National Mills Weekend 2023

Each year the Mills Section of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) holds a National Mills Weekend. For 2023 this will take place on 13th & 14th May and will focus on ‘Millwrighting – Past and Present’ to celebrate the repair of wind and watermills up and down the country.

SPAB hopes that many mills will be able to be open to welcome visitors during the weekend of the 13th & 14th May. SPAB are advising contacting any mills you are planing to visit during the National Mills Weekend, prior to the visit to ensure that they will be open. To find mills that are open to visitors and see which are participating in National Mills Weekend follow this link:

If you are a mill owner, mill manager, or mill volunteer, and intend opening a mill for the National Mills Weekend please consult SPAB details for how to register. The website has more information and a downloadable support pack about the National Mills Weekend here.

SPAB Mills Section Autumn 2022 Online Event 

Sibsey Trader Mill cap being loaded into position. Image courtesy of SPAB.

The SPAB Mills section is running an online event on the 18th and 19th November 2022, taking place on both Friday evening and Saturday morning. The focus will be on mill repair and the use of hydro-power. You can book either session or both: Friday only – £10, Saturday only – £20, Friday & Saturday – £25 

To book for Friday and Saturday see here 

To book for the Friday evening talk only see here 

To book for the Saturday morning talks only see here 

Online Programme:

Friday 18th November: 6pm-7.30pm 

Talk by Geoff Wallis (Millwright and Consultant) 

Is mill conservation sustainable? 

• Ecological – use of energy/materials, energy-intensive 

restoration, management of waste, etc 

• Availability of resources to keep mills in good order: 

traditional expertise/materials, cash, etc. 

• Do people want mills anyway? 

 Saturday 19th November: 9.40am-1.30pm 

Mixture of talks on mill repair and watermills and hydro-power. 

Luke Bonwick (Mill Consultant) 

Steve Temple (Mill Owner) 

Tim Whiting (Millwright) 

Toby Slater (SPAB Millwright Fellow) 

Stephen Bartlett (Hydro Specialist) 

A recording of the talks will be available after the event for all registered bookings. 

Combe Mill to Recieve Engineering Heritage Award

Combe Mill industrial heritage museum is to receive the Engineering Heritage Award of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. The Awards recognizes pioneering engineering artefacts, locations, collections, and landmarks and celebrates the contribution of mechanical engineering to our past and present.

The award will be presented at Combe Mill by John Wood MBE, past President of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and Chairman of the Engineering Heritage Committee, on Sunday 21st August 2022 at 3:00 p.m. The citation on the award plaque will read: A fine example of a Victorian English estate workshop and sawmill. Restored by the Combe Mill Society volunteers, 1969-2012, it includes a beam engine and waterwheel. Combe Mill illustrates the impact of social and technological change on this rural English landscape.

Steve Foster, chairman of Combe Mill Society said, “Combe Mill is delighted and honoured to receive the Engineering Heritage Award. A dedicated stream of volunteers has worked hard to restore, preserve and demonstrate the historic mill, its people and its place in the local community for over 50 years and this award is a tribute to all their efforts.” For further details of the award follow this link:

Combe Mill can trace its origins back to the medieval period. The current grade II* listed buildings are a rare survival of a steam and water powered mill together with much original machinery still in operation. For further detail follow this link:

SPAB Looking for Platinum Jubilee Weekend Celebration Images

The SPAB Mills Section would like to share any pictures from the Platinum Jubilee Weekend Celebrations that took place at windmills and watermills across Britain In June 2022.

If you have taken any images of mills or celebrations at mills, please email them with your name and the name of the mill to by Friday 10th June. SPAB would like to share them with SPAB Mills Section Members in the July issue of Mill News.