Gainsborough: Probus Club

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For the first meeting of 2014 there was a talk about Heckington Windmill by Jim Bailey who became interested after finding some pieces of broken grinding stones in his garden. A visit to Heckington soon found him recruited as a volunteer and a few years later he is the trust manager. The windmill is owned by Lincolnshire County Council and is leased to a trust who have recently obtained a large grant from the Heritage Lottery. The windmill was built in 1830-34 with five sails and worked steadily until 1890 when, largely due to neglect, the whole top was blown off in a storm. Meanwhile, a local man, John Pockington, bought on a whim an eight-sail windmill in Boston on the condition it was dismantled and removed from site.

A chance encounter led to him hearing of the damaged mill at Heckington and he rebuilt the mill using parts from both mills. Eventually the mill fell into disrepair and was due to be demolished so in 1951 the local council bought and repaired it. Later it was taken over by the county council who own and maintain it to this day. The trust put in a lot of hard work in getting the grants and their ambitious plans should start taking shape soon and we will see the sails turning again this year with the bakehouse, new toilets, on site parking and visitor centre.