Windmill sets sail for season

Alan Gifford officially opens Heage Windmill for the new season watched by Piers Bostock and Peter Straw.
Alan Gifford officially opens Heage Windmill for the new season watched by Piers Bostock and Peter Straw.

VOLUNTEER Alan Gifford rolled up in style for this year’s opening of Heage Windmill at the weekend.

Alan, trustee and the Visit Peak Excel Volunteer of the Year 2011, was driven to the windmill in an vintage Bentley where he was welcomed by the Belper Town Crier and a retired Royal Marines bugler, as well as fellow trustees, friends and volunteers.

Alan unfurled the Derbyshire flag and cut a ribbon to open the doors for the windmill’s 11th season, before speaking about the triumphs and setbacks during the mill’s 30-year-long restoration.

He was presented with a specially-made book recording his involvement with the mill.

Chairman Piers Bostock described Alan as a ‘post-mill’ – “the post around which the whole mill revolves” he said.

Alan then led the planting of a Hornbeam tree from which it is hoped cogs, that fit into the mill’s stone nut, will be made.