Mill sails into present after 30 years’ grind

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ALMOST 30 years of hard work has finally paid off after a restored mill was lifted into its correct place in Chinnor on Wednesday.

It has been placed directly opposite the site of the original mill, which dates back to 1789 and was knocked down to make way for housing.

Parts of the old mill were salvaged from the wreckage after it was demolished and around 20 per cent of the restored building is made from original parts.

The idea to bring the mill back to life began with the then councillors Brian Jackson and Pat Whelhan and to add a finishing touch to the day, Pat made a special visit from the nursing home in the village where he now lives.

Since then, Adrian Marshall, Alan Bennett, Geoff Chiles and recently Nigel Ambridge have taken on the task and made the restoration a reality.

Councillor Ambridge said: “We now have something that looks like a windmill, which is great.

“It is the culmination of 30 years’ work, so it certainly is satisfying and one day it will become a popular tourist attraction and provide a boost to the village.”

The next task for the project group is to raise the £30,000 needed to add sails to the mill and then complete the vision of turning it into a fully working corn mill in the future.

The whole design resembles how it originally looked in 1789 after experts studied historical photographs and based the new building around what they could see.

Underneath the body of the mill is a trestle, which can be rotated to allow the sails, when installed, to face in the direction of oncoming wind.

Mr Ambridge is now hopeful that people will see the mill in place and come forward to volunteer to help raise the extra cash.

He said: “We need people to come forward and help us. Now we have got to the stage you can see it as a mill, there will hopefully be more enthusiasm and we can begin to build it further.”

A large crowd gathered on the day to see the 15.5-tonne mill being put in place and it can now be viewed when going down Mill Lane.