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Volunteers launch £2,500 cash appeal for storm battered White Mill in Sandwich

Volunteers striving to restore the 18th century White Mill in Sandwich have launched a fundraising page following recent storm damage.

High winds as part of Storm Brendon in January ripped a temporary roof off, taking parts of the restoration with it and damaging the body of the mill, sited in Ash Road.

The damage at White Mill Rural Heritage Centre has undone hours of work by volunteers Picture: Kate Coles
The damage at White Mill Rural Heritage Centre has undone hours of work by volunteers Picture: Kate Coles

The historic building took a further battering during Storm Ciara at the weekend, although volunteers were better prepared.

Now a GoFundMe page has been set up to help get the work back on track.

It has already raised £1,070 towards the £2,500 goal.

Chairman Martin Smith said: “The storm damage has reversed tens of skilled man hours of work.”

“But it hasn’t stopped us continuing to restore this beautiful windmill,” added Blacksmith Kate Coles.

Damage was caused to the main body of the mill Picture: Kate Coles
Damage was caused to the main body of the mill Picture: Kate Coles

The mill was built in 1760 and still has its original workings.

A long-term restoration project began in June 2018 with an aim to fully restore the windmill to a working model, grinding corn, as it’s intended. There are also plans to develop its visitor centre.

A team of 15 skilled volunteers have been working on the site twice weekly to achieve this.

If achieved, it would be one of the oldest working windmills in the south east of England.

Writing on the GoFundMe page, Ms Coles said: “The target we have set is so that we can get a company in to repair the damaged to the roof of the wheelwrights and the gallery, allowing our wonderful volunteers to focus on the restoration.

Sandwich White Mill Rural Heritage Centre pictured before the storm damage shows the cap next to it being renovated. Picture: Paul Amos
Sandwich White Mill Rural Heritage Centre pictured before the storm damage shows the cap next to it being renovated. Picture: Paul Amos

“We need to get these repairs done quickly as every time it rains more damage is done to the museum’s structure and its displays.”

Despite the set-back, volunteers are determined that the cap will be back in its rightful place on top of the windmill by 2021.

They are also making new sales to go on.

The White Mill Rural Heritage Centre is open every Sunday morning throughout the year and also on May 9 and 10 to mark Nationals Mills Weekend.

To volunteer your skills or find out about becoming a steward, call 07900 531 284.

Find out more at whitemillheritagecentre.org.uk

To donate visit gf.me/u/xcy8r5

Read more: All the latest news from Sandwich


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