Saturday, December 2, 2023

The Incredible Project Sails @ Heage Windmill

Having found that two sails at Heage windmill needed to be replaced due to wood rot, the Trust made enquires seeking replacement. There are few millwrights able to carry out such work and our enquires showed that the cost would be around £60K but delivery would be about 2 years. This was not acceptable to the Trust, as we wished to return to our normal 6 sail display as soon as possible.

The volunteers at the mill felt they were capable of making the replacements themselves and we were able to obtain suitable pre-cut wooden members from Constructional Timber, of Barnsley, for less than a third of the above quote. The two offending sails, weighing approximately 1 tonne each, were taken off and part time work of assembling the new timber into sails was undertaken ‘in house’.

We found that no less than 84 pieces were needed for the pair of sails and all of these had initially, to be carefully painted and then assembled, in a predetermined sequence.

The team agreed to carry out the work in our marquee on site and aimed to ensure work was carried out on a minimum of two full mornings a week; to date some 400 work hours have been expended and much experience gained.

The first sail (sail E) currently has all the sail bars and the frame in place and will soon be ready to accept the fitting of the 21 shutters taken from the old sail. Due to space limitations work on the second sail, B, could not start at the same time but presently the stage of sail E is such that the sail bays could be turned upright , creating enough space for the second sail to be started. Presently the angled sail bars are being fitted and work will continue in parallel.

Due to weather and holiday limitations we are expecting to be able to complete the assembly of the pair by the end September and aim to fit them back soon after.



The windmill will be open during 2019 (11-00am to 4-00pm) every weekend from

April 6th until the end of October. Large, free, car park!

Guided Mill Tours Charges for 2019

Adults £4-00 Concessions, including Gold Cards £3-50, Children (5-16) £2-00 (parents can buy one and get one free for children in the same age group) Children under 5 are free.

Organised Adult parties of up to 10 people – £50-00. For each additional person £5-00 is payable).

School Parties and other children’s groups -Standard charge of £40.00 for up to 28 people (contact Lynn on 01773 715177)

See web site for more information

Alan Gifford

Alan Gifford is a Founder Trustee of Heage Windmill Society. Opening Times: 11-00am to 4-00pm, every weekend from April 6th until the end of October. Large, free, car park! Prices £2-£4. See web site for more information

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