Recently I was invited by our magazine editor to
review the book “MEMORIES OF
KENTISH WATERMILLS". Written by,
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
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
Peter Mobbs 3 February 2009