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Smugglers’ Mills and Nefarious Thrills

Throughout the ages, the role of the miller has been subject to all sorts of stories and stereotypes: millers have been slandered, satirised, respected and romanticised all in equal measure. Langstone Mill, Havant. Photo: Ashok Vaidya Oft-times in literature, the miller has been the recipient of a similar treatment to smugglers and pirates, his contemporary…

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Gems of the Archive: The Women Who Mill Alone

In recognition of International Women’s Day on 8th March, in this week’s blog we are showing our appreciation for women in milling by featuring two formidable female millers. Milling: a man’s job in a man’s world, or so it certainly was in the first half of the 20th century. As a profession dating back thousands…

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Armistice 100: The Link Between the Archive and Great War Ambulance Trains

This week the Mills Archive has joined in with commemorating 100 years since the end of the First World War. Ahead of the upcoming launch of our new website feature, Gems of the Archive, we thought we’d share with you a couple of Gems that are particularly topical for this week’s remembrance events. In June…

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Gems of the Archive: The Universal Theatre of Machines

Hello, it’s me again. Unbelievably I am now halfway through my internship at the Mills Archive (insert obligatory Bon Jovi reference here), and the gem page is really starting to fill up. This week Mildred had a treat in store for me in the form of The Universal Theatre of Machines, an original 17th-century millwright’s…

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What is a beehive quern?

On Monday we paid a visit to Reading Museum, so Hannah and I could see some more of the Archive’s collection that was on display, and see if there was anything we could use for our projects. We weren’t disappointed! The exhibition case is jam-packed with information and artefacts detailing the history of milling, and…

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International Women’s Day: a campaigner for mills and women’s rights…

Since International Women’s Day is now upon us, it seems apt to pay homage to some of the heroines of the mill world. And – as it turns out – one of our collectors was once a suffragette. This revelation was discovered only recently by our Information Manager Elizabeth. Apparently the late E M Gardner,…

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Love language

Volunteer Ian Grainge describes his discovery of secret messages on innocent-looking postcards… In cataloguing part of the Brian Eighteen collection, I came across two postcards with identical text, each to the same recipient, Alic Lovegrove in Caversham, from the same person, ‘Dora’. Both were written within one week of each other, in Summer 1910. The…

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