Newsletter of the Friends of High Salvington Windmill
Issue 25 - Spring 2018
Roy Beynon, who retired last year having been Membership Secretary for many years and a Board member of the High Salvington Mill Trust for even longer, looks back at growing up in Worthing, finding work, and his long service of volunteering at the Mill.
"It was our family doctor who knew, through knowing the membership secretary, that the people at the windmill required volunteers. I thought that I would give it a try and went up one Sunday morning. I was hooked! I had visited the Mill in the past and could see what a working mill it was. I wished to help it to continue functioning in the future.
"Our family – dad, mum, my brother Brian, and me – came to Worthing during the second world war – about 1941. We lived in a semi-detached house in Ringmer Road, the unadopted end, and Brian and I went to the infants’ school in Tarring, junior school in Durrington, and the Secondary School for Boys in West Tarring. Father died at about the time we were leaving school so next-door neighbours and schoolteachers helped us to get jobs: me – electrical work at the back of Kings Parade in Findon Valley; Brian – plumbing and building work at Colliers.
"Practical electrical experience stood me in good stead for my life and for further technical schooling and evening class education. A chance of a five-year apprenticeship with 'day release' saw my ambition of getting in to a drawing office become a future possibility. A year or so after attaining this goal I served two years' National Service in Northern Ireland in the infantry with the Royal Sussex Regiment.
"In our early teens my future wife Ann and I had met at a school end-of-term play. Our friendship developed with other local orchestras and we began saving for the future. With house prices going up by £1000 a year we decided to marry half-way through my army service. Back at the drawing board, after demobilisation, the first of three redundancies in my career came after about a year.
"After 30 years in switchgear a change to a local job was followed by another take-over and redundancy. I was unable to find work - because I was too old!
"It was then that the High Salvington Mill came to my rescue. Interesting practical and electrical hands-on work as well as good comradeship, friendship, and respect for the knowledge of others. With the aid of Lottery money the new barn was built in a year by five to ten working members under the watchful eyes of Peter Casebow and architect John Simmonds.
"Yearly jobs at the Mill continue and the Open Sundays attract many eager visitors. It fell to me to arrange and install the electrics, with Michael McNamara's early help. The Granary followed, then the Gatehouse was rebuilt – later changed to the archive centre. The Barn became the current shop. Electrical adaptation was required for the tasks.
"A year after I joined the Board, membership secretary Roger Ashton retired and I took over. My computer knowledge helped me to change the card system that had been in use since it began in 1973. This made distribution of communications to members much less intensive. Jobs that took days now took hours. I have helped paint the Mill five times, turned the stone, done internal cleaning, laid new cable, built new steps, and even fixed new sails at the West Blatchington Mill.
"I am proud of all the different types of work I have carried out and can see how such work has helped the Mill to develop, That is what the Public see and admire. Come and join in. It is fun and infectious."
Rachel Trickey is to take over from Roy Beynon as membership secretary. Rachel and her husband moved from Southwater to High Salvington about six months ago. "We wanted to remain close to the Downs and an added benefit is that we have a view of the sea", she explains. "Our children have flown the nest and we have two granddaughters. When we fully retire we plan to spend a lot of time exploring the English coast in our boat. We even plan to have a ship's cat which will be brought up on board."
Rachel is studying for an Open University BA History degree and, when investigating High Salvington last year prior to purchasing the house, saw that the Mill was open. "We popped in and while there noticed an advertisement about the position of membership secretary. I thought about it and then came back to the Mill at its next opening and registered my interest. Hopefully, I can continue as efficiently as Roy."
The High Salvington Mill Trust is looking for some more Guides to show visitors around this summer. Training is provided and you will not be asked to commence guiding duties until you feel that you are ready. So, if you have a few Sunday afternoons free, can climb the Mill steps, and enjoy meeting people contact Lucy Brooks on 01903 691945 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Pamela Jenkins, who has been responsible for the organisation of private visits to The Mill for some years, is to step back. The position will be taken over by Roz Naylor-Smith although Pamela is to continue helping with some visits. "I love dealing with the youngsters who come from local schools and other youth organisations", she explains. "They are all so keen and bright and enthusiastic."
The Mill has private visits from about half a dozen school classes every year, as well as from other young groups such as sea scouts and, of course, there are professional societies and like-interest organisations - the 'non-youngster' market - who are interested in local history or some other aspect of the Mill and its site.
Roz Naylor-Smith has lived in the same house in High Salvington since she got married about 20 years ago. Her two children - now grown up - attended the Vale School and both visited the Mill on school trips; Roz's daughter also visited with a local Brownies group. "Helping out on the school trips was my first proper introduction to the Mill although my husband and I had always tried to take our children to the annual fete when they were little", says Roz.
"Over recent years I have helped at the Mill shop on Open days and on plant stalls at the annual fete.
"I am looking forward to meeting more of the hard-working volunteers at the Mill. I am also keen to help to coordinate visits which will involve identifying which Guides are available for the private trips as well as arranging for teas and refreshments to be organised along with a volunteer to open the shop if necessary."
Anyone wishing to arrange a private visit to the Mill should contact Roz Naylor-Smith on 01903 264289 or email: email@example.com
Many visitors to the High Salvington Mill, along with volunteers, will have noticed that the main body of the Mill leans forward. "Being 'head sick' is the term used", says Ian Fairclough. "Over time this head sickness has worsened so that at present the clearance of the sails when passing the roundhouse is extremely tight and the body only just misses the roof. In addition, the Mill has become harder to turn as the wood wear bearings are leaning harder against the mill post."
Mill technical director Peter Casebow believes that the problem was caused in the 1980s when the Mill was being restored. "Some millwrights repositioned the crown tree in order to correct what was perceived to be tail sickness. The change led to a number of problems later with the restoration project and afterwards - one of these problems was that of head sickness." To have corrected this situation properly would require the Mill to be dismantled and reassembled. "This is not going to happen", says Ian Fairclough.
The engineering 'boffins' at the Mill have got their heads together and come up with a wheeze that is designed to improve matters. The body of the Mill (the buck) has been straightened and the wood wear bearings adjusted to suit. These actions have resulted in an adjustment of the angle of lean, thus taking some of the pressure off the bearings and the Mill post.
"Much welding and angle grinding was required In order to fabricate a metal jig that was used to straighten the buck", explains Ian Fairclough. "With the mill buck held by the jig the wood wear bearings can be removed and adjusted so as to hold the buck in a more upright position when they are refitted. Then the jig is removed."
Testing the jig has demonstrated that even moving the buck a small amount, such as 3⁄4in, makes a significant difference to clearances. "It is hoped that not only will the clearance of the sails to the roundhouse be increased but the buck should be easier to turn."
Further progress will be reported in subsequent Newsletters
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The cost of Life membership is £40.
'The Mill' is edited by Bob Brooks. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org