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Page 6

Newsletter 84, Spring 2009  © Hampshire Mills Group

   
READING MATTERS  
 

WATER MILLS IN KENT

Recently I was invited by our magazine editor to review the book “MEMORIES OF
KENTISH WATERMILLS". Written by,
Alan Stoyel.ISBN-10: 1843064189 
ISBN-13: 978-1843064183

 Some important considerations are: Would this book fit on your bookshelf and can you afford it! Well the answer is probably yes. The paperback book is about 250 mm tall by 175 mm wide, thickness 10 mm (100 pages). And the cost is £9.99.  It has been said that one picture is worth 1000 words. Alan's book has more than 100 superb pictures of watermills so this feature alone makes the book well worth buying. Many of the photographs show how the mills looked during the early 1900s.

The book focuses on water mills located on the River Cray and River Darent. Since Alan started keeping photographic records of the Mills virtually all traces of them have now disappeared. Luckily it is possible to accurately pinpoint their location as map references of all sites have been included.

  The River Cray is 8 miles long with a fall of 130 feet over this length. Yet amazingly there were 13 Mills (described in the book) operating on this river.  For the River Darent, 37 watermills are listed for about 29 miles of river with a fall of about 400 ft. In the upper reaches some of the mills are located on tributaries of the river. This gives rise to the interesting apparent effect of the river flowing uphill from one mill to the next for a couple of the mill sites listed!  It was interesting to see evidence demonstrating that it was possible to site mills at much closer intervals further downstream on rivers where the mass flow of water becomes greater.

  I was left with the impression that Alan is an ardent Watermill Enthusiast and spent ages gathering material for this book. It paints a sad picture of just how many memorials of our fascinating Industrial Heritage have vanished into oblivion.

  "MEMORIES OF KENTISH WATERMILLS" provides a unique record of this fascinating era. I feel it is essential and enjoyable reading matter for all mill enthusiasts such as you.

Available from The Mills Archive Trust  by Tel: 0118 9502052 or  www.millsarchive.co.uk

Peter Mobbs 3 February 2009

 

Eling Tide Mill, Hampshire
 

 As of the 1st January 2009, Totton and Eling Town Council took over running of Eling Tide Mill from the Tide Mill Trust. The Town Council have appointed both a Miller, Chris Blandford, who is currently being trained by David Plunkett and a Manager to run the Eling Experience, Helen Robinson. The main aim of both the Council and Helen, in her new role, is to promote the Eling Experience as a visitor attraction, with the Tide Mill being the primary benefit. This meaning that the mill will be in operation for as much time as possible during visitor opening hours to ensure that as many visitors as possible see the mill performing the function it was intended for. In addition, Helen will be looking for new outlets to increase Flour Sales by using the New Forest Marque to hopefully open up new opportunities. We extend a warm welcome to both Helen and Chris and wish them good luck in their new roles. 

If you haven’t yet Experienced the history and present delights of The Eling Experience shame on you.  Get on down there for a very different day out.
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