Charlton's Save The Windmill campaigners to support cyclists and walkers

PUBLISHED: 08:36 09 April 2018

The Save The Windmill Campaign Group during their chestnut-roasting event outside the former pub. Picture: STWCG

The Save The Windmill Campaign Group during their chestnut-roasting event outside the former pub. Picture: STWCG

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Campaigners fighting to save a village pub near Hitchin are to give out refreshments to walkers and cyclists that use it as a base.

The Save The Windmill Campaign Group – aiming to revive the now-defunct Windmill pub in Charlton – meet each month at The Red Lion in Preston or The Highlander in Hitchin.

They say they’re going from strength to strength, with more attending each time – and on Sunday, April 29, they’re targeting the walking and cycling groups who continue to use The Windmill site as a hub for their activities.

From 10am to 12 noon, the group will offer refreshments on the riverside at The Windmill for thirsty walkers and cyclists.

The campaigners will also be offering two guided walks – one to a neighbouring country inn, and the other around historic sites in Charlton, where the noted engineer and inventor Sir Henry Bessemer was born and raised.

The group’s Phil Jarvis said: “People associate The Windmill with Charlton, and they associate cycling and walking with The Windmill!

“In an age when we are all encouraged to lead a more healthy lifestyle, The Windmill has so much to offer in terms of the gateway it provides to the countryside and the superb walks and rides that exist around this relatively traffic-free oasis.

“Our vision as a group is to see The Windmill returned as a thriving community hub, and its future as a business whilst modest in a financial sense, is very rich in terms of the contribution it could make to the community of Hitchin and Charlton, in encouraging social connections and healthy activities.”

The Windmill closed its doors in June 2015 after successive tenants struggled to make a go of the business, and brewery group Charles Wells sold the building.

The new owner caused uproar in the community when he started converting the riverside building into homes without the necessary planning application.

The pub was the subject of mysterious arson attempt in September 2016 that was never solved by police – with the Comet understanding that only the prompt action of a neighbour averted an inferno.

To find out more about the walking and cycling event on April 29 and about the Save The Windmill Campaign itself, have a look at savethewindmillpub.com or email Phil Jarvis at savethewindmill@hotmail.com.

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