Over the last two years, Sarehole Mill has had a major £450,000 restoration and refurbishment with a team of volunteer millers who are beginning to mill regularly with a view to selling flour later in the season.
Set on the edge of Moseley Bog with a large mill pond that attracts a range of wildlife, it is easy to see how Tolkein took inspiration from this landscape and to see why many visitors to the mill feel as if they are taking a trip back in time when they enter the mill buildings. It is an evocative place which has stood as a landmark building for over 200 years in some form and in its present form with the tall chimney, for over 100 years.
Working as a volunteer miller, it is the stories of the visitors that bring to life the history of the mill over the last fifty years. As you stand and chat to them about their memories of the mill and it’s surrounding area, with the backdrop of the sound of the water wheel and the vibrations of the mill stones which shake the whole building, you get a sense of the importance of the place and the connection people have to it.
Over the coming weeks, Richard and I will be visiting the mill at weekends to record some of these stories of visitors, millers and staff as a permanent record of the place of the mill in the memories and history of the local community.
If you or a friend or neighbour has a story or memory about the mill that you would like to share with us we would very much like to hear it and add to our collection of Mill memories. You can contact us via this blog or on our googlegroup email or just drop in when we are around, listed below
Mill Memories drop in sessions start Sunday 27th April.