Friday, July 13, 2012

Kingsforth Windmill, Barton on Humber

click photo to enlarge
The first house we bought was quite old and so to smarten it up we quickly set about painting the main downstairs rooms. However, despite taking great care in the choice and application of paint, we found that on one ceiling it dried, cracked and then flaked, peeling back from the surface. Someone more experienced told us that it must have been painted with distemper, a form of whiting or whitewash, a paint based on chalk or lime, widely used in the nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth century. There was nothing to do but remove all the new paint and old distemper, and get right back to the original plaster surface. It was an arduous task.

What has this to do with my photograph of the remaining tower of Kingsforth windmill in Barton on Humber, Lincolnshire? Well, during the first part of its life as a working mill, as well as grinding the usual corn it had an additional pair of vertical edge runner stones that produced Paris Whiting from local chalk. This was the best grade of whiting with uses in putty making as well as the production of whitewash and distemper. But, whether due to changing fashion, newer technology, or some other reason, the production of whiting ceased in 1859, though corn milling continued until 1950.

Kingsforth windmill is a tall, tower mill with an ogee cap,  a type common in Lincolnshire. It dates from around 1800, was erected on the site of an earlier windmill, and is unusual in having chalk rubble between the brick walls. The black finish is pitch, designed to improve the weather protection, something that is also widespread in the eastern counties. A granary building is attached to the tower which today houses a pub, "The Old Mill". The mill itself originally had six sails. However, when one blew off in 1868 the power for milling was changed to the town's gas supply. Consequently, the view that we see today is the one seen for most of the windmill's life. I quickly took a photograph as we passed by. But, as we continued on our way a Royal Mail worker delivering letters on a bicycle came by, adding a little local colour and making for a more interesting and better balanced composition.

photograph and text © Tony Boughen

Camera: Canon
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 32mm
F No: f7.1
Shutter Speed: 1/320 sec
ISO: 100
Exposure Compensation:  -0.67 EV
Image Stabilisation: On