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Gems of the Archive: From Flour to Power

Hello, it’s me again. With just one week of my internship left to go, I thought this would be the right time to look into the future of wind power. Traditional windmills are few and far between, and traditional mills that still operate commercially are rarer still. However, when we think of wind-powered production, wind…

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Visit to Upminster Windmill

On Friday 20th July, Liz, Nathanael, Paul and I went on an exciting visit to one of the Mills Archive’s valued Heritage Partners: Upminster Windmill in Essex. Most of us had never visited Upminster before, so it was an excellent opportunity to build our relationship with them by discovering new ways of working together, and…

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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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Gems of the Archive: The Mill that Moved

Since starting at the archive five weeks ago, I have gained a real appreciation for the complexity and skill required to run and maintain these fabulous mills and their machinery. One story I discovered this week demonstrates the time and effort that volunteers and millwrights have dedicated to keep these unique parts of our heritage…

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Gems of the Archive: Water and Wind

One of the things I have realised whilst working with the collections is how inspirational traditional milling has been to a huge variety of artists. This beautiful watercolour comes from one such artist. This week I have been working on the book Windmills, a collection of watercolours and poetic anecdotes by the internationally renowned artist Frank…

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A windmill postcard with a message from war-torn Europe

This intriguing missive was found by volunteer Tom Hine. The picturesque windmill captured on the front of the postcard carries with it a message that jumped out at Tom for several reasons… The references to wartime The writer, Mr Dré Smit of Gouda, describes recent war developments to the recipient, Lottie. He writes that “The…

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Building windmills on top of watermills: The Derek Ogden Collection

To celebrate #GivingTuesday, we are highlighting a collection available for adoption. Today’s collection is the Derek Ogden Collection. A millwright for many years, Derek repaired mills throughout the UK until he moved to the USA in 1974, continuing his mill work across the pond. His life’s work is documented in detail in the notes, photographs…

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