Dame Ellen opens windmill season

RECORD breaking round-the-world yachtswoman Dame Ellen MacArthur was on hand to do the honours when Heage Windmill opened for the new season.

She was the guest of honour and cut the ribbon to declare the award winning tourist attraction open, watched by the crowds and volunteers.

It comes after dedicated volunteer Alan Gifford had been named ‘Volunteer of the Year’ at the Visit Peak and Derbyshire annual Excel Tourism awards.

And the Friends of Heage Windmill group, which keeps the venue running, was a finalist in the ‘Team of the Year’ category.

It will now open every weekend and bank holiday until the end of October, between 11am and 4pm.

Yachtswoman Dame Ellen, who hails from nearby Whatstandwell, was thrilled to do the honours on Saturday, April 23.

Events are planned at the working windmill, which mills flour, throughout the year.

The windmill was built on 1797 and was restored in 2002.