With the onset of November, some chilly frosty mornings and the dark nights creeping in, a lot of us are starting to feel like hedgehogs have been getting it right all along: it really is time to curl up somewhere warm and dry and hibernate until spring!
Heage Windmill Society in Derbyshire agrees, and last weekend nearly 100 people gathered to help put the mill to bed for the winter. Forty-eight keen volunteers and fifty more spectators turned up to join in with Heage’s traditional cobweb-weaving, wrapped up in woolly scarves and hats, stoically unperturbed by the cold, northerly wind.
The assembled group of all ages were organised into a circle on the mill apron, armed with an extremely long, single strand of narrow elastic tape. Then, guided by “master spider” Lynn Allen and helped by Attila Tilldogg Csorba, ring after ring was woven between the volunteers, forming a giant cobweb through a series of clever moves and crafty passes.
Once finished, the cobweb was gently laid down and pegged to the grass in the paddock, bringing to a close the regular openings of the windmill for another season. The visitors were then treated to the last guided tours around the mill of the season.
Heage Windmill is now formally closed for regular openings until Easter 2019, when it will resume its programme of weekend opening. More information is available on their website, http://www.heagewindmill.org.uk.
Heage Windmill is a Mills Archive Heritage Partner. Why not visit their featured mill page to find out more about the mill’s history?