You may have seen this imposing building during your travels in the Great Haseley area of Oxfordshire. Sadly, it has fallen into neglect and the years have taken their toll. A major restoration project is now underway, aiming to return this historic building to its former glory. Follow the progress of the restoration in our blog....

The Restoration Team

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

The dalek gets an eye and some canvas

Gently does it
So, the time has come to put the windshaft back into the cap, ready for the upcoming hoisting. With a bit of toing and froing (and some hydraulic assistance) it was soon back in its rightful place. That's one less thing obstructing the footpath (sorry walkers!)

We have also been making the most of the settled weather, covering the cap with canvas. The triangular pieces, or 'gores', are glued and nailed into place. At least there's no pattern to match up at the edges! The canvas will then be sealed and painted black. The white/cream colour does look good, but the original cap was black, and white hurts our eyes too much when working in bright light!

Some canvas gores applied

The devil is in the detail, more specifically, weatherproofing detail. There is a bit of fiddly leadwork to be done, mainly around the front of the cap (vulnerable because, in theory, it will always be facing into the weather). We have also tried to improve a little on the storm hatch design, with a belt and braces approach to keeping out the rain. We have seen the damage water ingress here can do to a mill.

Leadwork on the weather beam, and a fine-looking storm hatch

If the good weather continues, we should be looking at craning the cap on some time early July. Watch this space......

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Cap looking good

Finally, the cap boarding has been finished.

Planing the joints between boards

Just over half was covered with boards reclaimed from the old cap, with the remainder being fitted with new timber. The ogee shape can now be properly seen, and many of the passers-by seem to appreciate it!

The final cap shape
The 'skirt' boards have also been fitted around the base of the cap - easier now than when the cap is lifted onto the tower. Their style has been based on what we believe the originals looked like.

It looks like the final covering of the cap will be along more traditional lines; painted canvas, rather than the aluminium sheet which was used for previous repairs in the 70s. Not quite as maintenance free as lead, but just a little bit cheaper!