Cobweb Time: Heage Windmill’s Hibernation

Heage Windmill closes for the season after the last weekend of October each year, reopening the following Easter and our 222 year ‘Old Lady’ enjoys some peace and quiet.

Over the years since she was restored in 2002 the ceremonial practice of putting her ‘to bed’ has developed into quite an event.

A large cobweb is slowly spun in the apron in front of the mill, its size being determined entirely by the number of people, both grown up and youngsters, who take part in the spinning operation.

Under the guidance and tuition of our ‘head spider’, Lynn Allen, the cobweb, made from stretchy knicker elastic, slowly emerges and then is gently laid close to the mill to ‘put her to sleep’ for the winter. This year the web will be spun on Sunday 27th October, commencing at 12 noon, and everyone is invited to come and participate in what is in fact a great communal event, with much enjoyment for all involved. If you have never made a cobweb why not come along and have a try?

The mill will however wake up from her slumbers from time to time to enable flour to be sold on the second Saturday of each month from 10 – 1.

She will also come to life on Sunday 1st December when Santa will again visit his grotto in the mill (11-00 until 3-00pm) and meet his young (and older) admirers – more details on this will be available later.

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 www.heagewindmill.org.uk

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