Acorn Bank Garden and Watermill is located at Temple Sowerby, around six miles east of the town of Penrith.
The garden and watermill are owned by the National Trust. The watermill is now leased from the National Trust and is operated by the former volunteers, who have formed Acorn Bank Watermill Trust, registered charity no 1193320
We know that breadmaking machines are not very good at making bread from the relatively low gluten flours that are made from British wheat. For anyone who is uncertain about the properties of various flours and how they behave in a breadmaker, Philip Day from Leeds has carried out an experiment under controlled conditions. He writes "to demonstrate the differences, I've baked three loaves using the Panasonic standard 'Wholemeal loaf' using 350 grams of flour in each case. Flours used are
Acorn Bank stoneground wholemeal
Waitrose Very Strong Canadian Stoneground Wholemeal [Spring Red Wheat].
Carrs Strong White and Strong Brown [not wholemeal], roller-milled mixed 50/50."
If you want to bake using our flour, the recipe published by Little Salkeld Watermill certainly worked well when I went on one of their breadmaking courses. Alternatively, I find a 50:50 mix with Allinson's Very Strong white or wholemeal works well in the breadmaker.
Meanwhile, back at the mill, Richard and I finished installing the dummy shaft and pulley in the former sawbench area. These pictures show the inside and outside ends and their replica bearings.
The property closed on Sunday - but will still be open until 28 December at weekends! That leaves us having to decide when to open and mill. Much of yesterday was taken up with a meeting to plan the work programme for the winter. It seems that there is a lack of building surveyors in the Trust, which is holding up a number of projects, including our kiln.
Work has continued on making the dummy shaft to fit the bearing box in the lower wall. Ray has made two imitation wooden bearings, shown here carrying a surplus length of shafting, and these have been drilled to suit the holes in the original box.
This week Richard, Donald and I managed to hoist the shaft into position, where it sits on the beam and the bearing box. Now we just need to fit the dummy bearings and make a gear wheel for the outside.
We received our second delivery of grain at the end of October. Ray, Donald and I loaded it into the mill, half in the old grain bin and half in the new one in the information room - seen here both part full and locked up, as it will normally be. The delivery was short of a tonne, but no problem as we won't need it all this season.
Meanwhile work continues on the mill yard. This week all the garden and estate staff and volunteers turned out to clear it and put down gravel for an apple-pressing event this coming Saturday (with help from George and Peter). They also managed to break one of our stone lintels while trying to move it into the kiln room.