Historic windmill reopens after refit

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David Curwen, centre, hugs his mother with whom he wa sreunited. Completing the group is his brother Keith

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THE only operational windmill in Hampshire is set to reopen following a £150,000 refurbishment.

The 200-year-old, Grade II listed Bursledon Windmill will reopen to the public on Sunday at 2pm.

It was restored in the 1980s, after sitting unused for almost a century but rot was discovered in the windshaft in 2012, which meant the mill had to stop working.

Hampshire County, Eastleigh Borough and Bursledon Parish councils and Hampshire Buildings Preservation Trust (HBPT) rallied together and successfully secured a £94,000 Heritage Lottery Fund grant to fund the replacement of the windshaft, as well as the updating of information and facilities on site.

A further £47,000 from local councils was also secured to recruit and train more volunteers to help run the windmill and the visitor services, and to develop new opportunities for schools, families and the local community.

The windmill closed to the public in August this year while the essential works took place and now, after just three months, it is set to reopen to visitors. It is thought to be the only working windmill in the country that still retains a wooden windshaft following the refit.

The windmill’s reopening will be celebrated on Sunday with a chance to see the windmill turning for the first time in two years.

There will be live music from local band Tinderbox, storytelling from Treecreeper and the unveiling of the new animated film and interactive panels within the visitor centre.

Janet Owen, from Hampshire Cultural Trust, which operates and funds the windmill, said: ‘We are incredibly lucky as a county to have one of the few remaining working windmills in the country right on our doorstep. Bursledon Windmill is a fantastic place.’