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Page 11

Newsletter 103, Winter 2013 © Hampshire Mills Group

Tail Race~~~~Tail Race ~~~~Tail Race



No Christmas recipe this year because here’s a new idea for you - making hanging decorations out of salt dough like the ones above.  Do have a go – you can get a book (i.e. Salt Dough Projects by Rosamunda Imoti) to show you how and surprise yourself, charm your friends and delight your family and what a fun way to involve children too.  You’ll find you already have the main ingredients to hand: plain white flour, salt and water.  Go on – get creative! But when you need to serve up a tasty treat to satisfy all that action turn your creativity to Welsh Rarebit or scrambled egg or sardines on toast topped with pine nuts – a thick slice of toast made, it goes without saying, from a Hampshire mill’s stone ground flour. Mmmmm, yummy.


Five years and twenty newsletter editions later, I am relinquishing my spell as Editor so that my other hobbies can be more fully resumed and more time can be given to my researching of Berkshire watermills and hopefully publish my findings in book form.  The late Ken Major was very supportive  of my ambitions  and I now work at it supplemented by input from my Berkshire chums, Tom Hine and Brian Eighteen. A book of collected mill poems could be in the offing too, so please keep sending them to me. I have had a lot of fun (as well as headaches at times!) developing and producing the HMG newsletter; as we do not have the same amount of  mill restoration work as other groups my aim has been to find various items of mill related news in order to inform, and entertain, our wide spread of members’ interests.  Delightfully, there have been more bouquets than brickbats along the way! Editorship has given me opportunities of contact with group members, mill people and the public worldwide and I have certainly learned a lot.  Emailing the newsletter is rewarding in enhanced reproduction of photographs and illustrations and it is gratifying that a large number of members are taking it in this format. So thank you for the very kind compliments and thank you, too, to the helpful contributors over the years. A very special “Thank You” goes to Alison Stott and Andy Fish: Alison for nobly checking each page before it is sent to Andy who, through many hours of toil, gets each edition into print.  We’ve worked well as an electronically connected team and I shall miss our bouncing email-camaraderie.  Thank you.  My biggest debt of gratitude, however, is to my very long suffering partner, John, without whose support on the home front whilst I’m slaving over a hot keyboard has meant the resulting newsletters for you –  so I hope you would all join me in thanking him!

And now the Damsel has almost done with her chattering and our type of grain is running out, it just leaves me to explain that the following poem is written by that famous poet, Anonymous, and it arrived in the Mills Archives a year or two ago – my take on it is that the researcher is looking for millers!  Have a Cool Yule……………………………….Sheila.



~~~~ Christmas at the Archives~~~~

It was Christmas at the Archives and the cold bare walls are bright
With tinsel decorations above the signs about copyright:
To the volunteers  the customers Have given many treats
Tins of Roses, shortbread tails ,And even homemade sweets
The search room is like a wasteland With everything quiet and still
No whirring from the microfilm Or ringing of the till
But one man remains seated, Trawling through the books
Regardless of the silent room And the assistant's angry looks
"They must be in here somewhere, I know they will be found
I'll try another parish In case they moved around"
He requests another volume Although it's nearly four
Despite the early closing He might just do one more
The archivist walks over And puts the volume down
He turns the parchment pages And reads them with a frown
Then suddenly he sees them! And gives a happy shout
The name he's searched for many years Was there without a doubt
The staff are there to share his joy It's only twenty past!
If they help him take a copy They might get home at last
He leaves with joyful wishes The copy given free
The staff lock up, set the alarm And turn the lights off on the tree
Each one goes home happy A job well done they said
A long lost relative is found And we go home to bed
The customer's also delighted And full of Christmas cheer
"That's one lot found," he says aloud “But plenty more next year!"

Merry Christmas  Happy New Year


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