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Woodbridge Tide Mill Museum will open to visitors for the 2022 season on Friday 1 April. The Mill Volunteers and staff have been busy over the winter doing vital maintenance work, continuing to mill stoneground wholemeal flour for customers, developing better access to the Museum for visitors and ways to reach new customers.

Tide Mill Simon Ballard 25 6 20 8709

Keeping the Mill in Good Shape

Maintenance has been uppermost during lockdown. Despite the need to keep its engineers protected in separate ‘bubbles’ - the specialist wood and iron machinery, some hundreds of years old, has been kept moving and in tip top condition. The Mill was painted during lockdown and will receive another new coat very soon. A huge project is currently under way to work with partners to clear some of the silt away from the Mill. If left unchecked this promises to threaten the Mill’s fundamental purpose; to mill flour using the tide. Finally, the perennial summer problem of Sea Lettuce in the Tide Pond that gums up the works will be successfully solved by Head Miller Dan Tarrant-Willis who developed a cunning suspended net to keep the Mill race clear.

Keeping the stones grinding

Separate teams of millers and baggers, who worked in isolation during lockdown, will continue to supply the Mill’s wholesale and retail customers with flour. Plans are afoot to secure supplies of wheat in the face of global price instability.

Improving the Visitor experience

The Mill has, through the generous provision of a grant from Suffolk County Council’s Covid Continuity Fund for Culture as well as money from the Mill’s own funds, been undertaking a project to show the Mill machinery at work on screens during the prolonged periods between tides when the Mill cannot run. With this valuable investment the many visitors that come to the Mill when it is idle will be able to see the impressive shafts, millstones and cogs in action. In the summer we will also produce a new museum trail for children to make the Museum more SEND friendly by introducing sensory backpacks and sensory maps.

Chairman of the Woodbridge tide Mill Charitable Trust, John Carrington says “It has long been a frustration that most of the public visit when the Mill is not in action. There’s still a lot to see and experience but now we hope to be able to show the drama and process of the Mill in action through professionally produced film – adjacent to the kit itself. We are especially grateful to Suffolk Council for their help achieving this”.

Woodbridge Tide Mill Head Miller Dan Tarrent Willis Credit Simon Ballard

Curator wanted

The Mill is currently without a Curator and is very keen to hear from anyone interested in working on the exciting Mill collection and helping to organise the periodic exhibits.

Strengthening the Mill’s green credentials

As a holder of a Gold Suffolk Carbon Charter the Mill also plans to develop a generator to harness more of the ‘green energy’ put out by the Mill to demonstrate to visiting schools and other budding engineers an alternative and free power source. A weather station is also planned to intrigue and educate schools, groups and other visitors.

Head to our activities and events page to find other events planned at Woodbridge Tide Mill.