Recently, I’ve been getting to grips with the logistics for opening Chesterton Windmill during Heritage Open Weekend on 8th and 9th September, 2018. This scheduled ancient monument, and a much loved Warwickshire landmark, is a challenge to open, particularly how to get nearly 1,000 visitors into a building that has no regular access other than by stepladder!
Things to do
The first thing that needed doing was getting the grass cut to provide access up to the windmill. This has been cut regularly over the past few weeks. Our windmill engineer spent a few weeks up at Chesterton over the summer doing some work to the sails – repairs and painting work, and checking the roof following all the high winds and snow earlier in the year.
In the meantime, we need to locate the public steps for the windmill – which are built and stored off site each year, and which then need to be delivered up to the windmill the day before opening, ready to fit together a bit like a jigsaw puzzle. The windmill itself can only hold up to six people inside at a time when it is in operation, and the small hatch to gain access can be quite a challenge.
Come and see us?
Once the ground is prepared, steps located and all the repairs and checks completed, Chesterton Windmill will be ready to open. In the final weeks running up to the opening, volunteers from the local parish of Chesterton will be working hard to make arrangements for visitors on the day (including refreshments). We will, of course, be crossing our fingers for good weather!