Some of you may remember that back in June we had some repairs carried out on the fantail, replacing some of the tie rods which keep the individual fan boards rigid. This was a temporary measure to ensure the mill could continue to operate over the busy summer period, but in the longer term each individual fan board would need replacing as they were rotting. This work was pencilled in for the Autumn/Winter period and has now commenced, with Traditional Millwrights Ltd returning to remove the fan boards and mechanism.
The fantail mechanism turns the sails into the wind automatically for optimum milling, so is a very important part of the windmill. The sails can still operate without it, but it requires staff to either crank the cap round by hand so the sails are facing the wind, or hope that the wind is blowing in the right direction. You might be surprised to hear that it is generally no windier during winter than in summer – it can be totally random. The Millwrights also discovered rot on the fantail platform which will need repairing before the replacement fantail can be attached. Obviously there’s no good time to have work like this carried out, but it shouldn’t have too much effect on the production of flour. Completion of the work should take place early in the New Year.