Chestnuts to roast on open fire for Charlton’s Save the Windmill campaign

Hitchin and Harpenden MP Bim Afolami with the Save The Windmill group. Picture: Archant

Hitchin and Harpenden MP Bim Afolami with the Save The Windmill group. Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant

Villagers working to revive a defunct pub near Hitchin are to roast chestnuts in the garden in front of it as part of their next campaign event.

The grass in front of Charlton’s Windmill pub is owned by Highways England – and the Save the Windmill group will bring their own beer for the informal meeting set for 7.30pm on Monday.

Former Windmill landlord Tim Hunter will be there roasting the chestnuts on a log fire, and all are welcome to come along with their own drinks and join the party.

Phil Jarvis from the Save the Windmill group told the Comet: “It’ll be good to meet all supporters, and we’re asking everyone to please bring a bottle – we haven’t got an alcohol licence, unfortunately.”

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.

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

Phil and the group hope to revive The Windmill as a community pub similar to Preston’s Red Lion, and have been rallying support in and around Hitchin over the past few months.

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Phil said: “We’re pushing to get our numbers up for prospective shareholders in our community pub scheme – we want to get to 1,000 to put us in a viable position to be taken seriously, and we’re up to about 300 so far.

“In the event of awful weather we’ll post on our Facebook page and our website to say we’re going to have to cancel – but unless there’s anything on there, it’s on. We’re hoping all the snow will clear up by then.”

Malcolm Chapman from the North Herts branch of CAMRA is among the campaign’s supporters, and is set to be at the chestnut roasting on Monday.

“Tim Hunter’s famous for his chestnuts, and we’ll be there with our own beer,” said Malcolm.

“Bring everything you like. Hopefully the weather’s favourable.”

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

If you’re interested in getting involved in the Save the Windmill campaign, have a look at

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