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Iconic Avoncroft Museum windmill damaged in stormy weather
10:10am Thursday 5th January 2012 in News
THE director of a Bromsgrove open air museum says he was horrified to find thousands of pounds of damage had been caused to its iconic 19th century windmill in stormy weather.
One of the sails of the windmill at Avoncroft Museum of Historic Buildings snapped off due to the high winds, which hit the town on January 2.
And to add to the problems, the broken off part pierced the roof on the windmill’s lower section.
The cost of repairs has been estimated to be in the region of £5,000.
The windmill dates back to between 1790 and 1810, having been rescued from Danzey Green near Tanworth-in-Arden in the late 1960s.
It was re-erected at the Stoke Heath-based museum, and has gone on to become one of the museum’s major attractions.
Work to restore the windmill to an operational capacity, costing more than £3,000, had only recently been completed.
Plans for a training programme for museum volunteers to learn how to sail the mill and produce flour, in time for the busy visitors season, have now had to be postponed until the sail is fully repaired and installed.
The damage has caused a headache for museum director Simon Carter, as the work is also likely to delay planned restoration work on the museum’s other buildings.
“It was horrifying to return to work and find the windmill in such a state,” Mr Carter said.
“This unexpected damage will have a major impact on the museum’s resources.
“As an independent charitable museum there is always a long ongoing maintenance plan but damage such as this sometimes has to take priority.
“The repair and restoration costs of looking after historic buildings at Avoncroft can be much higher than for museums where collections are safely stored in galleries and display cases.”