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Millennium Windmill
Bardwell is a small, delightful Suffolk village, 8.5 miles N.E. of Bury St. Edmunds and has had a windmill since the 13th century. With the help of a loyal band of supporters the Windmill is being renovated so that in the new millennium its sails will turn again.
The present mill, built in 1829 is a four storey brick tower mill with beehive-shaped cap. At the beginning of this century the mill was tarred for protection. It ceased to work by wind c1925, and ended its working life in 1942 being powered by a turn of the century lampstart oil engine. From 1942 to 1979 the mill was used for storage only. In 1983 new owners repaired the mill and ran a flour business from the site. Enid and Geoffrey Wheeler carried on the business when they moved to Bardwell in 1987.
Storm Damage - On the night of the Great Storm of 15th October 1987, the mill was tail-winded, the sails and fantail were destroyed, and the end of the windshaft was broken off.
Some major repair work has been carried out in the decade since the Storm - a new iron windshaft was cast in 1989 and installed in 1994, and Geoffrey Wheeler began work on a new fanstage and sail whips in 1990. Due to ill-health, Geoff was unable to proceed further with restoration and sadly died in 1995. Enid and her family have been able to take up where he left off and endeavour to see the Windmill in working order once more.
In the Autumn of 1997 the Friends of Bardwell Windmill were formed to save the Mill for posterity and to get it up and running again, hopefully for the Millennium.
It is a project which will maintain the character of the village and be of both historical and educational benefit to those who visit. Too often today villages are being swamped by the present with scant regard for the past; a village that loses its past loses its roots and its identity.
The friends of the windmill now run fundraising events and their next one on Sunday 30th January features the internationally acclaimed singer JUNE TABOR. June will perform at Thurston Community Centre 8.00pm. June performs the songs of George Gershwin, Join Mitchell, Cole Porter and Richard Thompson. Also playing will be Huw Warren and Mark Emerson. For tickets tel. 01359 252044. ..

Date : 01-12-1999