HMG Activity - 2
THIRTY YEARS ON -A CHANGE AT T’
do it for six months, just until you find someone
else.” Now, more than
thirty years later, John Silman has found a trusty
replacement Chairman for the Hampshire Mills Group.
His worthy successor is Vice-Chairman, Mick
Edgeworth, who took over his new role during the
December meeting of the mills group
at the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu.
A founder member of HMG, John
Silman has spearheaded a small band of
enthusiasts through more than three decades of
rescue and repair of many of Hampshire’s
wind and water mills. Mill owners and work parties
of other mills groups throughout the country have
sought his advice. He has also delivered
countless illuminating and highly informative talks
to an enormous cross section of groups and societies
across the south of England, and not just about
mills, but about old postcards too. These will be
continued as will labour with the “Heavy
Gang” team, working to
repair and restore Hampshire’s
recognition of John’s
enormous contribution, the Mills Section of the
Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB)
presented him with an illuminated citation in
November 2006. Justly proud of this rarely bestowed
honour, John is photographed with it at Longbridge
Photo & article by Sheila M
on Micro-Hydro at Crabble Corn Mill, Dover, Kent on
Jan 24th 2008
The British Hydropower
Association held a seminar to introduce the topic of
generating electricity from water power on a
small scale. Of interest to Mill owners and
local authorities the morning was devoted to short
presentations on the basics of power generation, the
ways to go about ascertaining if it is
feasible and possibly economic, the role of the
Environment Agency and the consents required and
case studies on two recent successful installations.
A tour of the new 3.6kW generating set at the
Crabble Corn Mill - Kent's only working watermill -
showed what micro-hydro involves in practice.
Two simple facts dominate - to generate power you
need a good head of water and a strong flow rate.
Then you need to consult early with the Environment
Agency to engage on the issues of licences, consents
and surveys - the impact on fish, water diversion or
extraction and potential flow reductions. An
engineering solution can then be designed and costed
and if you generate enough to sell surplus energy
the complex economics of electricity tariffs,
renewable energy certificates and the like worked
through. If all is positive then Local
Authority planning consents must be sought and
finally the installation can be started.
Somewhere a year to two years from the start you may
be able to switch on.
Given the imperative of increasing the capture of
renewable energy - and one estimate said that the
20,000 mill sites in England could generate 200MW if
all converted - it seems that currently the burden
on a mill owner is quite onerous from the regulatory
and official angle, and the economics not
compelling. However a long term view is
needed and at appropriate sites electricity
generation is feasible and economic with payback
over 10+ years.
Interestingly the seminar had an audience mainly
of professionals from the industry, local authority
staff learning about the subject and 4 or 5 owners
of mills or other potential sites.
British Hydropower Association - BHA has a
useful guide to Micro Hydro on its website, and is
an industry body promoting the use of hydropower.
A number of consultants and engineering firms can
offer advice and services to assist in or carry out
Report by Ashok Vaidya - the
article reflects his views and not necessarily those
of the Hampshire Mills Group.
HMG Visit to Crossness
Pumping Station and House Mill on Sept 16 2007
A very enjoyable excursion to see one of the world's
largest beam engine in steam at the Crossness
Pumping works in east London, followed by a
fascinating tour of the Three Mills site in Bromley.
Photos by Ashok
Pumping Station was built by Sir Joseph Bazalgette
as part of Victorian London's urgently needed main
sewerage system. It was officially opened by the
Prince of Wales in April 1865. It contains the
four original pumping engines which are possibly the
largest remaining rotative beam engines in the
world, with 52 ton flywheels and 47 ton beams.
Our group outside Clock Mill, part of the Three
Mills area. The River Lea Tidal Mill
Trust Ltd has restored House Mill which is open to
HMG's highly successful trip to Norfolk to view
twenty sites over four days in April 2007.
Organised by Andy Fish, and with driving by Andy and
Photos by Shiela M
We were at Eling tide mill in
March 2007 to carry out some repair and
refurbishment, relieving some of the load from the
contractors working on the site and helping to speed
the overall progress.
Photos by Nigel Smith
taken in March 2007 show our volunteers working to
restore the wheel and pump at Timsbury.
Work is now completed
with the wheel finished and turning freely and
the pump mechanism operating off load. The final
activities involved installing sluice gates next to
the wheel pit channel and connecting the pump
outflow valve to the pipe that will take water to
the fountain in the pond (when this is put in
pump was being tested which is why there are more
people watching than working !
Photos by Nigel Smith
Photo A Vaidya
Amongst our recent projects
we worked at Headley Mill, replacing all the
buckets and starts on the water wheel.
Volunteers spent a day a week on site carrying out
the careful fitting of new buckets onto the existing
water wheel is now complete and in working order.
Photo by Nigel Smith.
HMG volunteers inspect the
upper floor of Beaulieu Tide Mill where on March 15,
2006 a fire severely damaged the structure.
We spent time to clear away timber and debris while
preserving and identifying all the useful mill
related items in the structure.
It is hoped
that in time the Mill may be restored.