National Mills Weekend 11-12 May 2019

31/01/2019
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SPAB
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National Mills Weekend May 2019: ‘Our Mill – Its History in Pictures’ 
 
What? A nationwide celebration of Britain’s mills in pictorial form
When? Saturday and Sunday 11-12 May 2019
Where? Across the UK, at a windmill or watermill near you
See the National Mills Weekend site for local details
 
 
With their quirky shape, elegant sails or distinctive waterwheels, it’s not surprising that windmills and watermills appear so frequently in paintings and photographs, posters and postcards. These instantly recognisable buildings feature in some of Britain’s favourite works of art too: in a recent poll, John Constable’s The Hay Wain, featuring Flatford Mill in Suffolk, was voted the nation’s second best-loved painting.
 
This year National Mills Weekend, an annual celebration of our milling heritage organised by the Mills Section of SPAB (the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings), will focus on the way that mills have been recorded in pictorial form. During the weekend (11th – 12th May 2019) hundreds of mills across the country – including some not normally open to the public – will be throwing open their doors and taking part. 
 
In 2019, SPAB’s Mills Section is encouraging everyone connected to a participating mill - whether as owner, volunteer, neighbour or visitor – to share and display images of the building through the years. These can be recent photographs or artworks (including embroideries, collages, films or videos), older paintings or drawings and even old maps, postcards, posters and puzzles!
 
Throughout the weekend, many windmills and watermills will be mounting exhibitions and offering themed activities for visitors of all ages.
 
Mildred Cookson, Chairman of the SPAB Mills Section, says: “Mills have always been a focal point for communities and, over the years, they have been recorded in many ways. This year we will be celebrating that visual legacy in all its forms. National Mills Weekend is always a wonderful family event - an opportunity for everyone to explore their local windmill or watermill, to learn about our rich milling heritage and its place in our landscape.”
 
 
ENDS
 
Further information and images. Details of all mills open are available online.
 
Images available: Oldland Windmill, Keymer, West Sussex © Philip Hicks
 
Contact for images, further details or interviews, including region-specific information:
 
Sophie Martin, SPAB Mills Section
020 7456 0909 (direct, Tuesdays to Thursdays) or 020 7377 1644 / millsinfo@spab.org.uk  
Ali McClary, SPAB Communications Manager
020 7456 0908
 
 
Notes to editors
 
1. National Mills Weekend runs every year during the second weekend of May. It has been organised by the SPAB Mills Section since 1984 and is part of a Europe-wide festival of milling heritage during the month of May. 
 
2. The SPAB Mills Section launched the event in 1984. The SPAB (the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings) is Britain’s oldest heritage charity.
 
3. The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) was founded by William Morris in 1877 to care for and preserve the UK’s architectural heritage. The Mills Section of the SPAB was founded in 1931 to protect and promote windmills and watermills. 
4. In 2015, the Society for All Artists (SAA), the UK's largest community of amateur and professional artists, asked members to vote for their favourite painting, painter, subject matter and genre. ‘The Hay Wain’ by John Constable was the nation's second favourite painting. 
 

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