Historic mills to be restored thanks to new apprenticeship scheme
PUBLISHED: 15:50 11 November 2019 | UPDATED: 16:08 11 November 2019
Some of Norfolk’s most historic buildings are undergoing restoration work thanks to a new apprenticeship scheme.
Twelve structures across the Broads National Park, including the Strumpshaw Steam Engine House, Muttons, Herringfleet and Six Mile House drainage mills, will be worked on thanks to a new scheme by the Broads Authority and City College Norwich.
Sean Grimes, heritage skills training supervisor on the programme, said: "The goal is to stop these mills from falling into the ground. We want to restore and regenerate them as best as we can, while getting people trained and interested in a completely different field."
A lack of traditional building craft and mill-wrighting skills means that the future of these iconic structures has been under threat.
Many are in urgent need of restoration within the next 10 years or they face being lost forever.
Apprentices Brandon Jarvis and Tom Allen will be working on the mill's bricklaying, carpentry and joining over the next two years.
This will see improvements to the structures, such as making doors/window frames, creating fitted furniture, building stairs, fitting floors, fitting staircases, fixing window frames, installing cupboards and shelving, laying bricks, stone or similar materials to build residential/commercial chimneys and fireplaces, patios, walls or walkways and laying firebricks to line industrial chimneys and smokestacks.
Mr Allen said: "The project interested me because I would be learning a lot of different skills and traditional methods. I hadn't really thought about the heritage side of construction before seeing the project. It's great working on these historic buildings because you are restoring old buildings that have been rundown. It's great to look at the end results."
Water mills and marshes project manager Will Burchnall welcomed the new recruits and said: "It is very exciting to be able to employ two heritage skills apprentices. Heritage restoration work is very different to the hustle of modern construction."
Once the work has been completed, they hope to open the door to the general public who will be able to look around these historic sites.
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