The National Trust and a local group, Bembridge Men in Sheds, are trying to raise £50,000 to buy replacement sails at Bembridge Windmill. The money was required after the lattice work forming part of the sails, known as sweeps, had to be removed last winter after time and weather took their toll.
To help restore the iconic Island building that was once painted by Turner, the Trust has partnered with the local Bembridge branch of Men in Sheds, to turn the wood from the sweeps of the Isle of Wight’s last surviving windmill into special objects that will form a unique part of Island history.
David Chubb, of Bembridge Men in Sheds, said: “we are keen to be involved in community projects and help more senior members of the community learn new skills or use existing ones. When we heard Bembridge Windmill had a significant supply of used wood from the sweeps and needed to raise money, we saw an opportunity to help each other. The Trust has supplied us with the old wood, and we are turning this into a series of objects.”
Using the removed wood, the skilled craftsmen have transformed the sweeps into a variety of items including tea light holders, bird feeders, candle holders and coat hooks, all of which will be on display on the National Trust stand at Bembridge Street Fair on Monday, May 27.
Visitor Operations Manager for the Isle of Wight National Trust, Kathryn Wilson, said: “Those who buy an item will not only be supporting a good cause, but they will also have a unique piece of Bembridge history to keep.”
Requests can be taken at the Street Fair for similar items to be made to order, with all proceeds from the sale of these unique pieces divided between the two charities.
For those who can’t make it along to the Street Fair but would still like to support the windmill fundraising, it is possible to donate online at www.nationaltrust.org.uk/appeal/bembridge-windmill-sails-appeal