|17 May 2021
|Archives & History
Andy Selfe (1968F) has recently been involved in the restoration of Mostert's Mill, particularly the complex mechanics. A huge tragedy struck when it was destroyed the day after it had been made fully operational again. His father John (1938F) was at Bishops and many will fondly remember his Uncle Herby (1940F) who taught in the Prep from 1950 – 1985 when he retired.
On Saturday 16th April, we completed the fourth and last stage of a six-year programme of improvements to Mostert’s Mill. This last stage was the re-lining of the Brake-wheel and re-sizing of the brake assembly to match. The excitement is evident in the short clip I took just before packing up:
The next day:
The other stages, starting in 2005 involved fixing the pintle at the top of the vertical shaft (an old ship’s mast) and aligning the gears to mesh properly.
Second stage was to level the Bed-stone and balance the Runner-stone.
The third was to deal with some rot at the Poll-end of the Wind-shaft where the sails cross in the middle.
The fourth was the Brake re-line.
We’re not taking it lying down and we’re determined to see her turn again! Metal pieces were collected the day after the fire and locked away. We knew what to look for and there was much joy when something we were looking for in the ashes turned up, like this wing-nut which is typical North-Dutch craftsmanship.
Of the bigger parts which can be re-used are the Millstones, despite falling from the first floor, which are now rolled outside.
The Sails can be re-used. These we lifted and put neatly out of the way.
Initial assessment of the Tower is that it is sound, the cracks above the windows are superficial and will be left to the experts in that field. NO cement! Only lime, sand and water in the right mix!
Fearing the effects of a Cape winter, we covered the top of the walls with plastic sheeting, and netting for the wind.
Now, apart from enthusiasm and determination, it needs money! Immediately Crowd-funding was set up in the Netherlands: click HERE and our own website was altered to make it easier to contribute www.mostertsmill.co.za Funds will only be spent on materials and skills we can’t obtain free.
I received this yesterday:
Dear Mr. Selfe,
We have thanked you innumerable times for your connections and expertise with the maintenance of Mostert’s Mill, and more recently after the fire.
My committee now wishes to appoint you Mostert’s Mill Restoration Technical Manager in collaboration with our official architect, John Wilson-Harris.
Friends of Mostert’s Mill.
Finally, Jean Tresfon (FH, 1991) has given permission for his picture to be used in our campaign, showing the site from the air after we had tidied and wrapped up.
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