The other highlight of the day was a visit to the Maud Foster mill
|Maud Foster Mill|
Situated almost in the town centre (that's the Maud Foster Drain, part of the Witham Navigable Drains in the foreground) I'd expected a sort of working museum, perhaps with occasional demonstrations of the art of milling. But no, as you'll see if you follow the link above, it's a working windmill that you just happen to be allowed to look around. There's no brochure, no interpretive panels or "interactive displays" - just a windmill. You wander round on your own figuring it out as you go along and if you need to know more you just ask the miller. It's also gloriously "un-PC" as far as health-and-safety is concerned. Steep wooden staircases, low wooden beams ("you look just tall enough to bang your head on the beams") and close proximity to working machinery - how on earth did they ever get it past the h&s inspectors?
I spent a happy half-hour figuring out which shaft turned which wheel which turned which gearing which turned which other wheel which turned the millstones to turn the grain into flour.
|The finished product|
The only disappointment was that in a year when Spring had turned straight in to Autumn I chose to visit on one of the few days when there wasn't enough wind to for the mill to work!