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Newsletter 112, Spring 2016  © Hampshire Mills Group



News of Mills

Whitchurch Silk Mill, Longbridge Mill, Hockley Mill, Eling Tide Mill


Vincent Pargeter



Whitchurch Silk Mill 

The ‘Preserving the Fabric’ Project Management Team interviewed architects for our HLF Project, and selected Giles Pritchard and Bethan Knights from HCC Property Services. They won’t be letting grass grow under their feet, as they’ve undertaken to present their initial ideas with some initial concepts in time for all to view in half term week. 

Giles is Head of Heritage Architects and has 16 years’ experience as a Senior Conservation Architect, repairing and adapting listed buildings. He has worked on many Heritage Lottery Fund projects, including Coombe Mill at Blenheim Palace Sawmills, Basing House and Grange Farm, HMS M.33 at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, Stowe House and Jane Austen’s House Museum. He is familiar with the Silk Mill and its challenges. Bethan is a member of his team and has worked in the heritage sector for several years.

For more information, go to:  www.whitchurchsilkmill.org.uk


 Longbridge Mill

The flour produced at Longbridge Mill can no longer be sold due to  the ‘food hygiene labelling regulations’. This decision has been taken by Mitchells and Butlers, the company which owns the mill.  However, milling continues to be done by HMG for demonstration purposes each month.   The mill is in fair condition.


Hockley Mill

The sluice gate has been repaired by Mick Edgeworth and Ivor New.


 Eling Tide Mill

An excerpt from Eling Experience Project News Winter, 2015

. . . Industrial heritage specialists Dorothea Restoration are carrying out repairs to the historic mill machinery. The working waterwheel and the pit in which it sits are being cleaned and repaired, which is tricky as the pit or undercroft  (below the ground floor) is full of water most of the time. Work on the wheel and the pit can only take place for around four hours either side of low tide, when the team descend a ladder into the undercroft to jet wash the sludge and begin work.

They have also been busy on the upper floors replacing the 97 oak teeth in the ‘crown’ wheel with new wooden teeth made from traditional fruit wood. This is used because, as well as being strong, its natural oils help to lubricate the teeth and keep the wheel running smoothly. They will also be removing the ‘tun cover’ - the wooden barrel-like object which covers the grinding stones and prevents the flour and grain from spreading through the mill. The metal bands that encircle it need welding, which wouldn’t be a good idea in situ, with all the wood and flour dust in the mill.

Over the summer we also completed the treatment of the beams and other woodwork inside the mill to guard against rot and wood worm. 

We will be closed until early 2017.

For more news of the project, go to:  www.elingexperience.co.uk


Research into the mill’s history has turned up some interesting references to

Eling in the press

Salisbury & Winchester Journal, May 1814


Foot-Race Extraordinary! An extraordinary foot-race took place On Wednesday evening last, at Totton, for a considerable wager, between Mr. Aslett of that place, a pedestrian of some celebrity, and one of the best hundred-yard runners in the county, and Mr. Rogers, a miller of Eling, a very active athletic young man. The former was to run one hundred yards, while the latter carried a sack of wheat fifty. Considerable bets were depending, and the parties had been training for the purpose. The   muscular powers of Mr. R. were however too great for the agility of Mr. A. and he won the wager by about two yards in fifteen seconds.


Vincent Pargeter

The following obituary appears on the SPAB website.

It is with great sadness and shock that we announce that Vincent Pargeter, our esteemed colleague and friend, died on 31st October

Vincent was the country’s pre-eminent millwright with over 45 years of experience studying, recording, conserving and repairing windmills. His knowledge was second to none and his actions have ensured the survival of countless mills that would otherwise have been lost.

Tragically, much of that knowledge has gone with him, Vincent often joking that he would get around to writing up his personal experiences, research and learning ‘when he retired’, something he never quite managed to do.

Jonathan Cook - Chairman, SPAB Mills Section

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