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Sailing home! Landmark mill set to regain its splendour as sails are pinned back

PUBLISHED: 17:01 20 February 2018 | UPDATED: 17:01 20 February 2018

Horsey Mill is resplendent with its new cap after an operation to put it back on was completed today. Photo Alex Green/National Trust

Horsey Mill is resplendent with its new cap after an operation to put it back on was completed today. Photo Alex Green/National Trust

Alex Green/National Trust

The restoration of one of Norfolk’s most visible drainage mills is poised to reach a landmark moment.

There she blows: the cap and fantail sit perfectly on the body of Horsey Windpump. Photo: Claire Sargent There she blows: the cap and fantail sit perfectly on the body of Horsey Windpump. Photo: Claire Sargent

So far work on Horsey Windpump has been mostly about taking things off and carting them away to be worked on.

But on Friday the sails will be pinned back on - although it’s unlikely to be a breeze.

National Trust spokesman Alex Green said that because the ground was so soft they were unable to bring in a crane.

Instead they were going to attempt the manoeuvre using a lorry with some equipment on the back, a method the millwright had not tried before.

Priming the pumps: Preparations are made ahead of the big lift at Horsey to restore the cap. Photo: Alex Green/National Trust Priming the pumps: Preparations are made ahead of the big lift at Horsey to restore the cap. Photo: Alex Green/National Trust

MORE: Horsey Mill’s restoration continues on back of a lorry

The lift involves re-attaching four separate pieces.

The shutters will be put on at a later stage, and it is hoped by June the sails will again be turning.

Ms Green said it had been four years since the sails had been taken away and that to see them back in place would mark “a huge milestone.”

MORE: Watch timelapse video of Horsey Mill restoration

The effort will signal the end of phase one which has so far cost £260,000.

“The next big moment will be when we let them go for the first time,” she added.

The main ambition of the project is to get the turbine back in place to demonstrate to visitors how it works.

The last major event was when the cap was lifted, coming off in one piece despite its poor condition which was much worse than anyone had anticipated.

Timings for the work are fluid and weather dependent but have been publicised as running from 9-4pm.

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