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RIP Michael Harverson (1937 – 2017)

We are sorry to announce that Michael died on Thursday 2 March. He will be greatly missed by his many friends, including the staff and volunteers at the Mills Archive.

Tributes have been arriving since we heard the sad news. Universally respected as a kind and gentle man, he was a gentleman and a scholar.

Until his retirement in 2014, he was one of original trustees of the Mills Archive Trust, appointed by the SPAB, and instrumental in bringing their collection to the care of the Archive. He served on the SPAB Mills Section committee and the council of TIMS (The International Molinological Society) as President. In the latter capacity he also translated, edited and/or wrote a number of books and articles. He was instrumental in setting up the TIMS Educational Trust and was active as a volunteer at Cromer windmill.

Most recently he wrote, with our volunteer Guy Boocock, two Mills Archive Research Publications on the work of Stephen Buckland.

His particular field of mill studies was the Middle East and specifically Iran. His work “Mills of the Muslim World” was published as a Rex Wailes lecture in 2000. This well-illustrated A5 booklet contained much of his original research on the various types of windmill, watermill and animal-powered mill used in the Muslim world from Cordoba and Fez in the West to Samarkand and Herat in the East. 

 Although in later years he was handicapped with Parkinsonism, he was always determined to come to meetings and to continue his interests. He was still contemplating further research shortly before he passed away. 

I will miss his guidance and his gentle criticism; it was a privilege to know him and work with him.