The Mill

Newsletter of the Friends of High Salvington Windmill
Issue 22 - Spring 2016

Mayor praises community spirit that keeps the Mill going

Councillor Michael Donin, the mayor of Worthing 2015-2016, visited the High Salvington Mill on the occasion of the Annual Fete on 12 July
Picture by Jeff Best
Councillor Michael Donin, the mayor of Worthing 2015-2016, visited the High Salvington Mill on the occasion of the Annual Fete on 12 July. He was accompanied by the Mayoress, Linda Williams, on what was not a very pleasant day from a weather point of view.

Rain in the morning and an almost continuous drizzle throughout the afternoon meant that the number of people attending was down on recent years but the stall-holders and side shows were kept busy. The Sompting Morris dancers were in attendance, as usual, and there was lively (and loud!) entertainment in the form of piped music.

Councillor Donin was born in Canada but has been in this country for 38 years living mainly in the Worthing area. "To my shame I have never visited the Mill but I will ensure that I put this right, even when my year as mayor ends. The fantastic restoration of the Mill is most impressive and the community spirit which brought this about, and continues to do so, is wonderful."

The mayor revealed that during his year in office he and the mayoress will be attending as many engagements as it is possible "in order to give support and help promote as many charities and good causes as possible".

Group visits to the Mill

There have been a number of group visits to the Mill in the past few months. These are arranged by Pam Jenkins (01903 267293) and the usual programme includes a tour of the Mill and other items of interest on the site followed by refreshments. As can be seen from the following accounts of 2015 visits the Mill is popular with many school groups.

  • The Worthing Magic Minders - a group of about 20 local, independent child-minders - came to the Mill on Wednesday 24 June bringing with them well over 50 small children under the age of five.

    "This is our third visit and, basically, it is just a very nice day out", said the organiser of the group Nicky Gare-Mogg. "The children love the opportunity to play with others and have a picnic in a lovely location."

    Fortunately, the weather was kind.

  • Hopefully with a greater attention span than the children, the next visitors - on the morning of Saturday 4 July - were a number of members of the West Sussex Archives Society.

    "Many of our group are archivists but the 200+ membership basically comprises people who wish to help and support the work of preserving the wonderful archival heritage of West Sussex", Richard Mant, chairman, explained.

    The visit began with a talk by Bob Potts about the Mill and its history. After this Bob was joined by John Tripcony to show the visitors around the Mill. Refreshments were served and the group were "very well looked after".

  • On Sunday 6 September Lucy Brooks, a Mill guide and professional translator, took some members of the Worthing French Club around the Mill and the other items of interest on the site. The Club, which meets about once a month in Worthing, attracts people with an interest in France and the French language.

    Lucy, who is a member of the Club, conducted the tour entirely in French. "I had to look up a few technical terms but generally I managed to get around the Mill (Moulin) and answer a few questions about its history and how it operates."

    "It was absolutely excellent and very good to be in a 'French' environment", commented Pam Kelly, a Club member. "We all understood Lucy's presentation quite comfortably and even the native French lady in our Club was impressed."

  • On the morning of Thursday, 10 September about 90 first-year pupils from the Vale School - three groups of 30 five-year olds - were given guided tours of the Mill as well as getting hands-on experience of milling grain into flour. The Mill guides on this occasion were Andy Campbell, Peter Casebow, and Bob Potts.

    On a beautiful sunny day, Sam Bettes, a teacher at the Vale School, explained that the pupils were involved in a project of studying local landmarks in the area. "You cannot get much more local than the High Salvington Windmill as the children walked to the site from the school", she said. "In addition to learning about its purpose and history it is to be hoped that the children will be able to persuade their parents to visit."

  • Five days later, on the morning of Tuesday 15 September, some even younger children visited the Mill. A dozen 'reception' children (eleven boys and just one girl all aged four or five) from Windlesham House School wereshown around by guides Hazel Marsden and Christine Shane. They were shown how flour is made which,according to teacher Ruth Parnell, was very appropriate since on the following day they were scheduled to be learning how to make bread. The weather was most unpleasant but nevertheless the children seemed to enjoy the visit.

Successful Craft Fair despite the weather

The annual Craft Fair was held at the Mill on Sunday 13 September. The attendance was "excellent considering the overcast weather", according to the organiser Peter Cobb. "All of the stall-holders confirmed that they will return next year."

Mark Phillips, a resident of High Salvington, reported that his range of walking sticks attracted a number of sales at his stand and that there had been particular interest in the 'Harry Potter' wands that he had made for children.

Also exhibiting wood carvings was Doug Arterton who is based in LancingAlso exhibiting wood carvings was Doug Arterton (pictured) who is based in Lancing. He reported "good interest" in his hand-carved products as well as in a range of sticks.

Gaye Neve, whose traditional hand-made preserves business is based in Haywards Heath, expressed her satisfaction at the interest showed in the products displayed on her stall. In addition to jams, jellies, marmalades, and chutneys, she also exhibited a wide range of crafted bags, shopping bags, beach bags, etc.

In total there were 18 stalls at the event including some from the Sussex Weald Stationary Engine Club.

One of the highlights of the day was the staging of a Mummers play by the Sompting Morris Group. These plays generally comprise a hero, a bad guy, a fool, and a doctor. Each character introduces himself and the plot usually has someone being killed and then restored to life. In other words, a complete load of rubbish but great fun for the actors and their audience..

Technical report

Peter Casebow reports that following the repair and painting of the spring-shuttered sails in the summer of 2014 the common sails were removed earlier this year. A serious amount of rot was discovered, mainly in the whips (the main spars of both sails) extending in one whip to almost eight feet. They were replaced by a block and tackle soon after the Mill opened to the public in April. Shortly afterwards they were put to work grinding 200lb of flour. Although they are 28 years old the sails should last for a few more years.

The electrical system in the Mill has been updated necessitating the installation of a new, heavier cable across the site to the Visitors Centre. New consumer units have been fitted and new earth rods installed. Following this work a new boiler has been installed in the kitchen.

At the present time new steps for the Mill are being built and it is hoped that they will be installed before Christmas. These will replace the current steps which are 55 years old and showing their age..

Archivists active with exhibitions and other events

Mill archivist Wendy Funnell reports that the exhibition 'The Mill as Scene by Local Artists' filled St Peter's church on National Mills Day, Sunday 10 May.

Some 70 visitors took the opportunity to have a look at the 80 paintings, photographs, postcards, and newspaper cuttings contributed by members as well as from the archives. These set out a visual history of the Mill from the nineteenth century to the present day. In addition, Bob Potts showed his collection of china created by and about the Mill and High Salvington. Also on display was the collection of items that have been found on the site along with tools used by the millers.

Many of the photographs have continued to be on show in the Granary; artefacts were placed in the Roundhouse. It is hoped that the Granary will become available as a display area for the photographs and the artefacts.

The Mill was represented on a stall at the St Symphorian's Heritage Day on Saturday 12 September, and a stall will be manned at the Rotary Hobbies and Leisure Exhibition at the Worthing Assembly Rooms on Saturday 5 March. Thanks to all of the people who help at these events.

The work of recording the information about the Mill continues at the Monday morning meetings in the Gatehouse. Digitalisation of the referencing system is nearly complete but checking the detail will continue and will run alongside the card-indexing system for some time.

Don't forget!

Don't forget the annual Family Carol Evening at 7.15 pm on Friday 18 December. Bonfire, refreshments, etc.

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'The Mill' is edited by Bob Brooks.
Email: bobbrooks@btconnect.com