As this is my first contribution to Talk About in 2014 may I wish all our supporters a belated Happy New Year.  I do hope it will prove to be a good one.  The Promotion & Fund-raising Committee at Oldland Mill is already working hard on putting together an interesting programme of events at the mill this year and we look forward to seeing you there.  Our first Open Afternoon will be on Sunday 7th April 2 – 5 p.m.  Further dates and themes in next month’s issue of Talk About.

Everyone at the mill is hoping that 2014 will be the year when good quality flour is produced once again and, if successful, plans are in progress to sell the products made from the flour.  However, there are still some problems to overcome – see below.

Restoration and Refurbishment.  Work has been focused on the flour dresser which is now nearly complete. The Sprattle Beam (an original mill timber) is not sufficiently stiff to hold the break wheel in alignment and this has led to the teeth disengaging when under load.  This fault needs to be rectified before flour can be produced in quantity.   With reference to the Automatic Weather System, a new, more reliable laptop has been donated by Brighton College and is being incorporated into the data acquisition system.

Have you recently retired, or are you approaching retirement?  Wondering what you will do with your time?  Why not think about joining the mill volunteers?  You may have the skills needed for the important restoration and maintenance work carried out at the mill, i.e carpentry, metal work, painting, general DIY or, if you come from a job where your practical skills have not been developed you may want to learn some skills and our volunteers will be pleased to teach you.  Volunteers meet every Thursday at the mill and Chairman Professor Fred Maillardet will be pleased to provide further details if you care to contact him on  01273 842342 or at F.j.maillardet@brighton.ac.uk

We also need volunteers to help on Event Days (this may be on stalls, giving guided tours, serving refreshments etc.), also to contribute to our publicity drives and to support our fund-raising activities   (fresh ideas re fundraising always welcome!).  Again, Fred Maillardet will be very pleased to hear from anyone who feels they could contribute in any way.

100 Club:  November 100 Club results were:  no. 9 Prof & Mrs F Maillardet; no. 92  Mr & Mrs G Bell; no. 98  Mr M Tait and no. 103  Mr R J Broadbent and December results were:  no. 22 Mr A Baldwin; no. 66 Mr S Meier; no. 86 Mr S Arnold and no. 97 Mr & Mrs P Schindler.

George Rankin