On March 31st, despite heavy rain, a group of volunteers, friends and visitors gathered for the arrival of Martyn Williams from Radio Derby who was driving a vintage Fordson Tractor.
At 11 am the Fordson Tractor arrived, driven by Martyn, and parked outside the windmill. He was welcomed by the Chairman of Heage Windmill Society, Alan Eccleston and Angela Ward.
Eccleston said that: “Martyn would join a list of distinguished guests who had performed the opening ceremony over the past 16 years – this being the 17th season since the mill was restored to working order in 2002.”
During the last 16 years, he continued: “there had been some 50,000 visitors round the mill, we were now into the 47th ton of wheat to be milled (over 30,000 bags of flour) and just over £250,000 had been raised. All of which had helped maintain and develop the mill.”
This was all achieved by a dedicated team of volunteers who the Chair thanked for their continued support.
Martyn said he was ‘delighted to be at such an iconic location, although a bit of sun would have been welcome.’ He praised the work of all the volunteers, all of whom contributed in some way to making the mill the huge success it undoubtedly was as a tourist attraction in Derbyshire.
To the sounds of a ‘countdown’ from the assembled crowd he then cut the ribbon and pronounced the mill open, saying he was looking forward to touring the mill in due course but was now off to help volunteers plant trees in the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust wood at Alderwasley.
Before he left he was presented with a large Easter Egg by Woosmary Wabbitt, as sustenance before he left.
For more details and opening times follow the link here.