This morning walk was amazing. Keeping fit and healthy has always been my goal in life, since being shown a film during my school days about the damage smoking can do to our lungs was the reason I never took it up. I also avoid taking drugs apart from a headache tablets, but I guess I’ve always been lucky when it comes to my health. As a child I was lucky enough to grow up living next to a flour mill. The noise of the mill running was music to my ears as it clattered in to life as the belts that drove the machine whirled and rattled. So when there’s a chance to see a flour mill I love to go and have a look.
Walking has always been a joy for me. I love wide open spaces where you can get away from the traffic and just hear the bird song. At the moment it is hard in our village as there are three building sites, along with the gravel pits with their huge machinery trundling back and forth.
Today, my friend Ana and I headed out of the village towards Bradwell Church, but then took the path alongside Blackwater river in the direction of Coggeshall. Through the trees there isn’t much to see unless you know what is there, but once clear of the footpath the odd bricks came into view. After months of rain and then the snow the foundations of the old mill that once stood there can be clearly seen. Coggeshall West Mill was demolished soon after the Second World War.
West Mill in 1787 was a fully working water mill. In 1849 West Mill was a combined corn mill and ‘woollen manufactory’. The corn mill was three storeys and a stage floor with three pairs of stones, leased to John Stollery. According to sale particulars “The part in hand comprises three spacious floors with the yarn and worsted machinery and other fixed tackle, but is capable of forming a most valuable addition to the flour mill for which increased the supply of water is quite equal.” The building and machinery were insured for a modest £1,600. The sale of the mill was followed by bankruptcy of Messrs Stephen, Fisher and Stephen Unwin, who ranked among the last of the Essex wool traders. (Take from Some Essex Water Mills by Hervey Benham first published in 1976)
Today, my short story, What’s Normal was accepted by Cafelit. I’m very pleased to received an email from them this afternoon.
Here’s the link to their submission guidelines.
Chat again soon.