Rotary donation kickstarts vital windmill repairs

LOCAL Rotarians have put wind behind the sails of a fundraising campaign to restore an historic mill back to full working order.

Members of The Rotary Club of Bromsgrove have presented Avoncroft Museum with a donation of £5,000 to finally start work on essential repairs to the windmill which will enable it to sail again safely.

The Bromsgrove museum’s 19-acre site, owned by members and run by volunteer trustees, is home to more than 30 buildings and structures which cover 700 years of history.

Avoncroft Museum, windmill, Rotary Club of Bromsgrove
Court Leet and Rotary on Lammas Day. Photo by Geoff Hawkesworth.

The latest donation comes on the back of another fundraising initiative at the museum to repair thousands of pounds worth of damage caused by vandals shortly after its post-pandemic reopening to the public, in May. Intruders smashed windows and damaged the interiors of Toll House and Nailers Cottage as well as smashing plates and ornaments.

Following an appeal more than £50,000 in donations poured in from around the world which paid for repairs as well as improved security on the site.

John Teece, President of the Rotary Club of Bromsgrove, who presented the latest cheque, said: “The 1820 Danzey Green Windmill is an iconic symbol for the Museum, and for Bromsgrove, and the Rotary Club is delighted to be supporting the efforts to maintain it.

“We were really pleased to be able to join the Court Leet and celebrate Lammas Day* at the same time as presenting the donation to the team at Avoncroft.”

Zoe Willems, Director of Avoncroft Museum, said “Rescuing historic buildings isn’t a one-off event, we have to keep them in good repair. There is a backlog of work needed on many of our buildings which were originally rescued in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s – but the Windmill is at the top of the list because it is so iconic.”

Avoncroft Museum, windmill, Rotary Club of Bromsgrove

“We want Avoncroft to be a working museum, so it’s a priority to get the Windmill sailing again. We’re so grateful to the Rotary Club of Bromsgrove for their extremely generous donation, which will bring us more than half-way to the total of £25,000 we need to employ a mill-wright to repair the wind-shaft and running rail.”

“We look forward to welcoming back the Bromsgrove Rotary Club and other donors, as well as our members and visitors, to see a very rare working post-mill in action, once the repairs are complete.”

The Bromsgrove Rotary Club are always running or contributing to local projects that add benefit to the community and schools. More information about their local projects or how to get involved in the work they do can be found here

Donations can still be made to Avoncroft Museum via here

* Lammas Day, celebrated every August 1, is a wheat harvest festival that is also known as Loaf Mass Day. The holiday encourages celebrations and mass gatherings where individuals thank God for the first harvest of the season.

According to tradition, a loaf of bread has to be taken to mass on Lammas Day, hence, it is not a surprise that it is famously recognised as ‘Loaf Mass Day.’

Though Lammas Day originated as a Christian holiday, it is also celebrated by others who want to offer thanks to spiritual entities for blessing the world with a fruitful wheat harvest for a particular year. Description of Lammas Day taken from ‘National Today’ publication.

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