A Sleaford artist is putting the area on the tourist map by shooting promotional films to be shown in China to attract millions of potential holidaymakers.
John Bangay, who grew up in Cranwell and attended St George’s School in the 1960s, is putting together a heritage film about Cogglesford Watermill.
Well known for his detailed drawings of English Cathedrals and other heritage buildings, he is currently making a series of videos on some of the buildings he has drawn.
The Cogglesford video is part of a series on all of Lincolnshire’s publicly accessible wind and watermills.
He is being helped on the project by the Media Department at Lincoln University.
Living for many years in Billingborough, he now lives in Stamford and said: “Cogglesford is really important, not just because of its rare preserved waterwheel but also because it could be the last ‘Sherriff’s Watermill’ in England. There has been a watermill on this site for probably more than 1,000 years and it was also one of the richest watermills.”
Filming is planned for the afternoon of either May 18 or 20 and John would like to begin his narration of the mill’s history, sitting in a traditional wooden rowing boat on the millpond in front of the mill.
“The millpond banks are tree-lined which makes it difficult to get a good clear view of the mill and see under the bridge towards the millwheel,” explains John. “A rowing boat would also add to the overall feel of the place when, 200 years ago, barges and rowing boats would have filled the millpond with all the clamour and bustle of the industrial revolution.”
He is appealing to anyone who can lend him a traditional wooden rowing boat to feature and is keen for anyone who has a Victorian costume to be part of the film and add atmosphere to the mill surroundings. In other videos John can be seen wearing Georgian costume, as a grave digger with a skull or a monk in the Norwich Cloisters.
“These videos will be seen world-wide – particularly in China where there is a fascination with British history and British characters – which is why every video has costumed characters and Chinese translations added.”
John’s wife is Chinese and he now lives part of the year in China. There are ongoing negotiations with Chinese travel companies to use these videos to encourage some of the population to explore beyond the well-trodden tourist routes in the UK. Other planned videos this summer include Boston, a famous castle and a stately home.
He will be taking the films to China this autumn and will be interviewed on Chinese TV to tempt people from that country to pencil in the area on their holiday itinerary.
Anyone who can help John can contact him via the website email at www.englishheritageartist.co.uk.