Last Saturday Nwag was invited to have a 'table' at the Tardebigge Canal Open Day beside the Birmingham to Worcester Canal, with whom the team had already established links earlier this year when they were approached to help excavate the lime kilns. Unfortunately this work is being held up at present due to asbestos having been found on the site.
Nwag members Ian and Jan attended and were made very welcome by welcome by Bill and fellow members of the Canal Canal Trust volunteers. There was also a display of finds, including some ironwork consisting of heavy thick chain, large nails, bolts, and hooks. There was also quite a lot of broken glass bottles and an amusing old rusty ‘corned beef’ tin.
Tardebigge is very picturesque, with the longest canal tunnel in the UK, an old Lock Keeper's Cottage and possessing the most locks in England. The history of the canal was told, explaining how its barges once carrying coal to Birmingham and its role in taking supplies to Cadbury's in Bournville. Any trip on the canal would be truly lovely and there might be one on the trust’s very own barge 'Cecelia' in October.
Because it was a very wet day it may have affected the low number of visitors, but everyone was offered shelter on the'Cecelia' with lovely home-made cakes and tea and coffee made available.
Tardebigge Lime Kilns Open Day (Photo by J.Price)
The Tardebigge Lime Kilns (photo by J.Price.)
On Wednesday the team returned to Winnall Mill to work on several areas of the site in the hope of unravelling a few more mysteries.
Sam and Julie investigating more of the leat
Six of the nine members working in the October dappled sunlight
Ian was delighted to find two small stoneware pots.
WINNALL MILL OPEN DAY 2019
A merry band of NWAG members and friends assembled to put up tents and arrange the cakes for the Open Day at Winnall Mill. It was a cool, overcast July day, but apart from a few spots, the rain held off.
53 members of the public with a few well-behaved dogs were greeted at the tents to sign in and receive directions down to the mill via the watercress beds, the small leafed lime and the
dams. Some people had travelled quite a distance to come to the mill, others were very local, from across the river or from just around the corner.
Terry and Francesca were talked off their feet, explaining about the history of the mill, how the wheel pit and the machine room worked and showing the layout of the living accommodation. We also showed the visitors the stable, the cart shed, the privy and the enigmatic cool store, some visitor even ventured along the leat.
The visitors asked us lots of questions, raised points that we couldn’t always answer, and pointed out oddities in the rocks or the bricks.
All in all, it was a very successful day and our visitors were generous in their praise and their money. Jane’s cakes very popular; thank you Jane for all your hard work in baking those great cakes.
View of remains of house and mill from walkway above
Visitors on Walkway, returning from a walk to the Leat.
By the stable, Clare talks to interested visitor.
Francesca explains the layout of Winnall Mill to a group of visitors.
VISITORS COMMENTS 2019
Very interesting, pleasant walk through country to remnants of old mill - with good information talk on it. Good weather as well and more than ready for tea and cake(s)
Richard Hammon, Royal Leamington Spa.
Wonderful, I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. Plenty of help and information.
M Smith, Bewdley.
A very interesting 2nd visit. Many thanks
M E Jeynes.
Great to see all the work that has been done. Great people. Very informative. Special thanks to Jane.
Sue & Steve Southwick (SWAG).
What a great afternoon. Informative with lovely people. Thank you
Very interesting. These examples of ancient rural industries would be lost forever if it wasn’t for people like yourselves. Keep up the good work.
Jonathan and Catherine Clark.
Many thanks to Francesca for the additional text.
Welcome to John who joined us on site and helped put the finishing touches to our new tool and finds shed.
(Not quite what John expected when he joined NWAG.) Many thanks to all the other enthusiastic members who also turned up to help in cold and wet conditions, and not a trowel in site! Well done!
Sam and Tina getting one of the sites ready for a drone flyover.
We also set out to prepare two sites for a drone visit. So many thanks to Andy (a friend of Keith's) who skilfully flew his drone over both sites for recording purposes. The pictures are amazing ans we can't wait to show the rest of the members the results.
Gareth checks out the site.