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Newsletter 107, Winter 2014 © Hampshire Mills Group


Chairman's Update

Andy Fish       

Well, the clocks have changed overnight, so the evenings will now be dark by the time I get home from now on.

It was good to see so many of you at the AGM; I counted 30 heads in the audience, we then listened to Peter James talk about his project to re-build Ockley Mill to make it into his home.  A fine job he has made of it.

As you know, our Head Miller at Longbridge and long time Mills Group member, Basil Hunt, sadly passed away in July On Saturday 4th October a number of the membership attended the scattering of Basil's ashes at Longbridge Mill.

I have also heard that Brian Shingler of Gants Mill at Bruton has sadly passed away. Those of us who went on the trip to Dorset Mills, about 10 years ago will remember that when we visited Gants Mill a turbine had just been installed and was supplying power to the grid. 

Whilst carrying out  some research on the mills of the River Stour I came across a useful and interesting web site. The National Library of Scotland have digitized Ordnance Survey maps  covering all of England and Wales from the 1840s to the 1950s,  including the  six-inch scale England and Wales series which covers over 3.500 sheets. You can browse  the maps as either, individual sheets, using a zoomable map of England and Wales as a seamless zoomable overlay (1888-1913) on modern Google and OS maps or, as a seamless zoomable layer (1888-1913) side-by-side with modern Google and OS maps.  An extremely interesting and useful tool.   Link to site

Our first meeting in 2015 will be on March 14th when Peter Hills will give us an illustrated talk entitled "The Alternative uses of Animal, Water and Wind Power" the venue has yet to be confirmed.

I look forward to seeing you all at our December Meeting.




Editor's Notes

Ros Plunkett    

Wow, what an amazing “molinological” three months we have just had!!

September:  A Hampshire Mills Group Meeting at Bursledon Village Hall, which I am sorry to say that I missed.  Then,  at the end of the month, a Mills Research Group Conference, which took place over two days in Mid-Wales  On the Saturday, various papers were presented and, on the Sunday, we visited six wonderful and very different mills.  I am grateful to John Brandrick for organising the event and for agreeing to submit an article for the Newsletter.  John came up trumps and supplied, not only the article, but some amazing drawings as well.  In order to do his contribution justice, I have decided to publish it over two newsletters.

October:  Eight HMG Members visited Town Mill, Alresford and an SPAB Meeting was held at West Blatchington Windmill.  What a lovely venue! 

November:  David and I crossed “The Pond” to America to attend The Tide Mill Institute (TMI) Conference which took place in York, in the state of Maine.  We wrapped a two week holiday around it and had a great time.  Due to space restrictions (and time) a report on this event will follow in the next Newsletter.

I cannot thank the contributors enough for the varied and interesting contributions they have made to this edition.

Below is a new book recently published by HMG Member Alex Vincent




News in Brief

Basil Hunt - report by Eleanor Yates

Basil's friends assembled for the scattering of his ashes on October 4th, 2014.  The day was damp outside but, inside his 'home from home' at Longbridge Mill, the day was warm with our memories of Basil.   John & Sheila Green had arranged a buffet and drinks  - so we enjoyed a lovely party in Basil's honour.  His Basingstoke friends, Arthur & Betty Thomas, Eileen Poulter and Martin Startup (the son of Basil's partner, Jo) were joined by HMG members and fellow millers, Fred Spiers, Mick Edgeworth, John Silman, Carol O'Shaughnessy, Sheila Viner, Andy Fish and Eleanor.


New Model for English Heritage

Current  Archaeology  - December 2014

The Government has confirmed plans, announced in June 2013 (CA282) to re-structure English Heritage into two organisations within eight years.  One part, keeping the name ‘English Heritage’, will become an independent charity managing the properties in the National Heritage Collection.  The other, ‘Historic England’, will take responsibility for preserving ancient monuments and for historic buildings, and for research.  For more information, visit Link


Laverstoke Mill becomes a Distillery

There has been a Mill on site in Laverstoke since at least 903 AD but the first official records show Laverstoke Mill as a corn mill marked in the Domesday Book of 1086.  In 1719 A French Huguenot called Henry Portal leased Laverstoke Mill and converted it to make the finest quality hand-made paper.

The Mill has now been sympathetically restored by Gin Distillers, Bombay Sapphire and here is their informative website.  Laverstoke 



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