Fulwell Windmill contractor to be appointed

Photo by: Sunderland See Do it.
Photo by: Sunderland See Do it.

A Millwright contractor is to be appointed to oversee the first phase of work in the restoration of Fulwell Windmill.

The windmill was damaged back in 2012 when it was hit with strong winds causing large amounts of damage to it.

Severe damage was caused to both the cap and the sails, which forced the popular attraction to close to the public.

Principal Heritage Protection Officer Mark Taylor said: “The restoration began last year with the dismantling of the damaged cap and sails on health and safety grounds.

“The planned first phase of repair and restoration works to be carried out over the next year will comprise the provision of a new traditionally detailed cap, sails and fantail, repairs to wind shaft, sail cross, brake wheel, renewal of winding gear, renewal of windows and internal and external decoration.

“Detailed designs have now been completed, applications for planning permission and listed building consent submitted, and quotations for the work are soon to be sought from Millwright Contractors.

“The reinstatement of the sails is subject to additional funding being sourced and is likely to be second restoration phase at some point in the future.”

This has come as good news to the people of Sunderland who want to see the Mill returned to its former glory.

Scott Dixson, 27, said: “They should repair it, it’s been there for years.”

Steven Warden, 74, said: “You can see it for miles around, it’s a focal point and I believe it should be firmly up there and running again as an attraction.”

Alice Butler, 85, said: “It’s a landmark, it doesn’t matter where you are, you can just look up and see it, it’s beautiful.”

The Windmill is one of Sunderland’s oldest standing landmarks and has stood for over 208 years.

It saw a major change at the beginning of the twentieth century: the sails were removed and was fitted with a gas engine which turned the mechanism.

After public concerns of its deterioration were raised in 1955, the sails were repaired and refitted to the cap.

Further restoration would occur over time and 1996 saw a five year process that would bring the Mill back to its 19th century working glory.

The first phase of the project is expected to be completed in 2017.

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