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news from the mill

Kersey Mill - Newsletter October 2013


There have been quite a number of visitors to the mill this month all eager to see the restoration work in progress and to reminisce of days gone by. There was another special guest at the Mill this month with the arrival of Diana McLusky and her husband who both lived in the area before moving abroad. They now live in Washington, USA.


Diana was keen to see the mill where her great grandmother’s daughter Ellen lived and sadly died at the early age of just fifteen. She had visited the grave on occasions with her grandmother, the sister of Ellen yet had never been to the mill where the accident happened. One winter evening as the mill was working to grind an urgent order of wheat for the baker in Hadleigh there was a flour powder explosion resulting in young Ellen suffering terrible burns and dying within minutes of being hit by the fire ball that engulfed the ground floor of the mill. No one else was injured which was a miracle. A small iron cross – possible made by at the iron foundry in Hadleigh or Long Melford is the only reminder of the death of Ellen. In the grave yard are other members of the Bradbrook family who worked at Kersey Mill and at many of the others in the area before steam power took over and the mills were built in the larger towns and cities where labour was cheap.


During their visit they toured the mill and surrounding land before moving onto the church to see the graves of Diana’s ancestors. Before they did they made a generous donation to buy one of the wooded replacement teeth for the mill stone gears. They also saw the work being carried out by Paul Cuthbert, Bill Griffiths and a happy band of volunteers on the sluice gate and the water wheel more of which we will feature in next month’s newsletter.


Diana admiring the work that has been undertaken by the hard working band of volunteers.

 Diana at the graveside of Ellen and other Bradbrook in Kersey Church

Next month we explore the workings on the mill and the restoration being carried out in a sensitive way to preserve the spirit of place.  There will also be details of a fund raising Santa Claus and his workshop experience due to be held leading up to Christmas to delight the children.


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