Work on the windmill is planned to start on 25 October – though we are still waiting to hear final confirmation of this. Here’s a rough outline of what’s likely to happen first.
Week 1 Setting up (fencing off the site, erecting the workers’ hut)
Week 2 The sails will be taken off by crane, and the provender mill will be removed. Work on the sails will take around seven weeks if they need repairing, but more like 13 weeks if they need to be replaced. The patent sails will have their shutters replaced but they won’t be linked to the millstones when they are put back on, because of health and safety reasons.
A hole will also be dug at the back of the mill to investigate whether any underpinning is needed. If it is, this could delay the rest of the restoration. If no underpinning is necessary, freestanding scaffolding will be erected so that restoration can start on the brickwork. Work will also start on the drains, as the mill will eventually have independent drainage and electricity supply.
Week 3 Assuming that underpinning is not necessary, work will start on the cap (the bit at the top that used to turn). The cap will be raised on hydraulic supports to allow access to the curb, skid pads, and winding mechanism.