The first meeting of a new group, Friends of the Gunpowder Mills, met recently with the aim of promoting the site to locals and helping to make it a strong community asset.
The meeting was convened by St Martha Parish Council, and the group has strong continuing support from them, with Graham Brown the Chair. Continuity and expertise from the old group has been retained, but this is a fresh group of people from across the village.
It is hoped that with good will from GBC, also represented on the group, the popular volunteering sessions will continue with the Countryside Wardens in attendance.
It was agreed at the first meeting that the group should work towards contributing to Heritage weekend, a national event that celebrates our historic places.
This will take place during the weekend of September 14/15 this year.
The Parish Council will also continue to hold the annual Gunpowder Mills meeting in the autumn.
After 20 years of keeping an expert eye on the Gunpowder Mills site, with particular interest in the history and archaeological remains on the site, the members of the Gunpowder Mills Group are retiring, and the group is to be disbanded. Much has been achieved over the time, in partnership with the GBC Parks and Leisure team, in trying to stabilise the ruins and manage the site. Not an easy task, with different priorities and management styles, and of course within limited budgets.
At its last meeting, the Group invited the local parish Council, St Martha’s PC, that has always had representatives on the Gunpowder Mills group, to consider continuing their involvement. As a result, the representatives from the Parish Council will consider whether they should form a sub-group of the Council, so that the dialogue and good relations with GBC can continue. It is envisaged that local expert advice and the support of the community will continue as before.
The local Annual Gunpowder Mills Meeting, chaired by the Parish Council, will meet as usual in the autumn. The date has been set, and the village hall booked for Thursday November 8 at 7.70pm.
The community would like to thank the gunpowder Mills Group for giving freely of its time and expertise, to make the Gunpowder Mills a better place.
Paul Wingfield has sent us this short video, which is available to watch as part of the picture gallery. Alternatively, here is the Youtube link
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3HTdL8E4qZU where you can slect to view it
Gunpowder Mills front page – illustrated with photograph of The Swing Bridge
aerial photograph of Gunpowder Mills site from the air – copyright Andrew Norris
The Incorporating Mills
West Lodge building – used by workers to report for duty and leave any inflammable material
Incorporating Mills building
Expense Magazine building
Incorporating Mills 1885
Chilworth Gunpowder Mills Is a scheduled ancient monument. Enhance your visit to the Gunpowder Mills in their magic woodland set by downloading the following information and guided trail. See also a set of images showing the historic remains, shown under Gunpowder Mills Picture Gallery.
Thanks to Andrew Norris, Chilworth Gunpowder Group for the images, and to Glenys Crocker for permission to download the map.