With the windmillwrights in fen and marsh

Full details

Authors & editors

Reid, Douglas (1881–1934) [Author]
Hodge, Nathanael

Publisher The Mills Archive Trust
Year of publication 2022

Medium Book

Arts, culture and heritage > Collections of importance


Scope & contentE Bartram
20 years as an archive, and only 20 copies of this book: This special commemorative book is a material expression of the invaluable, rare and irreplaceable history collected by the late Rex Wailes and preserved in his collection. This book is presented to those who have made a significant contribution towards saving the collection.

One of our volunteers, Guy Boocock, came upon an unfinished manuscript in Rex’s collection. Written and evocatively illustrated by Douglas Reid, it captures the role of windmills and millwrights in 1930s Britain. Douglas recognised that both were at risk from technological advances. Almost 100 years ago, he knew that the present situation needed to be captured for future generations.

It is this manuscript that we have decided to publish as a special edition publication, in recognition of the particularly generous support that has been provided by a select group of people. It is their support that has made this discovery, its preservation and dissemination possible. It is for these people that this book has been created. As our first limited-edition commemorative book, only 20 copies have been produced.

N Hodge
The typescript seems to have been sent by Reid to Wailes for possible publication, and contains handwritten notes by Wailes. It is Reid’s account, complete with photographs, of his adventures in the Fenland and Lincolnshire marsh, accompanying millwrights as they went to work on drainage mills. Sadly, after 31 pages, the typescript breaks off and the remainder is missing. We are fortunate however that this fascinating account was preserved among Rex Wailes’ papers and has now come to light.

Copies held

Accession no. 230589

  • Shelf location: A040-REI