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Havant Mills - 3

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Joined: 03 Aug 2006
Posts: 1034
Location: Horsham, W. Sussex, UK

PostPosted: Tue Dec 26, 2006 11:27 am    Post subject: Havant Mills - 3 Reply with quote

Another in my series of pieces about favourite places around my home town, Havant. My family all visited there for Christmas and we stayed at my parents' house, so I took the opportunity to go for a walk around with my dad and daughter and get some more pictures.

This is all that is left of the Old Havant Mill (Pullen's Mill). The wheel is, of course, a complete spoof and the restored brickwork incorrect. As a small boy I used to play around here. The bricked up overflow tunnel was open then. It is only about 12 - 15 ft long and was quite safe, but you know what health and safety is like these days...

Anyway, the mill ceased milling in 1934 and was demolished in 1958.

Here is a picture of what it was like:

The water came from the Lavant springs and also from local Havant springs at the Homewell, which gives me an opportunity to show you the very reason for the town's existence: the springs at the Homewell around which it is said the town was built.

The Homewell was a source of water for the community and also for travellers. The settlement was certainly Roman, possibly earlier and the water was used in manufacturing leather and parchment. Parchment from Havant was said to be used for the Magna Carta and for the Treaty of Versailles. Parchment manufacture ceased in 1936, but leathermaking continued for some time after and indeed when I was a small boy my mother and great uncle both worked in the local leather factory, where they cured skins and cut gloves.

The springs are marvellously clean and we watched the water bubbling up through the sand and shingle for some time. The water weed you can see is water crowsfoot. There are many other springs dotted around the Havant area.

Though we lean upon the same balustrade, the colours of the mountain are different.
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Ken Ramos

Joined: 27 Jul 2006
Posts: 7076
Location: lat=35.4005&lon=-81.9841

PostPosted: Tue Dec 26, 2006 11:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A very interesting story about the mill and the photographs are really intesting also. They never do, it seems, restore things back to their original state but it is as you said health and safety is a big concern these days. I would bet there are some interesting creatures in and around that crowsfoot growing in the spring. A really great post Graham Very Happy , I would like to visit England again but I guess I never will now that I am out of the service Sad . That is one thing I truely miss about being in the service, is the opportunity for travel. I have visited many places during the twenty one years I was in and there are many places that I would like to return to for another visit, there are also some that I never got to see too but would love to, one of them being Austria. Very Happy
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Site Admin

Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 19408
Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Tue Dec 26, 2006 1:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This looks like a pleasant place -- thanks for the pictures!

The story of the wheel & reconstruction reminds me of an old mill that I visited a few summers ago, in a small town in southwestern Canada.

At the time of the reconstruction, most of the old machinery had still been in place. But the building was in sad shape, the wheel was lying in pieces, and the elevated wooden flume that had provided water from the creek up the hill was simply gone -- washed away in a flood years before. But the local historical society wanted to make the mill functional again, at least good enough to operate briefly for tourists.

And so, using what must have been some combination of fuzzy pictures and even fuzzier memories, a replacement wheel and flume were duly designed and built. The water was let through, the wheel turned, the clutch engaged, the mill spun, the grain poured in...but no flour came out! Sad Confused

After much scratching of heads and pulling of beards, the problem gradually became clear. The original flume had fed over the wheel, while the replacement fed under. Or perhaps it was the reverse -- I don't remember. In either case, the problem was simple. All the machinery was simply running backwards! Laughing

Everything worked fine after they rebuilt the end of the flume. It was a nice place to visit. Very Happy

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