Millers meet for rare opportunityat Heatherslaw
Heatherslaw Cornmill played host to The Traditional Cornmillers Guild last weekend, with traditional wind and watermillers from across the country travelling to north Northumberland.
To make the day a unique experience, Heatherslaw head miller Dave Harris-Jones, along with mill volunteer Tom Hammill, were able to demonstrate the operation of the unusual pearl barley mill at the site.
Dave explained: “This is equipment that is not normally operated when we are open to the public because, as well as being incredibly noisy with a stone rotating at over 150 turns per minute, it also creates a lot of dust.
“We decided to run the equipment with a full load for what we believe to be the first time since the 1950s as it is something that even many experienced millers have not had the chance to see before.”
The meeting was also a celebration of local foods with a lunch comprising cheese from award-winning Doddington Dairy, two huge loaves of bread made using flour ground at Heatherslaw Mill and baked by the Great Northumberland Bread Company, and lavender cakes from the Lavender Tearoom in Etal.
The Traditional Cornmillers Guild exists to help promote and encourage the milling of cereals using traditional methods, utilising either wind or water power.
The organisation provides a small but important and effective lobbying voice for the traditional craft of milling and holds its AGM at different venues around the country.
Heatherslaw Cornmill last hosted this important event, which provides a great opportunity to network and share ideas with fellow millers, about 20 years ago.
Heatherslaw Mill supplies flour to a range of shops and bakeries, including the Great Northumberland Bread Company and Fords of Norham.
The mill is also a registered museum, open daily for the 2017 season from March 25.
Visitors can tour the mill, buy freshly-milled flour and cereals and each Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday during the Easter holidays there will be the opportunity to make hot cross buns.