Yesterday we had a small gathering at the mill to mark the 10th anniversary of the date when we first milled flour at Acorn Bank, following its 70 years of silent deterioration.
Guests included the former manager of the Acorn Bank property and members of the present visitor reception and gardening staff, volunteers past and present and their partners, and local shopkeepers who stock our flour. That's me in the whites just left of centre.
We had messages of support from several important and knowledgable people who couldn't be with us:
Jamie Lund, the National Trust archaeologist who has been a great friend to us sent his best wishes and commented:
I can hardly believe that it is a decade since you first ground flour at the mill. This is amazing to me in two ways, firstly that ten years have passed, and secondly, that a building that was simply a collapsed ruin back in the 1980s would have a chance at such a worthwhile second life.
Martin Watts, national mill expert, said:
Hopefully your Trust will ensure the survival of Acorn Bank Mill both as a working mill and a visitor attraction. Your invitation is much appreciated and were it not for the distance I would have been pleased to attend.
and Nick Jones sent his best wishes for the next ten years. Nick was for almost 40 years the owner and miller at Little Salkeld Watermill just a few miles from here, former chairman of the Traditional Corn Millers Guild and the really helpful neighbour who helped us set up flour milling and gave us the basic training in milling.