Threshing weekend aims to keep alive bygone traditions

Fay Knight's baking demonstrations. EMN-140919-155347001
Fay Knight's baking demonstrations. EMN-140919-155347001

Heckington Windmill’s Harvest Home Threshing Weekend will take place on October 4 and 5 in the mill yard from 12noon to 4pm both days.

The windmill will be open and working and there will be stalls including cakes, books, bric a brac, plants, tombola and raffle. The tea rooms will be open, as will the brewery with a Green Hop Special beer festival starting on Friday, October 3.

There will be baking demonstrations, exhibits and demonstrations of vintage machinery.

Local farmers and enthusiasts generously support the milling activities with their time, machines and crops. The wheat, grown within sight of the mill, is cut using a vintage ‘binder’ owned and operated by Eddie Tong and his son Michael. It ties the cut wheat into sheaves which are loaded onto trailers by volunteers using pitchforks. These are stored in a barn until the Threshing Weekend. A 1950s threshing machine and straw bailer are provided by Brian Wesley. These are both powered by a vintage steam traction engine, brought from Nottingham by Colin Brothwell. The threshing normally produces between one and two tons of grain, which is then stored to be ground later by the mill and the flour sold in the mill shop.

The project trains new generations of volunteers to use these bygone machines, keeping alive traditional skills and practices of rural life which are in danger of dying out.