HEATHER-LYNN’S HABITAT: Working to restore mill
IT IS AN IMPOSING sight on the St Andrew landscape.
But for the past year, the sails of Morgan Lewis Windmill have not cut their graceful arc through the skies, as part of the activities that herald the start of the crop season.
Instead, they have been tied and the tail tree grounded as the 1727-constructed mill begins to show a few signs of being almost 300 years old.
But there’s a plan afoot to return Morgan Lewis to its prominence as one of only two remaining working windmills in the Caribbean.
It was last restored between 1994 and 1998 with the aid of grants from a number of organisations and individuals.
The latest restoration is spearheaded by Barbados National Trust president Dr Karl Watson, and actively pursued by Morgan Lewis aficionados and National Trust volunteers Chris Choat, Bob Hurley, Richard Goddard and Gerry Proverbs.
The massive beam to replace the more than 200-year-old one that had become rotten and had slipped out of place, thereby pushing all the inner workings out of sync, is in the island. All that is needed now is the money and the equipment to complete the job.
For Watson, the restoration to glory of Morgan Lewis has become his passion as the end of his presidency draws nigh.
“I have set the remaining part of my presidency on sensitising people to the need for Morgan Lewis and I would love to raise the money, $55 000, that we need to effect the repairs,” he said.
“So we have to rent the equipment and undertake then the work to take out the part and replace it. That’s delicate work, but there is now a group of skilled Barbadians (Choat, Hurley and Proverbs) who could do it.”
His hope is that with the money, through donations, in hand, the mill can be repaired and resume grinding for the 2016 crop season.
The 287-year-old mill was the subject of the Trust’s open house a few weeks ago, as the Trust tried to drum up support for its restoration. The mill ground its last stalks of sugar cane in 1946.