New sails for Lytham Windmill set to be put in place on Thursday

The sails are set to be restored to Lytham Windmill on Thursday – six months after weather damage ruined the appearance of the iconic Fylde landmark.

By Tony Durkin
Wednesday, 27th April 2022, 1:40 pm
Updated Wednesday, 27th April 2022, 4:08 pm

One of the sails snapped in two in blustery weather on October 1 last year, and it was later found to be rotten inside.

A second sail was damaged in further bad weather and soon afterwards, the windmill was down to a single sail, which was removed by contractors.

A team of skilled craftsmen in Wesham, led by veteran millwright Joe Gillett, have been busy working on turning a consignment of specially-sourced Douglas Fir wood into a new set of four sails and they are now ready to be put in place.

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Joe Gillett and team have been working on the new sails for Lytham Windmill for several months

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The construction of the new sails is the biggest job yet on the iconic windmill for Joe and his colleagues, who have worked on replacing sails on the Lytham icon on a number of occasions before but never a new full set.

The wood used hails from the Pacific coast of the USA and Joe says that around a ton of it is needed for each sail.

The primary arms for the sails measure around 30 ft.

Lytham Windmill has been without its sails for several months now

The sails are tapered and once built, the wood needs to be treated, then left to settle and acclimatise before they can be mounted.

Joe said: “It’s a job we are proud to do.

Lytham Windmill is a great landmark and has to face all weathers, so it makes sense to replace all four.”

The iconic windmill, now looked after by Fylde Council and a symbol of the borough, dates back to 1805.