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Crane Day 17th April 2009

The restoration nears completion. 

Great interest was generated by the latest “crane day”.  After 2 years in the making, the completed cap finally emerged from the workshop and was raised to the top of the tower.  A large crowd turned out to watch.  Reporters from BBC and ITV local news and the local paper also attended.

By midday everything was ready for the big lift.  There was an air of anticipation as the crane lifted the cap a few feet to allow some final pieces to be assembled.  The cap was then lifted further and allowed to rotate into wind.  While this settled a team gathered at the top of the mill to guide the cap into place.  The cap remained motionless while this team were briefed by the crane operators.

Once the brief was complete, the banks man issued a brief instruction to the crane driver and the cap was on its way.  The tension built.  Would the cap fit?  Would a sudden gust of wind smash the cap against the tower?  Would the tower take the weight?

The cap was gently let down onto the top of the tower.  A few words between the crane operators and it settled onto the track, and that was it.  Fortunately no drama or excitement, just a simple job carried out with skill by an experienced team.  

Adding the cap has made a huge difference to the visual impact of the mill against its rural backdrop.  If it weren’t for the sugar factory at Cantley we could say that it dominates the landscape.  However, we are happy to settle for second place.  It looks splendid. 

Work continues on the mill and the sails will be added within the next few weeks.  When they start turning we may even be able to give Cantley a run for its money (it may be big, but doesn’t move much)!

A misty start to the day, but doesn’t it look splendid?

The workshop dismantled to reveal a brand new cap

Nearly there!

The cap lifted and turned into wind. 

Lowering the second stock into place

Hardley Windmill

The Wherryman’s Way Windmill