Fylde Council have shared a sneak peek of the new sails being made for the iconic Lytham windmill. Veteran millwright Joe Gillet and his team in Wesham have been using their expert skills to transform carefully selected Douglas-Fir timber, sourced from the Pacific coast of the USA, into a new set of four sails. Douglas-Fir wood was chosen as it is renowned for its incredible strength, workability and hard, abrasion resistant composition
Joe’s experienced Wesham team have previously worked on the windmill sails but have never been tasked to construct a full new set. Approximately a ton of Douglas-Fir wood is needed for each tapered sail, which then has to be specially treated and left to both settle and acclimatise before fitting commences. Fylde Council are currently unsure of specific dates for the fitting of the sails, but promise to keep everyone informed!
Lytham windmill was built in 1805. The windmill was originally designed as a tower mill to grind wheats and oats to make flour or bran. It was the victim of a gale in 1919 which was so strong it caused the sails to rotate at such as speed that it ignited a fire. The blaze devastated the woodwork and the structure remained derelict until it was able to restored. It finally opened to the public in 1989 and now has exhibits showing the history of mills and life in Victorian Lytham. It attracts more than 20,000 visitors between Spring and Autumn.