You might not have noticed the little logo on the page of Brixton’s local newspaper, the Bugle. It’s a silhouette of a windmill. And not just any windmill – it’s the Brixton Windmill. Located a little way up Brixton Hill, tucked amidst the houses of Blenheim Gardens in a unique urban setting, the Windmill has been around for 200 years, and through the twists and turns of history has now lovingly been restored to working order.
In March, the Friends of Windmill Gardens brought the Windmill to central Brixton, running a pop up stall in Pop Brixton to raise funds and launch their summer programme. The Friends are the spiritual guardians of the Windmill: a group of local volunteers who manage and maintain the mill and its grounds, recruit volunteers, and raise funds. Most recently they have embarked on an exciting new project to build an Education Centre in the grounds, which will ultimately make the Windmill more accessible and user friendly for its diverse range of visitors, including school groups and young people.
As part of Pop’s Community Investment Scheme, they took over an empty unit where they sold merchandise and promoted their 2017 programme http://www.brixtonwindmill.org/visit, which kicked off on 25 March. The Windmill opens for volunteer-led tours of the mill and gardens on scheduled weekends, which are very popular, so make sure you book. And don’t miss the renowned Beer and Bread Festival [http://brixtonwindmill.org/whats-on?item=161] which takes place on bank holiday Monday 1 May, with beer, bread, live music and Morris men.
The Friends also sold their locally milled Brixton flour (produced in the Windmill itself by their tireless volunteer millers – if you’re interested in becoming one, get in touch with the Friends!) If you missed the pop up, you can buy Brixton Windmill flour from Brixton Whole Foods, the Old Post Office Bakery, Cornercopia, F Mondays, Dulwich Picture Gallery, and our own Brixton Pound Café.
Friends of Windmill Gardens visited Pop Brixton as part of the Brixton Pound’s community investment scheme, through which Brixton businesses give back to the local community in varied ways. If you’re a community organisation, project or school interested in benefiting from the scheme, get in touch with Lucy (lucy @ brixtonpound.org) to find out more.