Several members of HMG who travelled to France some
years ago, to spend a week looking at mills in the
Vendée region, will remember Marie-Christine
Chapalan. She had kindly invited us to stay with
her and we had a most enjoyable and interesting week
She asked me to send her very best wishes and good
health to members of HMG for 2022.
Marie-Christine has remained an honorary member of
HMG; she recently telephoned me because she had a 'Google'
translation of notes on a film Arrêt de la
destruction des moulins about stopping the
destruction of mills. This is a hot topic in France
where the authorities are determined to remove all
dams and barrages on rivers in the name of 'ecology'
– thus destroying the ability of mills to function
and leading to rivers drying up in the summer.
Google's translation was helpful but the English was
at times a bit weird.
Editor: The 35 minute film is available for anyone
who wants to see it at
It has some good footage of mills and gives examples
of the arguments for and against retaining or
removing dams. It makes an interesting comparison
with dams built by beavers. It finishes with the
discussion in parliament which resulted in a brake
being put on the wholesale removal of
mills and dams.
A report of the
appeared in newsletter 133. This is
Moulin du Pont at Gourgé on the River Thouet.