This was the first
time that the MRG annual conference has been held in
Totton, near Southampton. Our venue was in the
Totton & Eling Communitee Centre in the heart of
Totton. Members travelled from all around southern
England and Wales to attend and so, on Saturday 28th
September, after a prompt 10.30 a.m. start with
warming tea or coffee, we progressed to the first
1) The use of
AutoCAD and rendering by John
2) Some Mills on the
River Kennett in Cornwall by Alan Crocker.
3) A field with 225
mill stones by
4) Watermills on the
Whitewater River by David Plunkett.
5) Research and
History of Testwood Mill by Roger
presentation was followed by questions and answers
to satisfy our curiosity and ensure we gleaned as
much information as possible from the speakers. All
presentations were recorded to assist future
publication in MRG Proceedings. At mid-day we
enjoyed a buffet lunch.
On the following
Sunday morning, we assembled outside Beaulieu Tide
Mill with fewer numbers than I was expecting, our
band of molinologists from across England were
treated to an excellent conducted tour with much
explanation of the past years since the fire of
2006. Andy Phillips as clerk of works for the
Beaulieu Estate, was most knowledgeable and fended
questions and queries with expert intent. The
revised reuse of the mill with the building
additions is very sympathetic and with the projected
boat design company as tenants, looks very
promising. HMG members will have the opportunity to
visit when final fitting out works are complete.
Next – on to the
remains of Testwood Mill, just north of Totton on
the River Test. A brick water tower and various
pumping equipment survives for our inquisitive
eyes. This mill was not rebuilt after a devastating
fire in 1890.
Our lunch time stop
was Eling Tide Mill where unfortunately the Mill was
not operational but I conducted our party around the
mill where I explained and operated the newly
restored ‘Eureka’ grain cleaner. Some members took
time to examine the tidal sea gates while others
explored the Heritage Centre and had a good lunch in
the Eling Tea Room.
Our next mill was
north east of Southampton at Waltham Chase Mill
which had considerable restoration works applied to
it in the past 20 years. With its double pitchback,
iron water wheels, it makes an impressive site.
Unfortunately the owner has rather neglected this
mill in the past five or six years and it is not
generally safe for unsupervised visits.
Finally, our last
visit of the day was at Hampshire’s only surviving
windmill at Bursledon. Looking rather sad at this
time due to removal of sails and awaiting funding to
restore to working order once more. We were treated
to a good modern video presentation and guided by
their miller up through the mill. So ended, a very
pleasant mill day, to round off a good Conference,
The Mills Research
Group welcomes new members with an interest in all
forms of molinology without geographical boundaries
and particularly the historical research required.
Has this whetted your appetite for being more than
an armchair molinologist? Then contact David by
email@example.com and share in the action.