‘Life goes on’ - Sibsey Trader Mill’s manager says they are not going to be downbeat about damage caused by strong winds last week.
Ian Ansell also confirmed that the damage was ‘confined to parts that had been scheduled to be replaced as part of the restoration project’ which is managed by English Heritage and has been in the works for some months.
Mr Ansell said it was a ‘blow’ to those who worked at the mill, but looked at the positives, including that no-one was injured and no damage was caused to the rest of the site or any other property.
He said that with winds as strong as those on Wednesday there was ‘only so much we can do to prepare for such excessive wind speeds - everything that could reasonably have been done had been done’.
He added:”The mill is no worse off as regards continuing to supply flour as we had already been managing for some while.”
He said: “We are not the first windmill locally to suffer damage in high wind. The mill in Boston spectacularly dropped a sail through the granary roof some years ago.
“Kirton Lindsey windmill suffered much worse damage in high winds about two years ago. These mills have survived.
“We have to carry on and we do not want to close or be negative about what has happened. Life must go on.”
He added: “Because we have been waiting for works on the mill for a while, we have been fortunate in being granted the use of another windmill some miles north of Sibsey.
“We are able to continue to grind our own wheat/rye/barley/spelt/maize grain and have use of the mill’s dressing machine (sifts wholemeal flour to produce white flour) which allows us to continue to supply flour to our customers who come from far and near to visit the iconic Sibsey Trader Windmill - which many claim to be the finest tower mill in Lincolnshire-and some say beyond!”
The strong winds on Wednesday night saw the Grade 1 listed building’s fantail break up and parts blown across the field to the west of the mill.
Mr Ansell explained that English Heritage and the contracting millwrights were contacted and the mill was examined on Friday.
A rapid-response visit was made to the site on Friday morning and an extensive examination of the cap and tower was carried out.
Following this, parts of the site close to the damage were fenced off by contractors to make the site safe over the weekend.
Meetings are scheduled to take place later this week and following those and any further inspections, the mill hopes to continue as normal.
Mr Ansell said he hoped to have the mill open as normal on Saturday.
“The fencing is only there until we have had a full inspection (planned for today or Tuesday),” he said.
“The mill shop and tearoom will be accessible and open as usual, regardless of the fencing.”