Members began arriving at mid-day and once again we
were lucky enough to have beautiful weather; the
millpond, or what had once been the millpond,
reflected the autumn colours with Southampton sunlit
in the distance.
As before, we had the large top floor room for the
meeting with the buffet laid out and a bar in the
corner. Members enjoyed this until the meeting
began at 2 pm.
Andy Fish welcomed everyone and thanked the staff at
Ashlett Tide Mill for their hospitality.
He thanked Sheila Viner, our retiring newsletter
editor, for the fantastic job she has done over the
last five years and twenty editions. She has kept
us up-to-date with all the latest mill news – and
the recipes have helped him maintain his weight
(which is no easy task!!). Sheila is looking
forward to spending more time researching the
history of Berkshire watermills and hopes to publish
it in book form. The Committee gave Sheila a card
and gift to thank her.
Ros Plunkett (who was editor before Sheila took on
the job) is taking on the task again; please would
members send her any mill news, articles, pictures
etc. that they have got.
Plunkett explained what has been happening at Eling
Tide Mill, which had been shut for a year while the
culvert base was consolidated, the sluice gate
bottom boards repaired and the cill rebuilt.
Unfortunately the cill is too high and the water
does not hit the blades of the waterwheel
correctly. HMG has sent a letter to the New Forest
District Council about this problem and a meeting
will be arranged shortly.
Dave hopes that all will be well by the end of
March. The flour that has been produced has been
reasonable and he has been able to clean all the
grain using the Eureka before milling. Commercial
customers are now returning.
There was a discussion about the new miller who will
be required. The erratic hours that a tide mill is
able to work make this a rather uncertain
occupation. It is possible the person appointed
could be a delivery driver as well.
Alfred Buses will be running on New Year’s Day and
will call at Twyford Water Works and Hockley Mill –
City Mill too will be open all day.
Vincent, a new member, brought along a new book he
has written “Tide Mills of Sussex”. He had some
copies for sale. These mills were mostly in the
Chichester Harbour area, and also further east.
Silman had three mill pictures which he showed to
members. He hoped they could put names to them. He
has passed them to the Mills Archive Trust to be
added to the collection.
Whitchurch Silk Mill Ian Clark is starting work on
the wheel. It should be rebuilt by the spring.
They still need sluice gates.
Stott had an e-mail from Oliver Barnes thanking Dave
Plunkett very much for advising and helping him with
his leaking millpond.
afternoon concluded with a number of short films
about textile mills, an old wartime one about
fighting a fire on an ammunition truck, involving a
steam engine and another one with background shots
of Longbridge Mill with adventurous boys leaping
into the River Loddon (beside the sluices!)
short films provided a most entertaining
end to the meeting and many thanks to Andy and Rob