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Mills Consultation Group meeting to discuss From Quern to Computer

Shortly before Easter we were delighted to host a meeting of the Mills Consultation Group. The purpose of this meeting was to discuss how outcomes of our ‘From Quern to Computer’ project can be used by mills to support their interpretation of their flour milling history.

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The Mills Consultation Group is a forum for communication and collaboration.  The Mills Archive invites mill representatives to visit us and we host an informal round-table discussion during which participants share ideas and advice.  Mill represented at this meeting included: Wicken Windmill (Cambridgeshire), Stotfold Mill (Bedfordshire), Upminster Windmill (Greater London), Eling Tide Mill (Totton), Green’s Windmill (Nottingham) and Winchester City Mill.


An important outcome of the From Quern to Computer project is the creation of a digital timeline of flour milling history: this was a key point of discussion at the meeting.  We were able to give a demonstration of how the timeline would look and work when it is made publically available in September 2016.  Participants were interested in their mills being featured on the timeline, or using the technology developed by The Mills Archive to create their own timelines.  It was very useful to discuss the balance of information to be included on the timeline – to strike the most beneficial balance between providing an historical overview whilst not swamping the timeline with too much detail.

The Great British Mill Race

In the afternoon session we turned our attention to the Great British Mill Race: a photography competition launching on 14 May 2016 (National Mills Weekend).  Members of the public will be invited to join the Great British Mill Race by uploading photographs and comments to a web form hosted on our website, relating to mills they have seen or visited all over the UK. As we’re fully mobile ready – people will be able to join the Mill Race by visiting http://www.gbmillrace.orgusing their smartphones whenever and wherever they spot a mill.  We’ve even got a handy tool to search for mills near you, wherever you are, when you’re out and about this summer. This information will be used to update and improve our existing Mills Index.

We’re very excited about this part of the project – so it was great for us to be able to talk through the Great British Mill Race and show participants how the IT elements would work.  Discussion raised lots of food for thought (e.g. groups beyond the traditional milling community who might be interested in taking part, how we could target our appeals for entries to certain geographical regions in turn).    

This was a very successful meeting of the Mills Consultation Group, showing the benefit of getting together to discuss ideas and developments from time to time.

As ever I’d love to hear from you if you would like to know more about the From Quern to Computer project ( 

Watch this space for the launch of the Great British Mill Race – we can’t wait to start receiving your entries!