Monday, 12 March 2018

200 Years of Stevens' Mill exhibition - we need your help!


 
 
The new bedstone is now in its place, and mill volunteers are concentrating on making sure that the mill is safe for visitors when we re-open on the 1st and 2nd of April for our "Easter Egg Hunt" event.
 
We are also preparing to celebrate the bicentenary of Stevens’ Mill in 2020 with a community exhibition, which launches at “Burwell at Large” this weekend.

The exhibition will be launched on Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th March at the “Burwell at Large” event, a showcase for all of the fantastic community groups which are active in the village. But the panels which go on display won’t be finished, because the aim of the exhibition is to get people talking to each other and to the museum about their own experience of the Mill. We hope that the community groups which have been involved in the project and visitors who see the exhibition will contribute their own information. After Burwell at Large the exhibition will be at:

Burwell Library 20 March to 1 April

Newmarket Library  3-14 April

The mill itself for National Mills Weekend 12-13 May – come and enjoy free entry and a whole weekend of activities to celebrate the “Mill for All Seasons” project!

 
If you would like to know more about the project and/or be involved in it, please contact the museum at museum@burwellmuseum.org.uk.

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Our new bedstone has arrived!

Burwell Museum has reached a key point in its project to upgrade Burwells last remaining windmill, thanks to funding raised by National Lottery players
 
Stevens Mill, an icon of the East Cambridgeshire landscape, is a fully-working tower windmill and one of the most popular visitor attractions at Burwell Museum. Volunteers and staff at the Museum are celebrating today after welcoming a new arrival a 1-ton millstone which will form a key part of the ongoing Mill for All Seasons project, supported by funding from the National Lottery.
 
The stone is the first of a pair and has spent several months being rebuilt and dressed prepared for use by a trained millwright. It was settled into its new place by winching it up to the first floor, then very carefully lowering it over its drive spindle and fitting wedges underneath to ensure it is perfectly level. The second stone will be placed on top of this one once it has been restored and dressed.
 
Saved from demolition in the 1970s by a group of like-minded individuals, the mill has undergone extensive restoration over the years to bring it back to working order. Today, visitors can take a tour of the four-storey mill and see how flour is made. However, being so heavily reliant on the right weather conditions means that the mill cannot always be operated.
 
To enable the mill to run in all weathers and in any season just as it would have done in the early 20th century under its last owners, the Stevens brothers Burwell Museum Trust is restoring the mills external drive system and renovating a 1950s tractor to run it. It is hoped that the new stone and its partner will soon be balanced and ready to run, first by wind power when the wind is right and then via the external drive system whenever they are required.
 
Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, the £19,400 funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) is a real boon for the museum as it works to build interest in the mills 200th anniversary in 2020. Colin Marshall, Mill Team Manager, says This will be an important step in restoring the mill to its 1950s function. Having an engine-driven stone will allow us to teach more volunteers how to mill and to demonstrate milling more often to visitors.
 
Robyn Llewellyn, Head of HLF East of England, said: Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, were pleased to support the restoration of Burwells last surviving mill.  This project is enabling people of all ages to get involved from local residents adding their own voices to the interpretation to a new generation discovering this part of their communitys heritage for the first time.
 
If you would like to admire the new millstone, the museum will open to the public again on Easter Sunday and bank holiday Monday. It is then open on Thursdays, Sundays and bank holidays until the end of October. The Mill for All Seasons project will be celebrated at a free weekend event for National Mills Weekend on the 12th and 13th of May. If you would like to know more about the project and/or be involved in it, please contact the museum at museum@burwellmuseum.org.uk.