A great day out in Suffolk!
15/03/2022 - Woodbridge Tide Mill
Woodbridge Tide Mill Museum will open to visitors for the 2022 season on Friday 1 April. The Mill Volunteers and staff have been busy over the winter doing vital maintenance work, continuing to mill stoneground wholemeal flour for customers, developing better access to the Museum for visitors and ways to reach new customers.
Keeping the Mill in Good Shape
Maintenance has been uppermost during lockdown. Despite the need to keep its engineers protected in separate ‘bubbles’ – the specialist wood and iron machinery, some hundreds of years old, has been kept moving and in tip top condition. The Mill was painted during lockdown and will receive another new coat very soon. A huge project is currently under way to work with partners to clear some of the silt away from the Mill. If left unchecked this promises to threaten the Mill’s fundamental purpose; to mill flour using the tide. Finally, the perennial summer problem of Sea Lettuce in the Tide Pond that gums up the works will be successfully solved by Head Miller Dan Tarrant-Willis who developed a cunning suspended net to keep the Mill race clear.
Keeping the stones grinding
Separate teams of millers and baggers, who worked in isolation during lockdown, will continue to supply the Mill’s wholesale and retail customers with flour. Plans are afoot to secure supplies of wheat in the face of global price instability.
Improving the Visitor experience
The Mill has, through the generous provision of a grant from Suffolk County Council’s Covid Continuity Fund for Culture as well as money from the Mill’s own funds, been undertaking a project to show the Mill machinery at work on screens during the prolonged periods between tides when the Mill cannot run. With this valuable investment the many visitors that come to the Mill when it is idle will be able to see the impressive shafts, millstones and cogs in action. In the summer we will also produce a new museum trail for children to make the Museum more SEND friendly by introducing sensory backpacks and sensory maps.
Chairman of the Woodbridge tide Mill Charitable Trust, John Carrington says “It has long been a frustration that most of the public visit when the Mill is not in action. There’s still a lot to see and experience but now we hope to be able to show the drama and process of the Mill in action through professionally produced film – adjacent to the kit itself. We are especially grateful to Suffolk Council for their help achieving this”.
The Mill is currently without a Curator and is very keen to hear from anyone interested in working on the exciting Mill collection and helping to organise the periodic exhibits.
Strengthening the Mill’s green credentials
As a holder of a Gold Suffolk Carbon Charter the Mill also plans to develop a generator to harness more of the ‘green energy’ put out by the Mill to demonstrate to visiting schools and other budding engineers an alternative and free power source. A weather station is also planned to intrigue and educate schools, groups and other visitors.
Dates for the other Mill’s planned events are:
Mill Opens for 2022 Season -1 April 2022
Easter Egg Hunt – 13 April 2022
May Half Term – Craft Morning* – 31 May 2022
Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Woodbridge event – 3 Jun 2022
Woodbridge Regatta – 19 June 2022
Summer Craft Morning*- 22 Aug 2022
Kids in Museums Takeover Day – TBC November 2022
Festive Fun Christmas Crafts* – TBC Early Christmas School Holiday
*The family craft mornings are set to return. This year the sessions will be themed around the topics of sustainability and renewal. The activities will align with their ethos and should provoke some thought.
To book your tickets or to simply find out more visit the Woodbridge Tide Mill website.
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