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Page 8

Newsletter 98, Autumn 2012  © Hampshire Mills Group

Passing through the mill……………….

Four Red Letter Days at Longbridge Mill, Sherfield-on-Loddon

The first four pictures below illustrate four special occasions in the last two months; special enough to warrant them as Red Letter moments:  1.  Brian Chidgey with his son Steve visited during our July milling and revealed that he had worked with the millwrights IJP Ltd in restoring the watermill from its burnt out and derelict state back in the 1990s.  2.  The Millwright’s Bench represents the repair work carried out to the waterwheel (at last) in July. Then in August:  3.  The Three Jolly Millers are James Lucas (Eling’s new trainee miller visiting us), Basil Hunt (Longbridge’s senior miller)and David Plunkett (who mills at Eling and Longbridge).  4.  Rookie Teamsters, Rosemary and Paul Stileman of Nately Scures near Longbridge; they threw themselves into the fray of labelling, weighing and bagging with masterly dedication just when extra hands were needed most – and it was their first visit to the mill! Long may they come and bag up!!

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Photograph no. 5 was sent in by Tim Woodcock who is researching the history of Ashlett Tide Mill.  This shows one of the many ‘lives’ of the mill before it was bought by the neighbouring oil refinery for workers recreational uses.  You can just make out the basic frame of a boat being formed and the boat builder himself in the background.  What a good showing of the mills’ timber structure.  Thank you, Tim, for sharing that with us.  Photograph no. 6 was sent in by Peter Mobbs with a plea.  He writes: “Attached to this message is a picture of a "sled" that I saw earlier this month. This sled was on display at "The Wood Festival" at Queen Elizabeth Park.  A notice by the side of the sled stated that it was originally used as a thrashing/milling implement. (I was not able to find any person to ask about this “contraption!)  The sled is very heavy as it is constructed from thick hardwood planks. It is about 4 ft six long and just about 2 ft wide.The flat bottom surface of the sled is studded with a large number of sharp flints which can clearly be seen in the photograph. The top surface of the sled is fitted with a large eyebolt. This is to enable the sled to be pulled by a horse, oxen or some other draught animal. So, Sheila, I am hoping that if you are able to include this picture in your Newsletter inviting feedback then someone might be able to supply further details of just how it was used? Very best wishes, Peter.”  So, can you help with an explanation? Please let us know.

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