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NORTH EAST MILLS GROUP.

 

A GAZETTEER OF NORTH EAST WIND AND WATERMILLS.

The North East Mills Group, NEMG.

The North East Mills Group is a small non-profit making society aimed at preserving what remains of our wind and water mill heritage in the North East of England.  Members come from a wide variety of backgrounds from professionals to complete beginners.

The Group works actively to protect our remaining mills and through a variety of publications seeks to record the history of wind and water power in the region.  Northumbrian Mills is a quarterly magazine published by the Group and includes news and smaller items of research.  Over the past few years other publications have covered horizontal water-wheeled mills in more detail and a booklet on windmills has been produced as a simple guide to the subject as well as a brief study of mills in South Tyneside and Sunderland.

The Group covers the Counties of Northumberland and Durham, including Tyne & Wear and Cleveland areas.

Greatham Mill near Hartlepool.  Drawing by John Buxton from a photograph circa 1905.

Greatham Mill near Hartlepool circa 1905

Wind and Watermills in the North East of England.

Before coal, wind and water power were the main source of the region's power.  Windmills along the coast ground corn while elsewhere water was put to good use providing power for corn milling, paper making, sword making, farm machinery, textile making, the lead industry and even pumping water out of the regions coal and lead mines.

Mills would once have been a common sight.  Today few of these mills remain but a handful have been carefully restored to illustrate this once vital part of day to day life.

Horncliffe Mill (North Northumberland) circa 1900.

Horncliffe Mill circa 1900

Tomorrow's History and A Gazetteer of North East Mills.

The Group was keen to produce a full listing of wind and watermill sites for the North East of England.  With the help of Tomorrow's History we have compiled and enlarged a database of known sites as a starting point, we have used data from a variety of sources including an ongoing public appeal for information.  This data base forms a gazetteer of mills in the North East of England which will be available from a newly created NEMG website (under development at the time of writing) which the Group hopes to take forward by publishing a printed version during 2002.

Members have been assisting in filling in gaps by studying lists and adding or correcting entries; sending in record sheets for known mills and helping fill in gaps in the information held.  The result of the project is the production of a listing of all known mills.

However hard the Group tries to compile an accurate and complete list there will be errors and omissions.  One of the main results from the project, we hope, will be a means by which readers of the list will pass to the NEMG details about errors or missing mills.  The project will continue as more data is added to the mills database and other research brings to light omissions or errors.

Some North East Mills Group Publications:

Northumberland Mills with Horizontal Waterwheels.  2001.  24 pages.  2.25 British Pounds including postage and packaging.

Windmills and How they Work.  2001.  16 pages.  1.25 British Pounds including postage and packaging.

Contact the North East Mills Group:

Graham Bell, NEMG Secretary, c/o North East Civic Trust, Blackfriars, Monk Street, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NE1 4XN, England.  Telephone:  0191 232 9279 (within the United Kingdom), +44 191 232 9279 (outside the United Kingdom)