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Tolkien’s Mill

This article was first published on our blog on 10/05/2019 J R R Tolkien It is a widely known fact that J. R. R. Tolkien took a lot of inspiration for his novels from real places.  Interestingly for us, this includes mills: Sarehole Mill in Birmingham, to be precise.Although he was born in South Africa…

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From Barrels to Sacks

The articles on which this newsletter is based first appeared in Mill Memories 26, Spring 2020 and 28, Spring 2021.Millers need to keep up with each other with all phases of manufacture and distribution. Whilst packaging is not an integral part of the operation of turning wheat into flour, nevertheless, had it not progressed with…

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Merry Christmas!

Christmas is almost upon us, so we thought we would share some recipes for “Christmas cheer” from 1945.The Wine and Food Society published a series of books under the title, A Concise Encyclopaedia of Gastronomy. The fourth in the series, Cereals, contains some recipes for Christmas fare that must have presented a challenge to home bakers struggling…

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John Rennie and the Albion Mills (1784-91)

Jim Moher Those who have heard of the famous Scottish engineer, John Rennie (1761-1821), will probably remember him for his civil engineering achievements at the turn of the nineteenth century, such as the building of new London and Waterloo bridges. In fact, like many engineers of those days, Rennie also made considerable contributions to the…

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Sugar and slavery

Sugar & Slavery: Reproductive Mills is a new Mills Archive digital exhibition, launched in October 2021. It is the first of a series of online exhibitions. This exhibition sheds light on the links between technological developments in sugar milling and enslaved women’s reproductive systems, especially in the early nineteenth-century before the abolition of slavery. The exhibition…

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Remembering Vincent Pargeter

Vincent Pargeter with dog, Gran Canaria It has been 6 years now since the milling industry sadly lost Vincent Pargeter on the 31st of October 2015. During the first few weeks of my internship here at the Mills Archive, which you can find more about here, I have become oddly attached to and fascinated with Vincent’s…

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