like to amplify Adam’s post http://www.millsarchivetrust.org/index.php/blogs/more/sails_from_telgraph_poles
Thanks for bringing my attention to the Flickr image http://www.flickr.com/photos/millsarchive/3133015091/
My information (via Rex Wailes) stated that the miller Mr Rowbottom made three new sails for the mil prior to WW1 making sail backs out of second hand telegraph poles, when that stretch of the Great North Road was being repoled. He made one spring sail to typical Lincolnshire pattern – no doubt copying what was already on. The other pair were to his unique design having approximately half the inner sail area as conventional spring controlled shutters. The outer half (which had the greater driving power) were made to take hand cloths. He would have known from long experience that hand clothed sails had more driving power than shutters and he no doubt made this arrangement to take advantage of both types of sail forms.
I also attach a copy of my notes that I did for LMG Magazine from my accumulated notes.
Mr John Rowbottom came to the mill in 1891 and refurbished after standing derelict for a few years. He worked it until c.1914 when it was struck by lightning. He then made the three new sails and worked the mill by wind until 1928 when on 5th December a gale broke a stock and stripped some of the brake wheel teeth and other damage. Milling thereafter was continued using an engine driven pair of stones from the tail of the windmill in a separate building. The windmill was then left derelict and disused.