Saturday, December 31, 2022 - 00:00

Since my last Chairman’s Report of 2021 much has been achieved in the restoration of our beloved Mill. We were finally given permission by the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure to proceed with the restoration. A budget was drawn up by the restoration team and the Rupert family agreed to fund most of the project. Fagan Architects contracted Bruce Dundas Master Builders to repair the masonry tower after Henry Fagan, a structural engineer, had inspected and drawn up a report to say that the building could be restored and gave recommendations on how to proceed.

Andy Selfe had found two craftsmen carpenters to undertake the making of some of the component parts of the machinery. Jon Stevens was tasked with making the cap frame and Mike Sutten was asked to make the curb ring and brakewheel. Andy Selfe made the vertical shaft from the salvaged tailpole.

On 9 June 2022 a mobile crane arrived after the component parts had arrived and been assembled on site shortly beforehand. There were six lifts in total: the curb ring, the cap frame, the brakewheel, the vertical shaft, the tailpole and the upper brakeblock. All went well. Bruce Dundas by this time had restored the masonry as far as possible at this stage and given the outside a coat of whitewash (kindly donated by Midas Paints).

Thereafter the cap was thatched as a donation by JNA Thatchers. This time a sprinkler system was installed and a fireproof blanket placed in the thatch.

We had contacted Kimon Mamacos of Sentinel Timbers in Hout Bay who was commissioned to make the windshaft from a log of Sugar Gum (Eucalyptus cladocalyx). Jon Stevens had made new doors and shutters. He has also been tasked with making the wooden lattice work for the sails (the sail stocks from the 1995 restoration, made of Corten steel, were not damaged in the fire and will be reused). The mobile crane will soon lift the windshaft into place and fit the sails.

The money raised overseas from the crowd funding initiative by Sven Verbeek has been used to purchase a good secondhand pair of French burr millstones (ours were badly damaged in the fire) and new sail cloths, with enough remaining to pay for shipping costs.

What remains to be done are the beams, floors and stairs inside the Mill and the manufacture of the ‘furniture’ for the millstones. Teak beams were donated by Henry Louw and Andy Cluver from which Andy Selfe has made the millstone support columns and bridge tree. He has also made most of the component parts for the braking mechanism.

Our deadline for completion and the opening ceremony is the closest Saturday to the second anniversary of the tragic fire, 22 April 2023.

We are most grateful to all who have contributed to the restoration of Mosterts Mill. I would also like to thank my committee for their faithful service to the Friends of Mosterts Mill.

John Hammer
Chairman: Friends of Mostert’s Mill

Wednesday, October 12, 2022 - 21:45

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