A GROUP of tenacious volunteers have joined forces and worked tirelessly over the last five years to restore an historic Malvern Hills to its former glory.
Shelsley Water Mill, located near the foot of the famous Shelsley Walsh hill-climb course, had fallen into a state of disrepair and was derelict.
But the small group of retirees brought the Grade II listed mill – the only working water-powered corn mill in Worcestershire – back to life.
And it has since become a visitor attraction, an educational resource and also provides a wildlife habitat.
The Midland Automobile Club, which has operated the hill-climb since 1905 and is the oldest operational motor sport venue in the world, took on the farm buildings and neglected water mill in 2005.
An appeal to club members saw the small group of volunteers step up and take on the water mill’s repair and maintenance. This group then formed the Shelsley Water Mill Society.
The restoration was funded by many small individual donations and a small number of more substantial donations from local trusts.
The mill was also nominated in the Community Project Award category for this year’s Pride of Malvern Hills Awards.
Kim Johnson, chairman of Shelsley Water Mill Society, said: “We are extremely proud of what we have accomplished here over the years.
“We are all from different backgrounds but have come together to use our skills to turn this derelict mill into a fully functioning one. We hope that more people will pay us a visit to learn about the history of the mill, how it works and the local community it served.”
Claire Vaughan, community, leadership and engagement officer at Malvern Hills District Council, said: “We are all in awe at the hard work and dedication of the volunteers from Shelsley Water Mill Society.
“The water mill is a beautiful piece of machinery which has been sympathetically restored to a high standard and thanks to the volunteers, it will continue to be enjoyed for years to come.”
The mill will be open for National Mills Weekend on Saturday and Sunday (May 11 and 12) and also during lunch breaks on competition days run by Midland Automobile Club.
Visit www.shelsleywatermill.com for more information on the water mill.