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A visit from some fine fellows!

May 9, 2012
Large stone slabs removed from the roof of Nether Alderley Mill to allow repairs.  © National Trust

On Thursday 12th and Friday 13th April, we hosted three Fellows from the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) at Nether Alderley Mill.   

The SPAB fellows are a group of young craftsmen and women working in heritage professions, and the SPAB fellowship gives them the opportunity to visit a wide range of heritage and conservation projects as part of a funded six-month training programme.

We were lucky enough to have them drop by Nether Alderley Mill last week to spend some time with our millwrights and the conservation team.   Eleanor, our General Manager, and Lucy, our regional curator, popped by to see what they were doing and find out what they think about our little mill.  Here’s what they said…

“There’s so much to take in here, especially as none of us have worked in a historic mill before and the work seems to be very challenging.  There is so much value in getting buildings such as Nether Alderley Mill up and running as functioning buildings rather than just as static monuments.  It will really bring the building to life for visitors to see flour going through the stones again.

“To be honest, we’d never though that the National Trust looked after these sorts of buildings – we always thought they were about country estates and grand houses – but it’s brilliant and refreshing to see them working with our industrial heritage as well!”

The fellows also had some interesting thoughts on the educative value of places like Nether Alderley Mill:

“If kids visiting could see the mill working, it would really interest them in the mechanical side of things.  When they’re enjoying their studies, by visiting buildings rather than learning from textbooks or in a classroom – they get a much better and more inspiring idea of how things work in practice which they’ve learnt by experience.  All of us started off as apprentices, learning on the job, and it’s a really valuable experience!”

The SPAB Fellows (Emily, Callum and Samantha) looking dapper in their hi-vis jackets and hard hats at Nether Alderley Mill. © National Trust

You can find more information about the SPAB Fellows on the SPAB website here or on their blog here.

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