Sail of the century: mill person needed!

WANTED: an able-bodied man or woman capable of operating a windmill.This part-time, non-run-of-the-mill post is available at Thorpeness where the former corn-grinding mill is owned by Suffolk County Council.

WANTED: an able-bodied man or woman capable of operating a windmill.

This part-time, non-run-of-the-mill post is available at Thorpeness where the former corn-grinding mill is owned by Suffolk County Council.

It is opened each year as a visitor attraction by the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Unit, a local authority financed project which works to protect and promotes the coastal strip.

The previous incumbent of the weekend job at the mill has departed and difficulty is being experienced in finding a suitable replacement.

The job entails showing visitors around the building and, when the wind is strong enough, getting the sails working.

"It involves climbing ladders and pulling on ropes. Great physical strength is not needed but the person needs to be fit and agile," said Simon Hooton SCHU manager.

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He added: "The most important thing will be enthusiasm and skill when dealing with the public."

Thorpeness Windmill formerly stood two miles away in the neighbouring village of Aldringham where it was built in 1824.

It was acquired by the Ogilvie family when it bought the Sizewell Estate in the 1890s but it was not until 1922/3 it was dismantled and moved to its present site and its engineering works converted from corn grinding to water pumping.

The Ogilvies had developed a new holiday village at Thorpeness and they wanted a means of pumping a clean water supply to the houses.

Next to the mill a large water tank was constructed and, to hide its ugly appearance, it was amalgamated into a unique dwelling, now known as The House in the Clouds.

The mill, last used for pumping in 1940, was purchased in 1977 by Suffolk County Council which has maintained it in good condition and, via SCHU, opened it as a visitor attraction at Easter and between May and September.

It opens only at weekends except in July and August when another person, Di Holmes, staffs it from Monday to Friday.

Anyone interested in the weekend job is asked to contact either Simon Hooton or Anita Johnson at SCHU on 01394 384948.

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