Chairman of windmill to resign after 16 years as trustee

Alan Ferguson is the chair of Dereham Windmill Trustees and is pictured looking at the town's landma

Alan Ferguson is the chair of Dereham Windmill Trustees and is pictured looking at the town's landmark. Picture: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOP - Credit: Archant

A chairman who has been at the forefront of decisions of one of Dereham's most recognisable landmarks is set to retire after 16 years as part of its trust.

Alan Ferguson is the chair of Dereham Windmill Trustees. Picture: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOP

Alan Ferguson is the chair of Dereham Windmill Trustees. Picture: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOP - Credit: Archant

Alan Ferguson, who has been a trustee at Dereham Windmill for some 16 years has said he feels "it's time to move on".

Mr Ferguson took over the position as chairman in 2019 from long-standing trustee Brian Webb after he and his wife Alison, former head of fundraising, stood down.

He had previously been vice chairman at the mill.

Mr Ferguson said: "After 16 years as a trustee I feel it's time to move on, and I''m delighted that four new trustees have been recruited this year.


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"I’m handing over to a strong team, but I know they would welcome a few more new trustees to keep things moving forward. If you are a bit bored in the lockdown, we can keep you busy."

Dereham windmill in the mid morning sun Picture: Matthew Usher.

Dereham windmill in the mid morning sun Picture: Matthew Usher. - Credit: Matthew Usher

The Grade II listed windmill, which has stood in the town since 1836, has remained closed to visitors during the coronavirus pandemic but the nearby Partea Hut coffee shop has been offering a takeaway service for most of the year.

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"They have been fabulous," Mr Ferguson said. "We're even providing some socially distanced seating inside when we were allowed to do that.

"We are also moving ahead with the construction of a shelter over our patio so coffee shop customers and walkers who visit the grounds of the mill will have an alternative to the existing socially distanced benches.

Dereham Windmill in the snow. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Dereham Windmill in the snow. Picture: Matthew Usher. - Credit: Matthew Usher

"I'm cautiously hopeful that we might be able to open the mill and run some events this summer."

With Mr Ferguson stepping down, the volunteers at the windmill are looking for his successor.

A spokesman said: "We already have an experienced board of trustees, but need someone to take the helm. There may even be an opportunity for a treasurer.

"If you would like to get involved in any way, or even just to find out more about us, please join in our AGM or message us."

The AGM will be held via Zoom on Wednesday, February 24 at 7pm.

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