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13 November 2014

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You are in: Tees > Places > Places Features > A second wind

Elwick windmill

A second wind

Take the turning off the A19 near Elwick village, and you'll find a building that has well and truly been through the mill. Colin Hughes doesn't regret the challenge of turning the derelict building into his home.

Elwick Windmill dates back to the 19th century, but years of neglect stemming from the First World War led it's only occupants to be of a woolly nature that normally live in the surrounding fields.

That was until Colin Hughes spotted the derelict Grade two listed building. He said: "I was working in Redcar, driving up and down the A19 from my base in Sunderland, and I saw it in a field and wondered what was going to happen to it.

Windmill

"When I first came ... You could see straight out of the top of the building."

Colin Hughes

"I had a word with some folks and was told it had just gone on the market, so I went to see the estate agents, put an offer in and ended up buying it."

This was the beginning of a twenty year love affair with, but Colin knew he had a huge job on his hands.

"When I first came there was a sheet of corrugated iron over an opening which was full of sheep poo, and you could see straight out of the top of the building. So over a period of about 12 years I built all the floors back in, put new windows in and a new top on."

Colin then built an adjoining house next door to the windmill, and he and his wife moved into their home in 2002.

Now, with the project nearly complete, Colin is waiting for the right weather conditions to place the huge grey dome on top of the windmill.

"It's taken me about 3 years from start to finish, and it's almost ready to go up but I'm just finishing a time capsule which is going to go on the finial on the top.

"Just a brief family history and some photographs of the building when we first got it when it was derelict. Hopefully she'll stand up there for a long time, and it might be of interest to some people to see how it was developed from bare bricks."

Colin says it's been a struggle to get to this point, but doesn't regret taking on the challenge.

"It's been 3 years of love I suppose, but it's all coming to fruition now and hopefully it'll look spectacular when it's on top of the windmill."

last updated: 06/10/2008 at 11:06
created: 04/10/2008

You are in: Tees > Places > Places Features > A second wind



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