March 4 2015 Latest news:

A crowd gathered in a Norfolk village this morning to witness the restoration of their iconic windmill.

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Work to replace the sails at Wicklewood Mill began today after they were removed seven years ago.

The listed 19th century building, which was used to grind the corn of local farmers, was last used in the 1940s and its custodians hope to get it working again in the future.

Workmen began the task of lifting four heavy sails into place on a foggy morning at the mill, which is owned by Norfolk County Council.

Internal work still needs to be done to allow the mill to function again, but officials spoke of their delight as the important local landmark was returned to its former glory.

The stocks and sails were removed for repairs in 2005, following a programme of work to repair the cap and sails. The cap was put back in 2006 with the help of a £10,000 grant from Waste Recycling Environmental (WREN) through the Landfill Tax Credit Scheme.

The Norfolk Windmills Trust also took the opportunity to replace the steel stocks fitted in the 1980s with more traditional wooden stocks.

Bill Borrett, cabinet member for environment and waste at Norfolk County Council, said: “I’m very excited that it is finally happening, the county council works very closely with many organisations and communities to conserve Norfolk’s historic and natural environment, and I’m delighted that we’ve been able to work with the Norfolk Windmills Trust on this important industrial heritage building.

“This is a really important feature in the landscape, and will be a great achievement to see the sails restored and turning once again.”

The initial works of shaping the new stocks and repairing/re-making the sails was carried out by the millwrighting firm of R. H Thompson and Sons of Lincolnshire. The final works of repair and repainting are being carried out by the Norfolk Millwright Alliance.

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