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Iconic village monument gets overhaul to external workings

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The workings atop Stansted's windmill have been replaced and freshly painted after the ancient monument underwent vital maintenance.

The striking wheel, which controls the shutters on the sails, has been replaced with a brand new mechanism while the striking chain, which operates the wheel, was offset away from the brickwork to protect it from damage.

Windmill treasurer Richard Thomas said: "We are indebted to Uttlesford District Council for a 50 per cent grant of the nearly £1,800 cost.

The new striking wheel and offset chain on top of Stansted's windmill (42352206)
The new striking wheel and offset chain on top of Stansted's windmill (42352206)

"It might not look much for £1,800, but the timber alone cost over £400. It is comprised of three very substantial oak beams. Then there was £140 for the new chain, four days installation labour and a couple of days hire of the cherry-picker - it soon adds up!

"The new striking wheel itself, built for us by Steve Mansfield, of Bishop's Stortford (our 'resident engineer') has cost about £2,000."

Millwright Paul Kemp also overhauled the striking mechanism that controls the opening and closing of the sail shutters with all the ironwork removed, reshaped and then replaced and carried out the 200-year-old structure's annual inspection.

Added Mr Thomas: "There is always something else to do to keep the mill in good shape for the future. If anyone has an interest in helping us look after this 'icon' of the village, please send us a message via the windmill Facebook page or the mill website (www.stanstedwindmill.co.uk)."

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