This is what the mill looked like for most of the summer of 2016. But the scaffolding has gone and the restored sails went back up on Wednesday, 9th November.
A sail fell unexpectedly on August 2nd, 2015, ending up impaled in the roof of the millhouse. The remaining sails were removed for safety and were stored pending raising the funds needed for restoration.
Inspections of the mill by millwrights before the incident had given no cause for concern. However it was discovered that the stock holding the sails had rotted inside the canister, where inspection was difficult.
Thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund and some generous donations from local businesses and a contribution from the Commons Conservators, the restoration of the sails is complete, as well as sundry repairs to the tower, roof and balustrade.
The weekend of 17th and 18th September was London Open House, when buildings of interest across London are opened to the public. As part of this, the Windmill offered free entry and our Hon. Curator was in attendance to explain matters of architectural interest.
In total, over the two days, we enjoyed visits by 650 adults and children.
It was a joy to have been able to welcome so many visitors. On a normal weekend we get a tenth of this number. Why? Are visitors put off by an entry charge that is less than a cup of tea?
If you missed this event, come and visit us in 2017 when we are waiving the entry charge. But please think of leaving a small donation to help to maintain one of Wimbledon's most loved landmarks.