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Posted by Jeff Thomas, Saturday 13th October, 2018

Welcome back to Brixton Windmill’s sails

Brixton Windmill Sails

Image: Jeff Thomas

We are all extremely happy to see the sails mounted back onto the windmill and to see them shining in the sun on these warm autumnal days.

The stocks (beams) and sweeps (sails) have been refurbished, repainted and reattached by Owlsworth IJP millwrights. Brixton Windmill has two types of sails: The common sails are open wooden frames which are covered with a sail cloth, and after a restoration in 2010, what were once Patent sails have been replaced by Spring sails. Check out our glossary here to swot up on your windmill lingo.

The refurbishment and eventual remounting of the sails has taken months of painstaking labour. To remount the sails, a large crane was required to lift the stocks above the windmill and then lower them down through the poll end, which is the cast iron cannister that fixes the stocks to the wind shaft. Then the sweep on the alternate side can be fixed to the stock. The cap has now been returned to its resting position facing out of the wind with the sails positioned to form a St. Andrew's cross.

No autumn stroll around South London would be complete without a visit to the windmill in its refurbished glory!

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