Fears as historic Havering building faces closure

WINDMILL campaigners are seeking help from residents to secure crucial Lottery funding to stop the closure of the landmark building.

The Upminster Preservation Trust wants to replace the crumbling sails of the 19th-century Grade II listed building, in St Mary’s Lane, Upminster, as apart of a �500k restoration.

“This is now a race against time as the fabric of the mill is deteriorating and if this is not reversed public opening will no longer be feasible,” said Dennis Coombs, chairman of the trust. “As well as a full restoration, we aim to create an archive facility to house a number of historic photographs and artifacts.”

The charity hopes to make an appeal to the Heritage Lottery Fund later this year, but the application needs to show community support.

“To enhance the archive, we are aiming to collect memories, experiences and photos from local residents. We would like to preserve these for future generations,” Dennis said.

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“This help from local residence will greatly improve our chances for funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund.”

Locals are being encouraged to make oral histories - memories, stories and anecdotes about the mill and area – using recordings or written notes.

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The trust is teaming up with students from Havering Sixth Form College, in Wingletye Lane, who are helping by distributing leaflets on the cause and collecting material.

Children may also visit those with stories and documents.

Assistance is also needed with mill maintenance and opening the building to the public, including guiding and selling souvenirs, Dennis added.

Anyone who thinks they can help should contact Dennis on: 01708 221298

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