There is something missing from Moulton Mill, as keen-eyed observers will spot this weekend.
And there should be plenty of visitors as the mill is open as part of National Mills’ Weekend 2016.
What’s missing is the fantail – the smaller windmill mounted at right angles to turn the cap and bring the sails into the wind.
Moulton Mill project officer Janet Prescott says there has been a “catastrophic” failure of the fantail.
She said: “It was at the point of imminent collapse. That’s the one we replaced ten years ago. It’s because of the nature of where it is and the weather, because it is in such a prominent position and exposed to such extremes of climate.
“The sails themselves are only guaranteed for about 20 years, so nothing has got a long life.”
The Friends of Moulton Mill have secured an £80,000 payment from Historic England to get the fantail replaced and, with £15,000 the Friends are stumping up from fundraising, that should be sufficient to start replacement work during the summer.
The mill and its shop and tea room are open as usual this weekend, from 10am to 4pm on both Saturday and Sunday.
Janet adds that this is the perfect opportunity to visit the mill, as there will be grinding going on to make wholemeal flour, with a demonstration on Saturday at 11am.
She said: “We are hoping for lots of visitors. If there are any mill enthusiasts out there it’s the perfect opportunity to come along and see for yourself.”
Tours take around an hour and a half and cost £4 for adults, £2.95 concessions and £2 for children over five – a family ticket costs £10.
Sneath’s Mill at Lutton Gowts – just north of Long Sutton – is also open for National Mills Weekend on Saturday and Sunday (11am to 3pm both days). Admission is free.
It is the oldest tower mill in the country and so is nationally important, but badly needs restoration work. Sneath’s Mill Trust was formed to help safeguard the building.
The trust is currently waiting for the go-ahead from Historic England to begin engineering and ground surveys.
Youngsters who go along to the mill this weekend can help build Sneath’s Mill Bug Hotel, and take part in other free activities.
A trust member said: “The weekend offers the public a rare opportunity to visit historic Sneath’s Mill. The mill, built in 1779, is the only Grade 1 listed octagonal brick built mill left in the country, and is an important building in the history of British mills.”
The trust has arranged other fundraising activities, such as a market stall in Long Sutton one Friday (to be decided) and it is organising Lutton Annual Autumn Show, with crafts and produce, at Lutton Village Hall for September 24.