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   thus   allowing   the   sheet   to   be   pulled upwards.   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   waterproof   sheet   covering   the   mill despite     the     recent     repairs.     The     resulting     leaks     allowed 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    tasks    were    to reconstitute   the   window   apertures,   replacing   missing   and   damaged bricks,   and   to   rebuild   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   come   to   realise   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   will   include   moving   its   location   over   the   hill   top 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   mainly   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   sockets.   As   we   want   to   make   the   restoration   as faithful as possible to the original it had to be the Lincolnshire type. We   looked   for   years   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   half   a shaft   of   the   correct   size   and   type   mounted   on   a   back   board   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   show   the   actual   shaft   before   it   is   sent   off for fettling and machining.
2020 - Breaking the Mould
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The   pattern   makers   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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Cast to Perfection
Heart of Oak
While   we   waited   for   the   castings   to   be   finished   Adam   checked   his suppliers   for   the   timber   he   needed   to   begin   building   the   cap.   The two   main   beams   or   ‘sheers’,   running   fore   and   aft,   form   the   base of   the   cap   and   are   cut   from   green   oak   for   strength   and   durability. Let   into   them   at   the   front   is   the   ‘weather   beam’   which   supports the   front   of   the   windshaft.   Their   size   and   their   weight   makes
shaping   and   joining   them   a   major   operation   as   you   can   see from   the   left   hand   photograph.   A   high   degree   of   accuracy   is essential    to    ensure    the    safe    operation    of    the    mill.    The second   photograph   shows   the      timbers   which   will   be   used   to complete the cap frame laid out ready for final assembly. 
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Click on the image to enlarge it
                                                     Cap frame assembly
Work   continues   on   the   cap   as   can   be   seen   below.   The   frame has   been   assembled   and   bolted   together   and   the   gallows   which will   support   the   fantail   are   in   position.   Adam   has   got   special white   paint   on   the   woodwork   which   will   be   subject   to   most   of the   weather.   Meanwhile   patterns   and   castings   are   been   made for   various   other   components   the   biggest   of   them   being   the
fantail   hub   on   which   the   fan   blades   will   be   mounted.   After   the years   of   frustration   and   delay   we   are   excited   to   see   at   last steady   progress   being   made.   Some   of   the   delay   and   most   of the   expense   is   caused   by   the   necessity   for   all   the   metalwork items   having   to   be   created   as   one-offs   as   there   are   no   sources to obtain them off the shelf.
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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 with   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   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.   The   castings   will   be   secured   to   the   oak   frame   and then   the   whole   assembly   craned   into   position   and   bolted   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   we eventually   managed   to   import   two   drums   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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