Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Topping out at the mill

Yesterday we were invited to the topping out ceremony at Knockando Woolmill. It marked the completion of the first phase of restoration works after a 10 year campaign by a very dedicated group of people headed by chairwoman Jana Hutt. The mill is one of the few surviving buildings of its kind in Scotland and was close to falling down completely. Hard work and sheer bloody mindedness managed to raise over £3 million and work started earlier this year. The Conservation training workshop is now finished and the machinery from the mill has been dismantled and decanted into the new building ready to be conserved and reassembled.
Inside the new conservation training workshop
The next stage is the careful conservation and stabilisation of the mill buildings, ready for the machinery to be re-installed and for the whole thing to be reopened in 2012. There will be a small visitor centre, a training scheme for a new generation of craftspeople to learn all of the skills involved with producing woollen cloth from fleece to finished product and a commercial weaving workshop to generate income. This includes of course all of the engineering expertise necessary to keep the machinery working. Quite a feat considering some of it is well over 100 years old!

Much of the machinery originated in the north west of England
It was a great landmark celebration, marred only for us by the fact that my car broke down and died on the way and had to be recovered home. It's now headed to Inverness for major surgery..oh and I'm suffering with a major bout of acute sinusitis so feeling pretty miserable aaaghhh poor me!

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