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BS: My Girl Jill - a windmill walkthrough

12 Apr 16 - 02:51 PM (#3784943)
Subject: BS: My Girl Jill - a windmill walkthrough
From: Will Fly

Some of you may know that I work as a volunteer steward in a 19th century windmill on several Sunday afternoons between April and September each year. The mill is one of a pair called "Jack & Jill" up on Clayton Down in East Sussex - a place of peace and wonderful views. I took the opportunity recently to get some video footage of the mill in action - on one of my Sundays "off" - and put together this little, 10-minute home movie about the mill. The windmill's a bit bigger than a pocket watch, but the working's just as fascinating!

My Girl Jill - a windmill walkthrough


12 Apr 16 - 04:53 PM (#3784953)
Subject: RE: BS: My Girl Jill - a windmill walkthrough
From: Pete from seven stars link

Nice film will. Looks a lovely location.


12 Apr 16 - 05:57 PM (#3784967)
Subject: RE: BS: My Girl Jill - a windmill walkthrough
From: akenaton

Very nice Will and very interesting. Up here all the old eighteenth and nineteenth century "Meal mills" were water powered from strong mountain streams or "burns" as we call them.
Most are completely gone, but a few miles from me there is one in fair condition, not working and roofless, but the dam, mill race and mill wheels are still visible.

You are fortunate to be involved with such a beautiful piece of history.


12 Apr 16 - 07:55 PM (#3784990)
Subject: RE: BS: My Girl Jill - a windmill walkthrough
From: ChanteyLass

Interesting, and a well-done video!


12 Apr 16 - 08:31 PM (#3784995)
Subject: RE: BS: My Girl Jill - a windmill walkthrough
From: frogprince

Delightful !


12 Apr 16 - 08:33 PM (#3784997)
Subject: RE: BS: My Girl Jill - a windmill walkthrough
From: michaelr

Very nice, Will. I quite enjoyed that.


12 Apr 16 - 10:53 PM (#3785017)
Subject: RE: BS: My Girl Jill - a windmill walkthrough
From: Tangledwood

Thank you Will. Having spent my early years not far from Jack and Jill I look forward to viewing this. My internet connection is horribly slow at present so am downloading prior to watching.


13 Apr 16 - 03:17 AM (#3785028)
Subject: RE: BS: My Girl Jill - a windmill walkthrough
From: Megan L

Actually Akenaton not all meal mills were water fed on some islands where there was not a burn or river they did have wind or horse powered mills.

Quite a few of the bigger farms on Orkney still have a round building at one end which is where the horse was walked round powering the mill.

On Papa Westray on Dauvits uncles far you can still see what looks like a small plinth which was the post for a small windmill.

Will thoroughly enjoyed the video.

You have to go a fair bit down the page before you see the remains of the post mill on uncle john's farm


13 Apr 16 - 03:38 AM (#3785034)
Subject: RE: BS: My Girl Jill - a windmill walkthrough
From: Will Fly

Thanks for the kind words, folks. The footage was taken on the spur of the moment - camera shake'n all - and then put together for fun later.


13 Apr 16 - 03:56 AM (#3785037)
Subject: RE: BS: My Girl Jill - a windmill walkthrough
From: Mr Red

grindingly interesting!

There are a few things I wanted to see more of, but I am an engineer. Like, how the stationary chain wheel moves the shutters on the rotating sails (sorry sweeps). The spider is inside the shaft and not accessible, all I can guess is that there is a flat bearing surface that pulls on chains.


13 Apr 16 - 10:45 PM (#3785194)
Subject: RE: BS: My Girl Jill - a windmill walkthrough
From: Gurney

Loved the video, Will. Loved the automation of the mill, too. All the other ones I've noticed had to be hauled into the wind by muscle, seemingly.


14 Apr 16 - 04:46 AM (#3785224)
Subject: RE: BS: My Girl Jill - a windmill walkthrough
From: Will Fly

They did indeed. There's a smaller post-mill a few miles away at Keymer (the Oldland Mill) which has no fantackle. They have to lift up the talthur (tailpole) and shift the mill by hand as the wind changes.

Similarly at the Nutley mill, in the north of the county.

Mr Red - I actually forgot to show the spider explicitly in the video. It's at the front of the sweeps, outside the mill and looks like a 4-legged spider - you can see it in one of the early clips - and it's the spiders legs that each attach to a sweep and operate the shutters.

So, the miller pulls down on the left-hand side of the chain by the door and turns the chain wheel clockwise (as you look from the outside). The wheels turns the internal gears at the back of the stone floor ceiling - which you can see in the video - and the gears push the metal rod backwards and forwards through the windshaft to open and close the spider and shutters.

The miller pulls on the right-hand side of the chain to turn the chain wheel in the opposite direction to open the shutters and spill the wind.


14 Apr 16 - 11:21 AM (#3785289)
Subject: RE: BS: My Girl Jill - a windmill walkthrough
From: leeneia

I second all the comments on how interesting it is, but I see a problem.

We see visitors on the staircase, but there are four steps without a handrail. That is bad. A handrail should go all the way from the top of stairs to the ground. This is especially important if you lose your balance going down.


14 Apr 16 - 01:32 PM (#3785317)
Subject: RE: BS: My Girl Jill - a windmill walkthrough
From: Will Fly

Very likely, leeneia - but Jill is a Grade I Listed Building, which means that, while parts can be replaced, they have to be replaced "as is" - without alteration to the design. Official Health & Safety recommendations have a certain weight - but not in this case!

So, for example, when the sweeps are painted, they're painted with white lead paint. Lead paint, being poisonous, cannot now be purchased by the general public - but we're allowed to purchase it for painting Jill's sweeps!

I'm happy to say that we advise all visitors to descend the stairs backwards - and we've never had a fall yet in 20 years. The interior ladders are even steeper, and we tell - NOT just advise - visitors that they MUST descend those backwards. And, once again, no falls yet.


14 Apr 16 - 03:56 PM (#3785337)
Subject: RE: BS: My Girl Jill - a windmill walkthrough
From: CupOfTea

Fascinating, beautifully done video. I'd never had an idea how a windmill was put together. The insides of water-powered flour mills seem to show up on historical programs (or the shows where they take apart and renovate or recycle old buildings).

Thank you for posting this.

Joanne in Cleveland ( where the wind off the lake has to deal with three-bladed electricity generating windmills.)


14 Apr 16 - 04:54 PM (#3785339)
Subject: RE: BS: My Girl Jill - a windmill walkthrough
From: FreddyHeadey

Brilliant. I don't often look at BS, glad I did.

A bit good for "spur of the moment" that is, didn't spot any camera shake either.


15 Apr 16 - 01:08 AM (#3785410)
Subject: RE: BS: My Girl Jill - a windmill walkthrough
From: Tangledwood

Having now watched the video, thanks again Will. Nice work and very interesting. Enjoyed the mandolin too. :)


15 Apr 16 - 04:23 AM (#3785421)
Subject: RE: BS: My Girl Jill - a windmill walkthrough
From: Will Fly

Thanks - glad you liked it. The tune, by the way, is called "The Warksburn Waltz". Warksburn was a place in Northumberland - no longer populated.