Kersey Mill - Newsletter August 2013
Whilst we have been looking at the people and workings of the mill there has been another element of the site that we have not over looked yet not mentioned – the wildlife around the mill.
As the summer open day was taking place many feet above a pair of Kestrels were busy feeding their chicks. There are two, perhaps three, perching high up on the side of the mill above the entrance. It was a delight to watch from the garden below as each parent raced to feed the hungry and very vocal brood.
On the river the swans were having a testing time with their small clutch of cygnets determined to seek out every type of adventure to be had whilst their mum and dad struggled to keep them from danger. Whilst this was unfolding the lone kingfisher flitted along the surface of the slow ambling river – occasionally diving into the water to capture a little minnow for lunch.
A pair of little dippers make their way slowly up and down the river bank bobbing as they go in the dappled shade alongside the many dragon flies courting and mating above the reeds and lily pads gently swaying in the breeze.
As the donkey from the days event plods around the meadow a cheeky vole pops up to have a look at the crowds before nipping back into the water closely flowed by a grass snake looking for supper. There is a brief struggle as the vole is entwined in the snakes coil before a final dash for freedom sees the snake without supper.
The swifts screech high overhead as they swoop ever closer to the roof of the mill and the house martins skim the surrounding fields for food on the wing – their natural take away. In the distance is a peacock calling that is echoed by the call of the buzzard cruising high above on the thermals created by the hot summer sun.
So next time you visit the mill just stop for a minute to watch the other world as its occupants make their way about their everyday life as we rush around in ours.
The day is the 30th June and the family and volunteers spent days getting ready for the grand open day at the mill. Last minute preparations are in place and the staff from other venues on site start to arrive before all the days guests do. Then the exhibitors of the vintage vehicles and static engines start to arrive as do the vintage motorcycles. A sense of excitement builds in the minds of those standing to greet the guests for the day. Within no time at all there is a small trickle of eager visitors all wanting to see what has been going on at the mill since the last open day. Children race towards the bouncy castle and games whilst adults wander around the vintage cars, motorcycles and tractors with eyes of memories and of ‘I wish’ as they steal a look at the interior of one of the many beauties on display.
Chris and Bill capture people’s imagination with tales of the workings of the mill and how – one day with help from as many as possible – it will be working once more. A local model maker, Richard Webb, brought along a model of a working mill that delighted guests young and old as it whirled into action and the miniature sacks of grain are pulled to the top floor of the model.
In the meadow there flows the distinct sound of the static vintage engines accompanied now and then by the shrills of delight as another child has a donkey ride on Snowy or Tiger along the banks of the river meadow and through the middle meadow.
There were displays of dancing, martial arts, tug-o-war, golf and football as well as the bouncy castle for families and friends whilst young and in love couples could visit the Venue for weddings and meet a great many people offering services for the big day from catering to the ring, cakes to the photographer. All the units on site were open too so that guests could see what the complex has to offer visitors.
From the art gallery came the prize of the day – a painting of the waterwheel sold for £280 and added to a very generous £1009 raised towards the restoration of the mill. It has been discovered that there are 15 buckets that will need replacing at a cost of £3200 in Corten Steel before the cost of fixing them to the repaired wooden wheel. To date we have five people who have sponsored a new wooden tooth for the wheel and we hope many more people will come forward to buy a tooth for a special birthday, events, place or – dare we mention – Christmas. What a gift that would be two fold. The first for generations to come to enjoy the mill once more working and the joy of someone knowing a sponsored tooth is part of that.
As the day drew to a close plans were being made for the next bigger open day at t’mill – so keep your eyes peeled for more information and thank you for reading.