Why are we doing all this? We’re doing it because we want to safeguard the future of our traditional mills by training millwrights for the future to look after the nation’s wind and watermills!
There are over 2000 wind and watermills across the UK, many in a poor state of repair, buildings threatened with demolition or house conversion at worst and at best, shining examples of our industrial heritage. They all need repair and maintenance undertaken by specialist craftspeople, trained in the craft of millwrighting.
In Norfolk alone, there are numerous mills in a dire state of repair, drainage mills, watermills where unless urgent works are undetaken soon, the buildings will be lost forever.
Reflect on this fact – there is now only one millwright in the country with the regional knowledge and experience required to restore many of our Broadland drainage mills! We want to change this and ensure we never again face such a stark reality.
Millwrighting Skills Programme
We are committed to training up to 5 millwright apprentices at any one time, based at Sutton Mill. Apprentices will join a 3 year programme, funded through income generated by the Sutton Mill Heritage Centre. The first cohort will work on repairing Sutton Mill under the supervision of Master Millwright Richard Seago. They will also work on other mills across the country, work with other millwrights and undergo classroom training such that they are ready after Year 3 of their training to go on to a final phase of ‘journeyman’ before being considered to become master millwrights in their own right.
Work to develop the Millwrighting Skills Programme has been led by the Mills Section of the SPAB and funded by the Pilgrim Trust . We are working in partnership with the Mills Section to design and deliver the skills programme.