No trouble at t’mill to offer a taste of history

Volunteer Geoff Pope surveys the workings inside Little Marton Windmill
Volunteer Geoff Pope surveys the workings inside Little Marton Windmill

A first Easter opening for a Blackpool landmark proved a big hit as hundreds of visitors flocked to take a look inside Little Marton Windmill.

Tours of the historic Grade II-listed mill at the Preston New Road gateway to town included the opportunity to climb to its top , taking in the machinery and extensive displays en route.

Shirley Matthews at Little Marton Windmill

Shirley Matthews at Little Marton Windmill

Such was demand through he day that some later arrivals had to be turned away.

But the mill will be open again on April 29 and on the final Sunday of every month up to September as well as for National Mills Weekend on May 13 and Heritage Weekend on September 16.

Shirley Matthews, of the Friends of Little Marton Windmill, who look after the windmill on behalf of Blackpool Council, said: “Interest in the windmill and its history if growing all the time and the turnout on Sunday was another great illustration of that.

“This little part of a rustic industry now long gone is a vital piece of local history and is recreated within the mill by our bunch of volunteers.

“As well as the regular scheduled openings in which interest is growing all the time, we are always delighted to open specially for tours by schools and other groups.”

Shirley has a particular interest in the history of the mill as in 1937 it was donated by its then owner to a memorial fund in memory of local teacher, writer and windmill enthusiast Allen Clarke, who was her grandfather.

A copy of one of many books Mr Clarke wrote about windmills is still located in the Little Marton mill.

Shirley said: “I am very proud of the family history attached to the mill and the fact that it continues to prove such a popular attraction.

“It really is something special and it is wonderful seeing so many visitors wanting to see inside and find out more.

“It is especially pleasing to see so many children taking an interest in what is a key part of the Fylde coast’s history.”

The Friends of the Mill hold their annual meeting at Tarnside Community Centre, Mereside tomorrow evening at 7pm.

During the evening, Shirley will be giving a talk on Blackpool’s first lifeboat the Samuel Fletcher.

Everyone is welcome.