Coronavirus: Thurne Windmill's 200th birthday celebrations postponed

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Thurne Windmill
Image caption,
The mill stopped working in 1936 but has since been lovingly restored

A windmill's 200th anniversary celebrations have been postponed due to the coronavirus lockdown.

Thurne Windmill on the Norfolk Broads was built in 1820 to help drain the marshes and provide farming land.

Owner Debra Nicholson and the Friends of Thurne Windmill had been organising a range of events in August to celebrate its double-centenary.

Mrs Nicholson said it was sad the events had been postponed but "important that everyone stays safe".

"We were having a regatta in August, which has been moved to next year, and many other events," she said.

The regatta would have included boat races, including one between vessels more a century old.

Other events had included an art exhibition, children's activities and chances to visit the mill.

They would be moved to next year, said Mrs Nicholson.

Thurne Mill's history

Image caption,
A new project aims to mount an exhibition of people's memories of the mill

The mill was built by local millwrights England and Co of Ludham in 1820.

In 1885 the mill was raised, or "hained" as it is called in Norfolk, so it was tall enough to incorporate a new sail.

The mill stopped working in 1936 due to mechanical failure, and by 1948 was in a poor state.

Unlike many mills, which were demolished at this time, it was saved by Bob Morse who bought it in 1949 and helped restore it.

Mrs Nicholson said: "It is sad that the events have had to be postponed because a lot of planning had been going on for years, but it is important that everyone stays safe.

"We shut the mill before the lockdown just to be on the safe side, although anybody can still see it from the outside."

She said a project to get people's memories of the mill for an exhibition after lockdown ends was still running

Image caption,
The historic mill, next to the River Thurne, is a major landmark on Norfolk Broads

Mrs Nicholson, who first fell in love with the mill as a child during family holidays, said: "We want to find people who've had connections to the mill.

"The Friends of Thurne Mill are going to collect a lot of people's photographs and memories and we'll put them all on display."

The project has received a £2,000 grant from Love the Broads and a £900 grant from Water, Mills and Marshes (funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund).

The money has been spent on recording equipment and a portable photograph scanner.

Anyone who wants to contribute memories to the project should contact the mill via its website.

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