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Posted by Kim Winter, Monday 22nd October, 2012

Friends of Windmill Gardens runners up in English Heritage Awards

Friends of Windmill Gardens at the Palace Theatre

Image: Kim Winter

The Friends of Windmill Gardens were runners up for an English Heritage Award for the restoration of Brixton Windmill, also known as Ashby Mill.

The results of the English Heritage Angel Awards, an annual competition that celebrates the efforts of local people in saving England's heritage, were announced at a ceremony in London this morning.

A group of volunteers from the Friends attended the ceremony at the Palace Theatre, where they mingled with other guests and judges, including Andrew Lloyd Webber (who sponsored the awards), author and broadcaster Melvyn Bragg and historian Bettany Hughes.

Thanks to the people of Brixton
Jean Kerrigan, Chair of Friends of Windmill Gardens, said,

“The Friends of Windmill Gardens were delighted to reach the final for the English Heritage Angel Award for the best rescue of a historic industrial building.

"This award celebrates many years of hard work by a community group that now has over 200 members committed to preserving Brixton’s local heritage. I want to thank everyone involved, especially the Heritage Lottery Fund and Lambeth Council for their generous support, but particularly the people of Brixton, who campaigned tirelessly for Brixton Windmill to be beautifully restored and re-opened for free public tours and school visits.

"Children can now learn where flour comes from and even experience milling it, and people come from all over the country to see our popular local landmark."

Chris Patton, a Friend of Windmill Gardens who volunteers on open days, said,

“People often say that London is a lonely place, but Brixton Windmill has motivated a community around it. The Friends of Windmill Gardens are a friendly and growing community group. We believe that everyone has something to offer and we would welcome new volunteers coming along to help so that we can open our doors regularly next season.”

The winner of the Angel Award for the best rescue of a historic industrial building or site was Max Sinclair, who has campaigned tirelessly (and done much of the physical labour himself) to restore the Droitwich Canals. Congratulations to Max on his well-deserved award!