New season at mill

THE wheels are set to turn on a new season in the life of a historical mill. Stotfold Mill was burnt to the ground in December 1992 and was purchased for £1 by a dedicated band of volunteers, intent on restoring it. Supported by grants from Mid Beds Distr

THE wheels are set to turn on a new season in the life of a historical mill.

Stotfold Mill was burnt to the ground in December 1992 and was purchased for £1 by a dedicated band of volunteers, intent on restoring it.

Supported by grants from Mid Beds District Council, The Heritage Lottery Fund, GrantScape and several other companies, the mill has been restored.

In April, 2006, the first flour was milled since its closure 40 years earlier and Randall's Tea Rooms opened.

This year the mill has some exciting events planned and entry is once again free.

"These are exciting times for the mill and it is wonderful we have got it back to working order," said Paul Redwood, secretary of the Stotfold Mill Preservation Trust.

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"Visitors can see the whole process of producing flour and then if they want to buy some.

"We also have other plans being drawn up with one of them being a conservation and nature reserve on land at the side of the mill that will cost around £50,000. Hopefully that will be open in 18 months and provide a country walk and picnic area.

"But the mill takes people back in time when flour was produced very differently from how it is today. We have also converted the miller's office back to what it was like in the 1940s."

The Trust also provides an educational programme for schools and sells locally grown and home made produce in its shop.

The Trust will once again be running its popular two-day steam fair and country show on May 10 and 11.

In October there will be the annual threshing weekend when the public can watch the art of using old machinery to thresh corn and wheat.

The mill will be open from 12.30pm until 5.30pm for two Sundays every month until November when the tea room will also be open and the mill working. Admission to the mill is free but guided tours cost £1.50 per person.

For more details about events and opening days call 01462 734541 or log on to www.stotfoldmill.com

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