Heckington windmill: Here’s why council wants to partly dismantle sails

A retrospective planning application has been submitted by the county council to remove parts of the sails of Heckington Windmill in preparation for repairs.

Shades have been removed from the sails at Heckington Mill to enable repair work. EMN-211006-173152001
Shades have been removed from the sails at Heckington Mill to enable repair work. EMN-211006-173152001

The ‘shades’ have been removed from the sails of the mill to protect the building while repair work goes on.

Without these shutters, the wind is less able to catch the sails and affect the mechanism.

The county council, as owner of the building, is responsible for major maintenance, but the site is leased and run as a heritage attraction by Heckington Windmill Trust.

The shades should be reinstalled within three years, says the council.

Chairman of the windmill trust, charles pinchbeck, said: “There is a lot of repair work needed and the council are going through a tendering process at the moment for a contractor. The shutters needed to come out when the work is done so they thought they would get them out early to survey them for any repair needs too.”

The sails were renovated in 2014 but the winding mechanism and fantail on the cap still have the original, 200-year-old gears, said Mr Pinchbeck.

Michelle Owens, senior facilities manager at Lincolnshire County Council said: “We’re in the process of organising extensive repair works on the sails, over 70 shades and the fan tail. These may have to be removed from the Mill in the short-term, to keep the property and surrounding buildings safe.”