I come to the Mills Archive with a varied background in writing and communications: following my English degree I’ve worked in marketing, fundraising and events; I’ve volunteered as a freelance journalist, and I’ve had experience teaching adults and children, both in schools and in the watersports industry.
I have a keen interest in history and heritage, which is what attracted me to the Archive; I previously worked as a museum host in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, and in my spare time I frequently volunteer as a historical interpreter at Kentwell Hall living history museum. These experiences have hugely inspired me, giving me an understanding of heritage matters and showing me the importance of keeping heritage crafts and knowledge alive for the benefit of future generations. I feel very lucky to now be able to combine these interests with my skills in writing and communications, and I’m really looking forward to putting my experience to the test, helping the Archive to grow in its excellent work.
My first official outing was to visit Impington Mill, on the 18th June. It was the first time I’ve had the opportunity to visit a mill up-close – something I felt I should really do, now that I’m working for the Mills Archive! Ron, Mildred, Liz and I met with Steve and Pippa Temple, in whose beautiful garden the mill is located.
The windmill, nestled in the village of Impington on the outskirts of Cambridge, is an unusual, hexagonal smock mill, built on the base of an ancient post mill, with the current structure dating from 1776. Steve guided me all the way up to the top of the mill, navigating the steep, narrow ladders with ease, which gave me a new-found respect for millers who do that climb hundreds of times a day! One could describe the inside of a mill as a work of art – a fantastic feat of engineering and architecture, which really is a testament to the amazing craftsmanship of both traditional and modern millwrights. Even for someone who knows little about mills, it’s very impressive to behold and has certainly ignited my interest; maybe I’m a future molinologist in the making! A big thanks to Steve and Pippa for having us.
The visit helped to educate me on the profession of millwrighting, something that the Mills Archive has a close interest in. At some point in the near future we hope to further explore and better catalogue our collections on millwrighting – and I look forward to being part of this exciting project when it occurs.