The Windmill Volunteers Group has been established to enable any Meopham U3a members to register that they would be willing to take on a variety of light tasks at Meopham Windmill . more pictures click HERE
Firstly I am delighted to welcome you into this group - we have some exciting times ahead !
I am pleased to have been able to meet most of you and our Group is currently 14 U3a members .
I would like to summarise the position with the Mill, currently, as I'm sure that most of you are wondering what is happening.
Myself and fellow appointed 4 Trustees , appointed formally since Oct 23, have been heavily engaged in re establishing the governance of the Mill since our appointments.
This includes re registration with the Charity Commission, applying for the Mill to be granted an Asset of Community Value, with GBC,
registering for application to become a Charitable Incorporated Organisation as well as dealing with outstanding issues with GBC Rates
re establishing an Energy provider, Compliance checks on Fire Systems and Electrical Compliance testing, installing broadband, maintaining grounds
( just recently a grass cutting and shrub trimming ) aspects relating to preservation of the historic Mulberry tree, with GBC and Contractor .
We are also pursuing various options for providing income for the Mill --- we have several in mind.
We have, as you will know, just completed an extensive KCC Consultation exercise, with KCC discussing the divestment of its 8 owned Mills - which, in fairness,
they have diligently maintained for, in our case, the last 50 yrs or so. We wish that to continue.
KCC would need to change its Heritage and Conservation Policy to do this I understand as we liase with the other * KCC Mills and others,
that the response KCC have received have been well over 2000 --- bearing in mind that some Mill Communities are very small hamlets.
We anxiously await the outcome of the Consultation and discussion by KCC - late Feb /March has been indicated .
We are gearing up for the possible outcomes of this.
Our U3A local History Group have already met with myself and fellow Trustees in the Mill Chamber to discuss our wish to
establish a "museum and showcase of the Mills history.
Alison Hillman is liasing with her U3A group and local Meopham History Group to obtain more of our Mills History.
We have fairly extensive photos and records of this and some very detailed booklets of its operation and construction.
This will provide a good display in the Mill Chamber .
We are all very passionate about our Meopham Mill !
Of course, the big question is " when are the sails ( sweeps) being reinstated ?
Currently the sweeps are, as are the cap and tail, with Millwrights in Suffolk undergoing a full restoration.
We are being kept aware of progress . At this stage the return is being scheduled in early May.
Of course, this is not a firm date, but we will push for that.
The heavy lifting gear, that removed the headgear, will need to return for that work,
hence the temporary fencing along the track to the Mill -- to prevent unauthorised access onto the Mill garden area -- its not pretty but is necessary !
We will then be progressing the reinstatement of the ground alongside the access track -- possibly a removable picket fence .
Once the headgear is reinstated we will have a fully restored and potentially working Mill. This will be our ambition !
We will need to have an " opening " event. We would like this to be a Village event and coverage through the media .
At this stage it is not easy to organise and publicise until we have a date for reinstatement of headgear .
We will need assistance from yourselves, and others for light duties in the Mill and grounds .
At the moment I cannot specify but it would be essentially some cleaning and preparatory work with a view to Public opening, possibly in May,
initially over weekends for limited times, with Voulnteers at the door to monitor Visitors,
accept donations and sale of some of our merchandise and providing information to Visitors .
I know some of you have specific skills and we welcome that too --- there will always be jobs to do .
I wish to establish, eventually, a " Friends of Meopham Mill " group - within the Village
and this would extend our Volunteer base as well as our skill base .
Our objective is to establish our Mill as an Asset to our Community and to be used, by our Community, in a variety of ways and Village functions.
It is a beautiful, historic and iconic focal point of our Village. We welcome all of you to become part of it !
PS We are very willing to show you all around the Mill. It could provide a good opportunity to get together and meet each other.
Let me know and I will arrange it,
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