A trustee will reopen Upminster Windmill to the public, just days after the death of his father who worked to restore it.

Justin Coombes, 47, who has volunteered with Friends of Upminster Windmill since the age of seven, said tomorrow’s opening (May 27) will be the perfect way to remember his father, Dennis, who was club chairman for 12 years.

Dennis, 77, died of cancer at Saint Francis Hospice on Wednesday (May 24) so Justin took on the role of project leader at the last minute.

“It will be a momentous day to me and the Friends when the windmill is back open to the public and a fitting way to remember my father,” he said.

Justin, who has been with the Friends for 40 years and started giving tours as a child, said he got his father involved when he retired at 65.

“It was actually me that got him into it, but he was the focal point of the project,” Justin said. “Now we’re delighted to welcome volunteers who will bring new energy.”

Romford Recorder: A group of volunteers of all ages in front of Upminster Windmill.A group of volunteers of all ages in front of Upminster Windmill. (Image: Friends of Upminster Windmill)

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The windmill, in St Mary's Lane, will re-open to the public eight years after the recent renewal began.

But, according to Havering Libraries, works have been in the pipeline for 85 years.

In 1938, Hornchurch Urban District Council appealed for funds to repair and maintain the mill.

In 1965, it was acquired by Havering Council and in 1967 the Hornchurch and District Historical Society opened it to the public as part of the Havering Arts Festival.

The windmill is one of the most photographed buildings in Havering, said Havering Libraries, all the more reason for Justin to get this stage of the project finalised.

Justin said visitors can come down tomorrow to see the mill, but all works will not be complete until September when the Mayor of Havering comes down for an official ceremony.