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York's Holgate Windmill

York Holgate Windmill

12:02am 5th December 2011

York's Holgate Windmill will change dramatically this week, when 10 years of planning and five years of restoration work culminate in the fitting of new sails.

The mill will then be nearly ready to make flour again after 80 years of slumber. This part of the restoration was made possible by a grant of £46,500 from the Big Lottery People's Millions.

The mill is unique. It is the only surviving mill in England with five double shuttered sails and a fantail to keep the sails automatically facing the wind.

Installation of the sails will be an impressive event.

The sails are 35 feet long and weigh a tonne each. Along both edges of each arm, or whip, is a row of 20 shutters made of wood and canvas.

These can be opened or closed like Venetian blinds to catch or spill the wind.

The sails will arrive by lorry from the millwright Tom Davies in Lincolnshire, and a crane will lift them into place. over several days.

The new sails will make an enormous difference and make it look like a proper windmill.

The mill will be highly visible across the city and make a super addition to York's already interesting skyline.

PICTURE: Courtesy of Holgate Windmill Preservation Society.

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