Minor damage discovered after Heckington Mill’s sails now safely secured after high winds blew the sails out of control

Heckington Mill. EMN-180305-155721001
Heckington Mill. EMN-180305-155721001

Volunteers at Heckington Windmill have discovered minor damage having secured its eight sails after surrounding roads had to be closed as a safety precaution during high winds.

Volunteers had been milling flour yesterday afternoon (Thursday) when gusts of wind started to blow the sails from behind, forcing it to turn in reverse.

This prompted safety concerns for passing motorists and trains.

Chairman of the Heckington Windmill Trust said they had to wait until the winds dropped yesterday evening before they could apply the brakes and stop the sails turning.

He said: “This has enabled the sails to be stopped and the mill to cease turning. These are now chocked with substantial timbers to immobilise them. The cap turning mechanism has been re-engaged and the sails are now facing into the wind again.

“After consultation with the police on site, the road has now been re-opened. We offer our apologies to all those who have been inconvenienced by this.”

He said a small metal component in the striking gear that moves the sails fallen off and hit the bumper of a neighbour’s car. He said: “The vehicle was empty. We have put them in touch with the county council’s insurers and they are old friends of the mill.”

It had also stripped some of the wooden teeth of the wooden gear wheels but they are designed to be sacrificed in an emergency and replacements had already been machined ready to be fitted.

Mr Pinchbeck said the mill will not be able to work for several weeks while they await for the repairs to be done by a millwright. “The problem is there are very few people in the country that can do the work and millwrighting is never cheap, but it will not inconvenience us particularly as we will be able to maintain our stocks of flour with the help of other mills.”

The Millers House tea Rooms will be open as usual and the mill will be open as well.