Monday, 27 May 2019


We spent an afternoon at an amazing watermill in Hertfordshire where there was a celebration for the Federation of Organic Grain Growers and Millers.  Interestingly enough it's actually situated on the River Lea, something I had no knowledge of, so at the opposite end of the Lea Valley to us here in Waltham Abbey.  It's the only remaining watermill of 24 mills once working on the River Lea still commercially milling.  The building here is grade 11* listed and dates from the 17th century.  However there was obviously a mill here well before that because it's been listed in Norman the Conquerer's Domesday Book at around 1086 as the Mill at Hetfelle.
And on reading more and a bit of a wander through the building I find the back door leads out to some very handy baths of Roman origin!  Well you never know what you're going to find or when you'll feel the need for a quick wash down.

We set up our stall and spent the whole afternoon chatting, listening to traditional folk music, watched Morris dancing and drank plenty of tea.  There was a belltent with story teller, cushions and magic carpet,  plant sellers, bread from the bakery at the mill as well as all the organic flour and local radio enthusiasts radioing to other mills with much enthusiasm.  They weren't having much luck contacting the mills but did manage to have an interesting exchange with the Dumfries Weather Centre and somewhere in Italy - you never know who's listening in to one's broadcating!  No great sales but we were given a good pat of butter made by the churning demonstrators and had an invitation to bring ourselves to the Apple Day at Tring in October.  So all in all a very satisfying quintessential English sunny afternoon...

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