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Go to 15th January 2006

3rd - 17th July 2006 - Installation of services   return to Latest News


At last someone else was doing some work - this time a local contractor. After months of

discussion and often frustrating phone calls with the utility companies', work started on

3rd July with myself and Bridget rolling out the gas pipe and ducting - no easy task with

220 metres of coils wanting to spring apart into a knotty mass! The next day saw the arrival

of the contractors to dig an equally long trench; this had to be fairly deep in places to allow

for the track to be installed over the top in the near future. This I think was always going to

be the messiest stage of the project as can be seen from the photographs, but no sooner was

the trench dug and the services installed that it was filled in again. It just remains for the

services to be connected at the road and mill end.


Yours truly unrolling the gas pipe ducting.

Work started with the trenching at the mill end.

The trench was of sufficient depth to enable the track to be installed without disturbing the services.

Access had to be maintained as the trench cut down the centre of the track nearest to the pond.

The BT ducting ready for installation.

The services in situ looking towards Stane Street.

Almost back to normal...........

27th May 2006 - Metal detecting  back to top of page


Although we tried to be as careful as possible to look for any 'finds' when the base was dug

out, I was convinced that some items were missed. After searching the internet for metal detector

clubs I hit upon the email address of an enthusiast in Horley. A few emails later, Andy Humphrey

very kindly agreed to come and see what could be found. Not much at first, but soon the detector

started picking up interesting signals and apart from the odd nail or piece of lead, a very good

collection was amassed after three hours or so. This mainly consisted of shutter castings from

the sails, which interestingly were concentrated near one side of the base - it later transpired that

this was the area that the sails last faced and hence bits dropped off them at this point! Amongst

the other oddments was almost a complete key, clearly an old one and possibly one of the original

mill keys!

When I have sorted the finds I will post some pictures, but meanwhile a special thanks to Andy

for his help.


                                                                                                                                                                                                            go to July 2006


19th March 2006 - Fencing is now complete  back to top of page


Just the track to go.........

                                                                                                                                                                                                    go to 27th May 2006


25th February 2006 - Excavating infill from within and around the brick base   back to top of page


What fantastic luck we had with the weather today, blue sky and plenty of sun.

This encouraged a great turnout of members from the Sussex Mills Group (SMG) for a

digging session. SMG volunteered their services sometime ago to excavate the remaining

infill within the brick base and also to remove the accumulated earth from around the outside.

It was hoped that some artefacts would also be recovered and we were in luck; finds

included more sail shutter ironwork, some old bottles and a piece of millstone.


Excavating the infill within the brick base.

Removing the accumulated earth from around the base.

The finished result revealing the sleeper walls for the floor joists.

Work had also been progressing with the fence during the preceding week.

(Fencing by John Crouthers, Fencing & Landscape contractor)

                                                                                                                                                                                    go to 19th March 2006


18th February 2006 - Marking out of boundary and track   back to top of page


At last after several weekends of work I have finished marking out the track and boundary.

The track follows the original line across the field and just to prove it, many of the pegs

struck hard ground quickly; the line of the track was gleaned from an old Ordnance Survey

map. I first established a trig point 13m to the north of the mill and from this point I used a

laser level and marking tape to fix the position of all markers from dimensions and angles

that I had worked out on my survey drawings.


The RED topped pegs mark the position of the track (unfenced) and the WHITE topped pegs mark the boundary (to be fenced).

                                                                                                                                                                                              go to 25th February 2006


15th January 2006 - Excavating inside the base. back to top of page


Beneath the original wooden floor level are the sleeper walls, which originally supported the joists

for the floor. When the base was converted for farm use in the late 1940's the ground between

these sleeper walls was filled in and levelled off. We have been digging this infill out down to the

original ground level during with we have found an assortment of ironwork. Unfortunately most

 is not recognisable except for the shutter cranks below.


Section through the infill showing the original earth level and the sleeper wall to support the floor joists on the right.

An unglazed hand made clay marble found at the bottom of the infill i.e. on the original earth level.

One wonders if a child lost it between the floor boards when playing in the mill a hundred plus years ago!

A shutter crank from one of the sails in as found condition with sixty years of iron oxide buildup.

The same shutter crank after being cleaned up and bead blasted. It's made of cast iron so has survived in comparably good condition.

In this section of a typical 'patent' sweep i.e. shuttered sweep, you can see where the shutter cranks are at 'F'.

The cranks thus connect each shutter to the shutter actuating bar 'C'.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    go to 18th February 2006

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