The Mill

Newsletter of the Friends of High Salvington Windmill
Issue 23 - Autumn 2016

'A fascinating place' - Mayor's verdict on the Mill

June (photograph by Alex Vincent)
June (photograph by Alex Vincent)
The mayor of Worthing, Councillor Sean McDonald, visited the Mill on the occasion of the annual fete on Sunday, 10 July. He was accompanied by the mayoress, Vicky Vaughan, and guided by Tom Wye, chairman of the Mill Trust. They were shown around the Mill, toured the many stalls, enjoyed the performances of the Sompting Morris Dancers, and spoke with visitors.

Mr McDonald explained that as a young man in the 1980s he made many visits to friends in Mill Lane which runs alongside the Mill site. "My recollection of the Mill in those days is of a rather sad-looking derelict building. Now, it is a fascinating place, particularly inside where so much restoration has taken place."

Mr McDonald was born in north Wales "because my father was in the army and the family moved around a great deal". Now retired after 30 years' service as a police officer based in West Sussex, he lives in Durrington, "downhill all the way from the Mill".

The day of the fete had dawned rather gloomily but at around 2.30 pm - about the time the mayor arrived - the sun came out and the number of visitors increased significantly. Mr McDonald claimed full credit for the change in the weather coinciding with his arrival. Having "brought the sunshine" the mayor and mayoress stayed at the fete for well over two hours and bought a number of items from the stalls.

During the afternoon more than 100 visitors were shown around the Mill by the team of guides - all included in the cost of entrance at just £1 (children free). And reasonably-priced refreshments also are available when the Mill is open. As the mayor said: "A visit to High Salvington Mill is a great way to spend an afternoon, and it is so inexpensive."

Children's visits

The first school visit of the year was on Thursday, 19 May when about 80 pupils and their teachers from Durrington Junior School walked up the hill to the Mill. Boys and girls from Year 3 (aged 7 and 8) were shown around the Mill and watched demonstrations of flour grinding. Mike Blake, the teacher who arranged the visit, said that it fitted in well with the subject of force that the children are studying. "Wind power and gravity were well illustrated during our visit. The children drew sketches of the Mill and most purchased a memento from the shop."

The Worthing Magic Minders group paid its fourth annual visit to the Mill on 29 June. Despite the poor weather the twenty or so local independent child-minders and about fifty children in their charge enjoyed the visit, said Nicky Gare-Mogg, the organiser of the group. "The look on the faces of some of the children when they first caught sight of the Mill was a delight", she said. "The Mill is an ideal site for the many children - between the ages of one and four - to meet each other and play although the weather put paid to any ideas of a picnic." In fact, a number of the children made their own decision on this aspect of the visit and could be seen munching their packed lunches at 11.00 a.m.

One child-minder so enjoyed her visit that she brought her charges and their families - about three dozen in total - back to the Mill for a picnic. Clare Greaves, who lives in Worthing, arranged for the group to spend the afternoon of 6 August at the Mill where they were shown around by guides in addition to enjoying the opportunity to picnic on a very pleasant sunny day. "I came to the Mill some time ago and thought that it would be a lovely place to have a picnic where the children could run around and play and their parents could have a relaxing time", said Clare.

By far the youngest children visiting the Mill during the summer were a group of four-year-olds from Windlesham House School. Four boys and eight girls, accompanied by their teachers, were shown around during the beautifully sunny morning of Thursday, 8 September. Teacher Melanie Lambert explained that the pupils were being shown how flour is made and then would be taking it back to the school for use in bread-making on the following day. "Then, of course, eating the result of their efforts - all as part of a harvesting project."

A few days later - on 13 September, the hottest day of the year - 27 Beavers and five leaders were shown around the Mill. The Beavers is a pre-cub/scout organisation for six- to eight-year-olds founded in 1986, and has many members in the Worthing area. Those visiting the Mill were from the 8th Worthing Beavers (Sea Scouts) based in the Tarring area of the town. The group come to the Mill every two years. Leader Jane Preston said that the objective is "to get boys and girls out and about to broaden their knowledge and to interest them in local community activities".

The 88 pupils from the nearby Vale School paid their annual visit to the Mill on 15 September - yet another beautiful day. Teacher Laura Nichol explained that the group of five- and six-year-olds, all in their first week in Grade 1, were learning about local landmarks. The children climbed the steps to the Mill for a view inside, milled some grain, and examined the other features on the site. All seemed to enjoy the visit though one or two seemed to think that the Mill is Peter Casebow's home.

All group visits are arranged by Pamela Jenkins (01903 267293).

Help to maintain the Mill grounds

Could you spare two or three hours a month helping to maintain the Mill grounds? John and Ian, who work at the Mill on Tuesdays and Thursdays, need some help with hedge trimming, keeping paving clear, and other general work. You can join them or choose your own times. Contact Ian on 01903 267354 or email to

Geologists visit the Mill

July (photograph by Lucy Brooks
July (photograph by Lucy Brooks
Members of the West Sussex Geological Society visited the Mill on the afternoon of Sunday, 14 August. John Lonergan, chairman, said that the visit "was planned as a social gathering so that members could meet and get to know each other better in the wonderful setting of High Salvington windmill". The Society also promoted and advertised its visit "so that members of the public could come to the Mill to view the Society's display of fossils found locally. In addition, we hope to attract new members." About a third of the current membership of around 80 were shown around the Mill. The Society was founded in 1977 and has its base in Worthing (St Stephen's church, Angola Road) where it meets on the third Friday of every month, except for July and August. Further information can be obtained from John Lonergan (01903 743432).

Technical report ... and some discoveries!

Peter Casebow reports that a visiting retired employee of Duke and Ockendon (Dando) has identified the diaphragm pump as being manufactured by the company and used to drain the trenches in the First World War.

Another discovery occurred when the gearbox of the wind engine was stripped and worn shafts and crankpins replaced. Removal of paint on the tail fin revealed the name of Harper and Eede, an engineering concern still in existence, which first installed it at the wind pump near Nutley.

On the wind generator the wooden propeller has been repaired and given a smooth fibreglass finish, then balanced and painted. The mast for the generator was erected earlier in the year. However, Peter Casebow reveals that it has been impossible to find anyone to restore the electrical dynamo. Volunteers?

Radio Hams reach Poland

Some members of the Worthing and District Amateur Radio Club visited the Mill on Sunday, 15 May. Setting up their equipment in the roundhouse the group began contacting other mills in this country and in France, Spain, The Netherlands, and - the furthest point - Poland. Greetings were exchanged along with details of WADARC and its activities. Started in 1948 the club has over 80 members and meets every Wednesday at the Parish Hall in South Street, Lancing, West Sussex BN15 8AJ. It offers training courses and examinations for those wishing to obtain a license.

Tour of local mills

On Saturday, 7 May a group of 16 Friends of High Salvington Windmill spent the day visiting four Sussex mills. It was a beautiful day, warm enough for a pub lunch outdoors, and the leisurely tour, organised by Peter Casebow and Bob Potts, took about ten hours starting at High Salvington and ending at a private mill in Bolney.

The first stop on the itinerary was the smock mill at West Blatchington, north of Hove, said to be named after its shape which resembles a miller's smock. Built in the 1820s the mill has been restored and houses a very interesting museum of milling and other local crafts and activities. A brief talk was followed by a guided tour of the three- storey building.

The next stop was the Jill windmill above the village of Clayton and close by the Jack windmill. This post mill was originally erected in Brighton in 1821 but was moved to its present site in 1852; it is able to produce flour. A tour of the two-storey building was made by the group.

After lunch the short journey to Nutley brought the party to what is stated to be the oldest working mill in Sussex; some parts have been dated as being made in the sixteenth century. The group spent some time looking around the post mill which has been operating at its present site since 1830 and still grinds flour.

The final stop on the tour was at the home of Rodney de Little in Bolney. When he was a young boy Mr de Little became interested in windmills and built the model post mill in his garden when he was only 14, nearly 60 years ago. An author of books about mills, he explained how he built the mill and his passion for them. A number of vintage cars - another passion - was shown to the visitors.

A long day but a very pleasant, interesting, and informative one.


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'The Mill' is edited by Bob Brooks.