Mill’s restoration nears completion

Lianna Lawrence and Clive Hodgson-Jones enjoy a drink and a piece of cake at the Woodford Mill tea rooms

Lianna Lawrence and Clive Hodgson-Jones enjoy a drink and a piece of cake at the Woodford Mill tea rooms

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The restoration of an historic village mill is nearing completion.

A tea room has opened at Woodford Mill in Ringstead Road, Great Addington, and a waterwheel turned by the River Nene has been restored to working order.

Two holiday flats are close to completion, with two more in the pipeline, and a narrowboat is available to be hired to take out on the river.

Clive Hodgson-Jones, who owns the mill and surrounding buildings, said: “I bought the mill about seven years ago and I’ve since purchased everything else, including the marina.

“I bought it from Bill Hawes, whose grandparents used to work the mill in the 1940s.

“We wanted to get the waterwheel going again and it now produces electricity to power the tea room and the holiday flats.

“There were originally two waterwheels and we are going to rebuild the other one too – we want to get that done by the end of the year.

“We started work in September 2010 and we received a £200,000 grant from the Rural Development Programme for England. That has been a big help but we’ve had to put a bit of our own money towards it.

“The two flats above the tea room will be finished in a week or so and we’re working on two more, which we want to finish for next year.”

The tea room serves cream teas, cakes and light lunches and, inside, the waterwheel can be seen turning behind a glass wall.

Lianna Lawrence, who runs the tea room, said: “In the past it has been a paper mill, a flour mill and a bone rendering mill.

“It was a tea room in the 1950s with rooms above to let so it has come full circle.”