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Visitors to historic windmill to be transported back to 19th century life

Dereham Windmill is currently having a fresh lick of paint. Picture: Ian Burt

Dereham Windmill is currently having a fresh lick of paint. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant 2018

Visitors to a mid-Norfolk windmill will be transported back in time with the unveiling of a new attraction at its upcoming reopening event.

New audio visual installation at Dereham Windmill Picture: ALISON WEBB New audio visual installation at Dereham Windmill Picture: ALISON WEBB

When the Trustees of Dereham Windmill came together to discuss investing in new technology, the result was a new audio visual installation to bring the mill’s history to life.

Now the story of how the millers lived and worked in Dereham Windmill in the 19th century will be on display for all to see.

Alison Webb, head of fundraising, said: “Mr Fendick, our miller, is now in residence in the windmill and is looking forward to talking to all the visitors who come in to see him.

“This new attraction will bring Dereham Windmill to life and offer visitors a unique, unforgettable experience.”

Chairman, Brian Webb, said they wanted the installation to appeal to both adults and children alike.

The windmill was sold at auction in 1844 for £650 to William Fendick and now he has been brought to life by volunteer, Clive Goldsmith, and appears and disappears on the first floor of the windmill.

Thanking everyone who helped to bring the project to fruition, Mrs Webb added: “He is one of our much appreciated volunteers who deserves an Oscar for his performance.”

The total cost of the project was £2,500 and the funds were raised by events at the windmill. The project also received a boost via a donation for £500 from Dereham Town Council.

In September 2013, the £75,000 project to revive the town’s historic windmill was successful. It has since gone on to raise more than £450,000 over the past five years, maintaining a well-used exhibition space for schools and community groups, as well as opening a cafe.

Dereham Windmill reopens on Sunday June 3 at 1pm, following its quinquennial repaint . During the family-friendly event, there will games, a children’s fancy dress parade at 2pm, and a classic car display.

The coffee shop remains open and is available to visit on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 10am to 4pm.

- To help donate or volunteer, visit the website www.derehamwindmill.co.uk. If you are interested in any aspect of Dereham Windmill, email info@derehamwindmill.co.uk.

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