Windmill sets sail

volunteer of the year: Alan Gifford was honoured at the 11th annual opening of Heage Windmill.
volunteer of the year: Alan Gifford was honoured at the 11th annual opening of Heage Windmill.

VOLUNTEER Alan Gifford rolled up in style for this year’s opening of Heage Windmill last Saturday.

Alan, trustee and Visit Peak Excel Volunteer of the Year 2011, was driven to the windmill in an vintage Bentley and was welcomed by the Belper Town Crier and a retired Royal Marines bugler, as well as fellow trustees, friends and volunteers.

Alan unfurled the Derbyshire flag and cut a ribbon to open the mill doors for the windmill’s 11th season, before speaking about the triumphs and setbacks over the mill’s 30-year-long restoration.

He was presented with a specially-made book recording his 35-year-long involvement with mills.

Chairman Piers Bostock described Alan as a post-mill - “the post around which the whole mill revolves”.

Alan then led the planting of a Hornbeam tree from which it is hoped cogs, that fit into the mill’s stone nut, will be made.