Articles in IM92 - June 2016

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Summary of articles in International Molinology No 92 which was published in June 2016

The Historic Windmills of the Bodrum Peninsular in Western Anatolia, Turkey by Gizem Gürsoy Yetim

This paper focuses on the milling tradition in Anatolia and its history. It describes the three remaining types of windmill (tower, post and horizontal), their distribution and structural features. The author has compiled an inventory, recorded many details and taken measurements of all the mill bodies found on the Bodrum Peninsula. She notes the previous lack of research in this area, but also that in the last two years some abandoned windmills have been restored. This paper was originally presented at the recent Symposium in Sibiu.

Rex Wailes in Anglesey by John Crompton

In 1929 the notable molinologist, Rex Wailes, made a three-day tour of the Isle of Anglesey in North Wales. He travelled some 180 miles, visiting the remains of 35 windmills. This article uses his original diary notes and photographs to describe his trip. Three of the mills were still then working and from his observations he was able to construct a general description of a typical Anglesey windmill. The author notes that “Rex Wailes lived long enough to hear that Llynon [mill] had been restored to working order by Anglesey County Council, and should have been justifiably proud of his own role in keeping alive Anglesey’s windmill heritage”.       

Ave’s watermills: Territory, Architecture and Construction Systems by R. Bruno Matos & Francisco Barata

The Ave River, situated in Northern Portugal, is notable for originally having some 82 watermills placed along a 44km stretch. Dating back to the 13th centrury, these occur in pairs either side of the river and are connected by common wiers. The authors have explored the geo-spatial placement of the watermills in relation to medieval settlement and communication routes in tandem with the unique topography of the river system. The paper looks at the architecture and construction systems of the mills and notes their unusual shapes, similar to the cutwaters of bridges, and designed to avoid damage by floods.

Mill Bills - Extending Their Working Life by Colin Moore

Following his article in IM 83 this paper presents new findings on the re-use of mill-bills from Colin Moore - a result of the synthesis of his twin areas of research – molinology and metallurgy. The author notes that the regular use of bills on very hard burr stones meant that “in a few months they were reduced to an unusable length and hence were a very expensive item. The high intrinsic value of the steel in the unusable short bill encouraged some ingenious blacksmith, probably centuries ago, to work out how two or even three, worn ones could be forged together to make one bill that could be reused”. Photographs of sections show how the bills were hot-pierced, riveted then forge heated to make the repairs.

The Windmills of Nishtafun in 1977 by Michael Harverson

This article is a travelogue from 1977 when our esteemed colleague, Michael Harverson, first visited the unique windmills of Iran; some of his photographs from the visit are published here in colour for the first time. The author recounts the difficulties in finding mills that were still working, and describes those that were, in Nishtafun. This is followed by a discussion between Michael and  Moslem Mistmashnehi, who many of you will know from Sibiu. Moslem is working at the forefront of research into these buildings and their meeting in February of this year brought together 40 years of exploration, investigation and thought.

The System of Watermills along the Zaya (Lower Austria) as an Element of Medieval Settlement by Mirela I. Weber-Andreșcov

This paper is based on research following an inventory revealing the existence of 46 watermills placed regularly within 29 villages along the course of the Zaya in north-east Austria. Although documentary records only exist from the 13th century, the author investigated this spatial distribution (using old cadastral and military maps) and its relationship to the planned system of mottes, built by German colonisers from the 11th century. This supports her hypothesis that the mills date back to this period.

The Welsh Mills Society: Looking back over the last (or first) 30 years – a personal view by Gerallt Nash

The author, who grew up in a milling family from St Davids (South Wales) describes his involvement, from 1981, that led to the formation of a Welsh Mills Group in 1984.  The group produced its first journal, Melin, in 1985, and in 1989 changed its name to the Welsh Mills Society. Photographs show the members on visits to mills and TIMS delegates who the Society hosted at the 1993 Symposium. The Society has been instrumental in saving many mills from almost certain dereliction; some have been successfully restored and returned to working order. To quote the author, “now, 30 years on, we can look back with pride at what we have achieved”.

Short papers and communications include an update of work in the US on Stover-Myers Mill and Colonial Williamsburg Windmill, the history and restoration of a Eureka Bonnet mill, update on work in the UK on Upminster Windmill and a piece from Simon Hudson on the transfer of ownership of mills away from UK local authorties. Also an update on the dates for the mid-term UK tour in 2017, and an obituary for Vincent Pargeter.

Book reviews include that of Jean Pierre Azema’s latest book, Meuniers et meunières. Il y a 100 ans,  featuring old postcards of French millers and lady millers, and The Windmills and Watermills of Wirral: A Historical Review, by Rowan Patel.