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Mill & Other Events

TIMS Midterm Tour in the UK, 2-10 September 2017

This tour will begin on Saturday 2nd September 2017 and will end on Sunday 10th September. It should be noted that this will be an 8 day coach tour with 7 full days visiting mills, one more day than for previous mid-term tours. As England was the first country to experience the industrial revolution (a revolution dependent on water power during its first 50 years) about half of the mills visited will be water powered industrial mills with applications such as cotton spinning, sawing, stone grinding, steel making, forging, knife sharpening, pumping, hydroelectricity generation, needle making, etc., the other half of the mills visited will be corn mills of various types, including a small number of interesting windmills.

The tour will begin on Saturday, 2nd September 2017 at the Crewe Arms Hotel with dinner at 7.00 pm. (The Crewe Arms Hotel is just opposite the railway station in the town of Crewe in Cheshire). There is a direct train service from Manchester Airport to Crewe running every hour. For anyone travelling to other airports, such as London, then Crewe is easily reached as it is a major junction on the railway network. For members travelling by car Crewe is about 3 miles from Junction 17 on the M6 motorway.

The tour will be based in two other centres other than Crewe during the week, namely Chesterfield in North Derbyshire, and Bromsgrove just south of Birmingham. These towns are not well known to tourists but are representative of ordinary middle size towns of England.

Provisional Program

Day 1 Sunday 3rd September – Cheshire
The first mill will be a working cotton mill with a massive suspension type waterwheel designed by William Fairbairn. Then we will visit an estate sawmill with a selection of water powered wood working machinery and two corn mills, one of which has two waterwheels one above the other so the tailrace of the first wheel is the head race of the second wheel.

Day 2 – Staffordshire
This day will concentrate on flint and bone grinding mills that were used to supply materials to the pottery works of North Staffordshire that were producing bone china and other ceramics. We shall also visit a working corn mill owned and operated by the Howell family. The Howells were long standing members of TIMS and members may remember Bill Howell who was at the Symposium at Putten in 2007. Much older members might remember Charlie Howell who emigrated to the USA to become the miller at Tarry Town in New York State who was also an active TIMS member. The day will conclude at our hotel in Chesterfield.

Day 3 – South Yorkshire
This day starts with a visit to a cutlery grinding mill followed by a steel works with a forge and sharpening mill. After lunch we will visit a large forge that used to manufacture railway axles. Finally we shall visit another corn mill.

Day 4 – North Derbyshire
Starting with an excursion into Yorkshire to see a mill used to manufacture putty and whiting. Afterwards we will visit and estate corn mill complete with suspension type waterwheel and a preserved water powered roller mill. At the end of the day there will be a couple a photostops and a visit to a millstone quarry.

Day 5 – South Derbyshire & Birmingham
Beginning with a visit to a restored small tower windmill with six patent sails, followed by one of the first iron framed cotton mills with its water supply arrangements and modern hydro-electric station. After lunch we will visit a beautiful estate built pumping station and two more preserved corn mills in the Birmingham region. Finally we will arrive at our hotel near Bromsgrove.

Day 6 – Warwickshire
The first two mills visited will be tower windmills in the region east of Birmingham, followed by a restored water powered mill that used to manufacture needles. In the afternoon we will visit a commercially working corn mill and a uniquely designed windmill dating from the early 17th century.

Day 7 – Worcester & Shropshire
This day begins with a visit to a working midland style post windmill followed by a waterpowered forge once used in the scythe and blade making industry. After lunch we will visit an iconic water powered corn mill with a very large diameter waterwheel and then end by looking at the remains of a 17th century water powered iron furnace and a typical country based corn mill lovingly put back in working order by one of our TIMS members.

On the following day, Sunday 10th September, we will all transfer back to our starting place at Crewe and those members with planes to catch will be taken on to Manchester Airport if required.

The cost for one participant sharing a double or twin bedroom will be £806 GBP, and for one participant occupying a room by themselves the cost will be £966 GBP, (please note that the hotels used do not have single rooms and therefore the full rate of a double room is charged for single occupancy). This can be paid in two installments but the total should be paid before 1st April 2017. This fee will include all hotel accommodation including breakfast, lunch and evening dinner for 8 nights (all alcoholic beverages will be extra and the participants’ responsibility), coach hire with driver’s accommodation and food. Participants will be responsible for their own travel arrangement to and from Crewe and their personal travel insurance.

It is possible that participants may want to extend their stay in England as many of the usual tourist destinations are within easy reach of Crewe (i.e. North Wales, Lake District, Scotland, and almost anywhere else in England). If any participants want to reserve extra nights at the Crewe Arms Hotel either before or after the mid-term tour these can be arranged at the same time as the tour.

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