Filey’s Windmill Recreating an iconic building
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We   are   currently   basking   in   a   warm   glow   of satisfaction   at   seeing   the   rebuilding   of   the tower    finally    completed.    This    has    been tempered   somewhat   by   concern   at   the   way the   recent   gales   are   affecting   the   waterproof sheet   providing   the   weatherproofing.   We   had hoped   the   two   cargo   straps   we   used   would prevent   unwanted   movement   but   the   bottom strap   was   being   lifted   by   the   force   of   the wind   and   allowing   the   sheet   to   be   pulled upward.   We   were   sure   that   the   top   strap being     tight     under     the     corbeling     would prevent    it    blowing    off    but    we    needed    to secure   the   skirt   otherwise   it   would   tear   itself to   shreds.   The   height   of   the   mill   meant   we
couldn’t   do   the   work   off   ladders   and   the cost   of   scaffolding   it   was   £5000   so   it was   decided   to   use   a   cherry   picker.   Ring bolts     were     securely     fixed     into     the brickwork    and    lines    passing    through eyelets   in   the   sheet   tied   off   to   them. Finally   two   lines   were   passed   over   the top   and   secured   in   the   same   way.   We have   our   fingers   crossed   that   this   will prove    an    adequate    answer    until    next summer   when   we   hope   to   see   the   cap fitted.    Meanwhile    we    are    planning    a more    substantial    solution    to    be    fitted after Christmas.
We    were    very    pleased    to    receive    news    from    our    millwright    Neil Medcalf   that   he   has   obtained   a   second-hand   curb   to   mount   the   cap on.   This   means   we   should   save   several   thousand   pounds   over   the
cost   of   having   a   new   one   cast   specially,   as   was   originally   budgeted for.   This   will   release   more   cash   towards   the   cost   of   the   sails   which will think will be the icing on the cake!
Good News from Lincolnshire
November 2017
It   seems   as   though   there   has   been   continuously   stormy   weather all   through   December   and   January   and   the   persistent   gales   proved far   too   much   for   the   original   tarpaulin   covering   on   the   mill   despite the   recent   costly   repairs.   As   a   result   considerable   volumes   of water    entered    the    building    soaking    the    internal    timber    work. Emergency   repairs   had   to   be   made   from   inside   the   tower   and, once    the    leaks    were    stopped,    heaters    and    dehumidifiers    were
pressed    into    urgent    service.    We    redoubled    our    efforts    to complete   the   design   of   a   more   substantial   tailor-made   solution and   contacted   several   local   suppliers;   the   contract   finally   going to   Mark   Britton   at   I   &   M   Tarpaulins   of   Full   Sutton.   We’re   now waiting   for   it   to   be   delivered   and   suitable   weather   conditions   to put it in place.
More Weather Woes
Cap That!
On    the    first    weekend    in    February    everything    finally    came together.    We    had    the    cherry    picker,    the    newly    fabricated reinforced   PVC   cap   and   the   weather   window   we   needed.   It took   a   lot   of   hard   work   to   unfasten   and   release   the   remains   of     original    tarpaulin    and    man-handle    the    replacement    up    the three   staircases   inside   the   tower.   We   held   our   breath   until   we
were   sure   it   fitted   over   the   brickwork   satisfactorily   and   then finally   tied   off   the   securing   lines   and   ratcheted   up   the   cargo straps,   unfortunately   due   to   time   pressure   we   didn’t   get   it quite   square   but   we   can   straighten   it   later   when   the   curb   is fitted.   We   believe   this   time   we   really   have   got   something which will survive anything the weather can throw at it!
The   spring   and   summer   months   have   flown   by   and   despite lots   of   action   behind   the   scenes   there   have   been   no   major changes   in   the   exterior   of   the   mill.   The   grounds   it   stands   in however   have   had   their   appearance   much   improved.   The hedges   have   been   trimmed   back   and   the   two   acres   of   grass
are    being    maintained    under        contract    by    Countrywide Services.   A   programme   of   regular   strimming   and   mowing   has begun    the    process    of    suppressing    perennial    weeds    and improving the texture of the turf.
During   the   winter   months   we   had   problems   with   vehicle   access   to the   mill   so   it   was   decided   to   go   ahead   with   the   new   entrance, access   road   and   parking   area   as   agreed   with   the   planners   which will    provide    easy    all-year-round    access    to    the    site.    After
considering   several   quotes   we   gave   the   contract   to   BDS   of   Driffield and   we   were   pleased   with   the   results   when   their   team   completed the    job    of    excavating,    strengthening    and    then    surfacing    the redesigned approach.
Quite   late   in   the   autumn   we   were   fortunate   to   secure   the   services   of John   Edmond,   an   expert   local   builder   with   experience   of   working   on old   buildings,   who   undertook   the   job   of   finishing   off   renovation   work on   several   areas   of   the   original   brickwork   which   had   deteriorated during    its    long    period    of    dilapidation.    His    first    task    was    to reconstitute   the   window   apertures   replacing   missing   and   damaged bricks   and   rebuilding   the   sills.   He   also   designed   and   fitted   stainless
steel lintels to reinforce the arches over the original windows. With    the    brickwork    complete    Andrew    Stronach    from    Ryedale Joinery,   who   we   had   commissioned   to   design   the   windows,   came and   fitted   the   first   four   on   the   top   two   floors.   They   are   centre- hinged   to   match   the   originals   and   at   Andrew’s   suggestion   they   were made   from   Accoya   which   is   a   special   long   life   and   low   maintenance timber. We are delighted with their classic period appearance.
Despite     our     earlier     optimism     the     second-hand     curb     found     in Lincolnshire   did   not   turn   out   to   be   suitable   for   our   mill   and   we   will therefore   be   forced   into   the   expense   of   having   a   new   one   cast.   We have    asked    Adam    Marriott    an    expert    millwright    from    Teme    Valley Engineers   to   visit   the   mill   and   make   a   template   of   the   top   brickwork locating   exactly   the   positions   of   the   holes   for   the   securing   bolts.   He   will then   have   a   wooden   pattern   made   and   commission   a   foundry   to   cast
the   eight   segments   needed   in   a   suitable   grade   of   iron   together   with its   associated   pinion   to   mesh   with   the   curb   teeth.   These   will   be secured   through   a   new   oak   frame   he   will   make   in   his   workshop.   He hopes   this   can   then   be   re-assembled   in   the   mill   field   and   craned into   position   in   the   new   year.   When   this   crucial   work   is   done   we   can start   to   make   plans   for   the   timber   ogee   cap   and   fantail   to   be   built and fitted.
Gardening on a Grand Scale
Millwrighting Progress
Windows on the World
The Road Ahead
We   have   now   realised   that   without   a   separate   secure   store   for   the safety     and     maintenance     equipment     required     operation     of     the completed   windmill   will   be   impossible.   It   will   also   be   needed   when work   begins   on   assembling   the   new   curb,   cap   and   fantail   which   will   be carried   out   on   location   prior   to   being   raised   into   place.   Rather   than apply    for    an    additional    building    we    have    asked    the    Planning
Department   for   permission   to   change   the   official   use   and   rebuild the   existing   animal   shelter   and   store   which   has   stood   in   the   field   for many   years.   This   includes   moving   its   location   over   the   hill   thereby making   it   virtually   invisible   from   Muston   Road   and   so   improving   the visual amenity of the area.
Planning Application
One   of   our   major   concerns   from   the   outset   has   been   how   to   obtain,   at   the   least possible   expense,   the   heavy   metal   castings   we   needed   to   complete   the   project. The   largest   and   most   important   of   these   is   the   cast   iron   axle   the   sails   are   fixed   to and which is known in the milling world as the windshaft. For   those   interested   there   are   two   types   of   windshaft   which   differ   in   the   way   the     sails   are   mounted:   the   Lincolnshire   type,   where   the   ‘whips’   are   clamped   to   the ‘iron   cross’,   and   the   pole-end   type,   more   common   in   the   south   of   England   where they   fit   into   two   slots.   As   we   want   to   make   the   restoration   as   faithful   as   possible   to the original it had to be the Lincolnshire type. For   years   we   looked   for   a   second-hand   one   without   any   luck   and   finally,   as   we mentioned   in   an   earlier   entry,   we   had   to   ask   Adam,   our   millwright,   to   make   a   new one.   He   commissioned   a   pattern   maker   to   produce   a   precise   copy   of   a   shaft   of   the correct   size   and   type   and   this   was   delivered   to   H.   Downs   &   Sons,   Peacock   Works,     Huddersfield,   W.   Yorks   the   foundrymen.   There   they   created   a   sand   mould   to produce   the   rough   casting.   The   picture   to   the   right   shows   the   pattern   being   used at   the   foundry.   In   the   centre,   painted   red,   is   the   pattern   and   split   in   two   on   either side   of   it   is   the   white   painted   mould.   Metal   is   expected   to   be   poured   shortly   and   we will   be   able   to   show   you   the   actual   shaft   before   it   is   sent   off   for   fettling   and machining.
2020 - Breaking the Mould
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The    patternmakers    proved    their    worth    as    you    can    see    I n    the photograph   on   the   left.   There,   awaiting   collection   and   weighing three   tons,   are   a   brand   new   12ft   span   iron   cross   and   19ft   long windshaft.   They   are   beautiful   examples   of   the   foundry-man’s   art and   Adam   will   now   be   sending   them   to   be   machined.   He   was restricted   in   his   choice   of   engineering   workshop   as   these   items require   a   much   larger   lathe   than   usual   to   accommodate   their   size and   weight.   Once   the   bearing   surfaces   are   turned   they   will   be ready   to   be   painted   and   mounted   into   the   cap   he   is   currently building. Obtaining   these   unique   and   vital   components   represents   a   major breakthrough   in   our   long   battle   to   restore   Muston   Mill   and   we   must give    full    credit    to    Adam    whose    knowledge    and    experience    in arranging   and   supervising   this   important   stage   has   been   crucial. He   is   playing   an   indispensable   role   in   helping   us   rescue   this   historic building   from   total   collapse   and   its   subsequent   disappearance   from the Yorkshire landscape.
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To be continued…
Exciting   news   from   our   millwright   Adam   Marriott.   The   eight   cast   iron curb   sections   and   the   cap   drive   pinion   should   be   finished   very   soon and   after   delivery   to   his   workshop   for   fettling   they   will   be   assembled onto   the   substantial   oak   frame   and   bolted   down   onto   the   mill   tower. The    photographs    below        show    the    restoration    grade    oak    frame
sections   and   Adam   in   the   pattern   makers   workshop   viewing   the wooden    patterns    for    the    curb    section    (painted    red)    and    the matching   pinion   (painted   yellow).   All   being   well   the   curb   installation will happen in July.
Conforming to Pattern
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After   some   unlooked   for   delays   we   are   pleased   to   report   we   now   have eight   perfect   castings   fresh   from   their   mould   and   Adam   Marriott   is planning   to   bring   them   up   to   Filey   and   assemble   them   on   top   of   the mill   tower   in   the   next   few   weeks.   This   will   mean   hiring   a   cherry   picker to   enable   us   to   lift   off   the   cover,   bolt   them   to   the   oak   frames   and   then bolt   the   whole   assembly   down   to   the   oak   pads   embedded   in   the
brickwork    before    replacing    the    cover    again.    Unfortunately    anyone viewing   the   mill   afterwards   will   not   be   able   to   see   the   progress   we   are making   but   our   plans   for   the   restoration   are   moving   slowly   but   surely forward.   The   photographs   above   show   the   new   castings   at   Purbright   & Co   who   carried   out   the   work   prior   to   being   collected   by   Adam   for fettling.
The Die is Cast
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Meanwhile… its gone pitch black at the mill
After   several   weeks   of   dry   sunny   weather   in   the   summer   we   were   determined   to   get   a   coat   of   waterproofing   tar   onto   the   mill   before   the winter   arrived.   The   problem   was   that   there   didn’t   appear   to   be   any   producers   of   this   invaluable   product   left   in   the   UK;   however   two   drums were   eventually   imported   from   a   supplier   in   Spain   and   John   Edmond   and   his   team   soon   had   a   couple   of   coats   worked   well   into   the   brickwork to provide a vital seal against damp. We think it looks pretty good as well!
The Crowning Glory of 2019
It   was   getting   a   bit   late   in   the   year   when   Adam   was   finally   able   to   complete   the   job   of   assembling   the   curb   in   the   mill   field   but   the   weather held and conditions were perfect for craning the weighty oak frame and cast iron sections up on to the tower.
After   steering   it   into   position   it   didn’t   take   him   long   to   pass   the   eight   holding   down   bolts   through   the   brickwork   and   tighten   the   huge   square nuts   in   the   top   room   onto   their   oak   pads.   Finally   we   had   just   enough   light   to   replace   the   waterproof   cover   and   tie   it   down   securely   again     before  darkness fell. The mill is ready again to withstand the predictable winter gales and rain.
Over   the   next   few   months   Adam   is   arranging   for   a   windshaft   to   be   cast   and   is   building   a   brake   wheel   for   us   before   starting   on   the   cap   and fantail.   Our   local   friends   are   eager   to   see   the   project   finished   but   few   people   realise   how   much   hard   work   and   expertise   is   needed   to produce the hand crafted components required to make a proper job of restoring this historic structure. We’re celebrating the end of another successful year of slow but steady progress and looking forward to more of the same in 2020.
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