Heckington Windmill: Work to fit new sails completed

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Media captionHeckington Windmill's owners had feared high winds could disrupt the work

The fitting of sails to England's only surviving eight-sailed windmill has been completed after months of work.

Heckington Windmill, in Lincolnshire, stopped working in 2010 and has been without sails since June but all were hoisted into place in one day.

Manager Jim Bailey said they had been worried about high winds delaying work but the weather remained fine.

It is believed the windmill is one of only seven eight-sailed mills ever built and the only one to survive.

Image caption The sails were lifted into position by a crane, and bolted into place, and winds stayed low

The windmill, between Boston and Sleaford, stopped producing flour in 2010 after fears the sails would drop off.

It received a £1m grant from Heritage Lottery for restoration and it is hoped it will restart production soon.

The sails were lifted into position by a crane, and bolted into place, and winds stayed low.

Mr Bailey said: "It's the first time that Heckington Windmill has had eight brand new sails and perhaps the first time in maybe 100 years that eight new sails have been raised on any windmill.

"It's gone really well and now I'm wondering whether by next Saturday I will be making flour for the first time in four years and one month!"

Potted history

Image copyright Heckington Windmill Trust
  • The mill was originally built in 1830 by Edward Ingledew for Michael Hare as a five-sailed mill
  • Following a severe thunderstorm, the mill was repaired in 1892 using eight sails from a windmill in Boston
  • Heckington mill ceased work in 1946 and deteriorated until it was purchased by Kesteven County Council in 1953
  • The mill is now owned by Lincolnshire County Council, but is operated and run on a voluntary basis by Heckington Windmill Trust

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