A preview event has been held to showcase the work done so far on a £1.8 million restoration project at Heckington’s iconic eight-sails windmill.
After only four months, more than 50 per cent of the work planned at Heckington Windmill – the world’s only working eight-sail windmill – have been completed.
Ultimately, it will see the creation of a visitor centre, an onsite bakery, a brewery, and a tea room.
To celebrate the progress made so far, the Heckington Windmill Trust – the volunteer-run charity which operates the mill – held a preview event for members on Friday.
Speaking ahead of the event, trust chairman Charles Pinchbeck said: “It is amazing to think that it is only six months since we secured the last £500,000 needed to fund the project and barely four months since building works started.
“So much has been achieved, and already we can begin to see how good it is going to look when it is finished in the spring.
“We are very grateful to our consultants and contractors and most of all our project board for all they have done to make our vision for this unique landmark a reality.”
Among the sights waiting to greet visitors on Friday were the restored traditional Lincolnshire pan-tile roofs.
The former granary should be completed by the end of March and the refurbished tearooms in the Mill House should be ready by the end of February, so all should be ready for visitors over the Easter holidays.
The event went ‘really well’, Mr Pinchbeck told The Standard.
He said: “[Members] were really impressed and pleased with not just how it is progressing, but how it is actually looking.
“I think it’s turning out in a way that is even better and more exciting than we hoped when we set off.”
Funds for the restoration were raised over a seven-year period.
The capital came from more than a dozen organisations across the UK, including a major grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Anyone interested in joining the Heckington Windmill Trust, can find details on its website www.heckongtonwindmill.org.uk or by calling the membership secretary Sheila Channing on 01529 461304.
Membership costs £5.
There will also be public open days later in the project.
Heckington Windmill was built in 1830 with five sails, and rebuilt in 1892 following a thunderstorm.
The work was carried out by world-renown Lincolnshire engineers Tuxford and Son with eight sails rescued from a mill at Boston.
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