Norfolk

Horsey Windpump sails turn again after 76 years

Horsey windpump Image copyright Ashley Dace
Image caption Horsey Windpump was once one of about 250 in the Broads

The sails on a windpump have turned for the first time in 76 years following a £350,000 restoration work that could see it return to its original use.

Horsey Windpump was built in 1912 to take water from dykes and pump it into the Broads in Norfolk.

It has not worked since storm damage in World War Two, with cosmetic sails wrecked by winds in 2014.

Alex Green of The National Trust said the hour-long test of new sails on Wednesday was "quite emotional".

"We had waited four months for the wind to be just right," she said.

"It was amazing to see.

"It was about 5pm, so the visitor centre and tea room had closed but a couple of us were there and one or two dog walkers.

"It's been a huge project, and it was a very special moment we have been working towards."

Horsey Windpump was once one of 250 windpumps on the Broads, with just 70 structures, including ruins, remaining.

It lay derelict until the mid-1950s, when restoration work culminated in new sails "to make it look pretty" in the 1960s.

Replacements were damaged in high winds five years ago, leading the National Trust to opt for a restoration.

"We've had one or two messages from people living locally - someone who said their mum had lived nearby for 82 years and could not remember them turning," added Ms Green.

"It's not really in people's living memory."

Further work and testing is required, but the trust is hopeful the sails will be turning on a regular basis later this year.

It is also considering whether to invest a further £100,000 for a turbine and pump to bring it back to full use.

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