Mill busy with the daily grind

Heckington windmill. EMN-150828-142230001
Heckington windmill. EMN-150828-142230001

It has been all hands to the pump for volunteers at Heckington Windmill as they get the grain in from this year’s harvest for milling.

It is harvest time and mill manager Jim Bailey has rounded up volunteers to shift three tonnes of grain delivered by trailer, transfer it into sacks and hoist it up into the mill.

More grain arriving at Heckington Mill. EMN-150831-093058001

More grain arriving at Heckington Mill. EMN-150831-093058001

Mr Bailey said: “We used to mill about one-and-a-quarter tonnes of grain in a year, but over the last 12 months, since we had the new sails fitted, we have put through nearer six tonnes of wheat and barley. That has already all been used. I bought an additional tonne last week, another tonne last Friday and another tonne is coming this Friday. That wheat will last us until the new year.”

He has reserved another six tonnes to tide them over until next year’s harvest.

Mr Bailey said: “The majority is sold in the mill but we are beginning to sell to local bakeries. Welbourne’s of Navenby have been working with us for the last year. All the grain is grown within sight of the windmill.”

Indications show they will exceed last year’s record number of over 6,000 visitors. The Lottery-funded restoration of the mill complex continues and they expect the bake house to be completed by the end of this year. All the buildings are being re-roofed, with work on the cart shed and toilets next year.

They are also working with the resident 8 Sail Brewery owners to launch a new, stone ground beer in September.