We made a journey aboard Motor Cat DIPLOCAT to the northern rivers. After dropping Heather off at Hoveton, following the Cultural Heritage Day at Salhouse, we headed back through Yarmouth, over the grey, wild expanse of Breydon Water and up the River Yare, stopping off at Hardley with Langley.
We moored at a smart pontoon, perfectly placed next to the imposing brick tower with a white cap and sails of Hardley wind pump. The wind pump or mill is situated a short distance from Cantley sugar beet factory on the southern bank of the river. The 1874 structure and it's works have been comprehensively restored to virtually working order.
On arrival, we were greeted by Michael Stephenson, who guided us around the site. Climbing up through the four floor levels of the mill, we reached the dizzying heights of the cap and sails. We learned of the mechanical wizardry which powers this landmark building and how the broads landscape has been harnessed by mankind. In addition to the mill, a carefully designed visitor centre, with a natural 'living' floral roof of sedum turf has been built next door. Thanks to a group of knowledgeable and labourious enthusiasts, the mill continues to serve a useful purpose.
For details on the mill, opening times and special events please see their website: www.hardley-windmill.org.uk
David and Chris