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Newsletter 107, Winter 2014 © Hampshire Mills Group


The Mills Research Group Conference 2014


John Brandrick   


The Mills Research Group held their annual conference over the weekend of September 27th & 28th in the Caersws Village Hall in Powys, Wales. The following papers where presented:

· Mallorcan “Sinias” by Philip Graves

· Kingsley New Wheel by David Plunkett

· Mill terms conceptualisation by Philip Graves

· Use of language clues on mill history by David H Jones

· Naming of mill components on Cad drawings by John Brand rick

These were followed by a discussion on the new joint venture with the Mills Archive, to build an International Mill Glossary, covering the accepted and local names of molinological terms and their International equivalents in as many languages as feasible.

The terms are accessed through illustrations. These would be in the form of sectional views through mills and (where the major parts of the mill are detailed separately) with exploded views.  They would then be coded in a database to reveal its title, using local names and in as many languages as have been selected, along with links to photographs and about - what they are, what they were for, how they were made and who used them etc.

It was felt the project would be infinite, with as many enthusiasts from any country, who wished to make a contribution into the glossary, could do so.

The Glossary would aim to cover all wind, water and two and four legged driven processes that used rotating and reciprocating equipment and would be accessed and controlled via the Mills Archive Online Database, with the drawings and initial structure set up by the MRG with the aid of other Milling experts.   The meeting concluded and the members spent an enjoyable evening discussing the days events.

On the Sunday the members collected at Ty Coch Saw mill, Pontdolgoch. (SO0079993862) This is a water powered Carpenter’s workshop that has been in continuous use since the 1800s. And, until a few years ago, had been operated by two brothers for around 50 years. It is how it has always been, with a balcony office containing many drawers with all the things a Carpenter and Joiner would need.

The old Edwardian typewriter is still there with a pile of headed notepaper with the date 191_ for the insertion of the appropriate year. There are four major pieces of equipment in use:- a wooden rack saw bench that can spin a blade up to about 48 inches in diameter, a grind stone, band saw and a lathe, all powered by the 14 foot overshot water wheel which has an overhead cable that crosses a trunk road, to operate the sluice valve on the outlet of the mill pond in the field above and behind the main road.

The speed of the wheel is determined by an internal lever connected to an overhead cable and is held in place by a chain. Four links control the entire range from near stationary to rattling the tea cups in the adjacent kitchen.  It is worth seeing and the owner, Tim Chilton, is always pleased to show people this amazing workshop (see www.milldrawings.com/html/pontdolgoch.html).




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