With much fanfare and relief, the stocks, clamps and sails were finally installed on Horsey Windpump. During three very cold days the millwright team worked very hard, sometimes into the night, to ensure the lift was completed by the end of the week.
Restoring Horsey Windpump
In March 2016 we kicked off an ambitious and exciting three phase restoration project at Horsey that will not only see the sails replaced, but aims to restore the Windpump to full working order.
Four years ago in 2014 the sails were removed from Horsey Windpump after they become rotten and started to fall apart. Now work is being carried out to bring this Windpump back to life, a stepping-stone towards getting her fully operational and working in the Norfolk landscape once more.
The current cap from which the sails were removed is rotten and was removed, from the top of the tower by a sixty tonne crane on 30 March 2016 and placed on the ground beside it, ready to be loaded onto a lorry and transported to our millwright’s workshop.
Over the course of the last year, the cap and structure has been repaired and conserved and the sails are being re-made to a historic pattern.
The National Trust has committed to spending £244,000 to complete phase one which will see the cap and sails reinstated. The new cap will rotate to face the sails into the wind giving a different view of Horsey Windpump every single day.
In May 2017 on a lovely warm, sunny day the newly conserved and repaired cap was lifted back onto Horsey Windpump watched by 150 people. It was a rather nerve wracking day for Millwright Tim Whiting and his team as the whole weight of the cap and brake wheel were unknown but a 130 tonne crane - the largest available - expertly lifted the cap in one go and after a short period of it dangling above the tower it was successfully lowered onto the tower.
The cap required some bedding in time to ensure it was able to wind (turn) correctly and then once the sail frames, stocks and clamps were completed, they were ready to be lifted. Unfortunately due to a very wet winter, the ground conditions meant a crane could not be brought on site as it would likely sink into the ground. A new plan was required and a method never used before.
Over three very cold days in mid-February the stocks, clamps and sail frames were lifted back onto Horsey Windpump using a lorry HIAB with the millwright team often working into the night.
Phase two will also commence in 2018 which will see the shutters and striking gear fitting to the sails meaning their speed can be better controlled and help to keep this iconic Norfolk Broads building in operation.
23 Feb 18
Horsey's new sails are installed
24 Nov 17
Cap is winded for the first time
Horsey's cap is now able to be winded (turned) by hand and is facing the other way for the first time in over six months. This is a momentous occasion as it is important that the cap can wind correctly when the sails are fitted and turning.
24 Oct 17
Millwrights just hanging around!
This week millwright Tim Whiting has been fitting the new petticoat onto the cap of Horsey Windpump. This requires a real head for heights as he has to hang off the building on a rope whilst working.