Mostert’s Mill

+27 (0)82 771 6480
Rhodes Ave, Mowbray, Cape Town

2021 Restoration Update 2

– What’s happening at present?

Initial fundraising from supportive members and past members of the Friends of Mostert’s Mill, and from interested members of the public, is going very well.  We have collected nearly R300 000 locally and overseas, and a heritage trust has pledged a further R150 000 once they have approved our budget.  This budget preparation is a pre-requisite for obtaining funds from national, provincial and/or municipal sources, or big corporate donors, who understandably want to see detailed plans, budgets and time frames before opening their money taps.

A submission has been made and permit received from Heritage Western Cape for the emergency protection of the Mill and collection and storage of metal components.  We have removed the vulnerable stored items from the Mill to a storage facility in Salt River.  Quick assistance with this was given by Status Africa Construction who supplied a vehicle and manpower for the move.

Your enthusiastic support, shown by the number and amounts of your membership subs and donations, is crucial to convincing donors of the broad public interest in restoring the Mill – so thank you!

Who is doing this budget and planning preparation?

Gabriel Fagan Architects were heavily involved in the 1995 restoration of Mostert’s Mill, and are helping us again (on a pro bono basis for the time being) with planning and costing the repairs to the masonry and the replacement of doors, windows, the first and second floors, etc.  Their brief will also include replacing the cap, adequately fire-proofed this time.

Andy Selfe has a great deal of construction and maintenance experience with Mostert’s and a number of other mills, and he is busy preparing lists and sourcing the timber requirements for all the wooden machinery parts of our Mill.  The major items include the two curb rings (one fixed to the top of the masonry and the other rotating on it so that the cap and sails can be turned to face the wind); the (nearly) horizontal windshaft which holds the four sails and turns with them; a large brake wheel, turned by the windshaft; and a vertical shaft that rotates the upper of two millstones, to grind the wheat into meal.

I have some wooden beams / planks that I no longer need. Could you use them?

It’s quite likely – please measure the dimensions and send them in an email to Andy at aselfe@mweb.co.za.  If we use your wood, we’ll try to engrave your name on it somewhere discreet but visible, for you to show your grandchildren !

With so much replaced, will you still be able to call it an 18th century mill?

The design, appearance, masonry and almost all of the ironmongery are original.  It is woodwork and thatch that are being replaced.  This was already happening in the 1800s and at the 1935 and 1995 restorations.   We have replaced beams in recent years too – wood develops rot, or beetle damage, or it splits when embedded iron bolts rust.  So we regard woodwork, like paint, as renewable and not everlasting.

Will our donations be acknowledged?

They are being whenever we can.  But for a few of the EFTs we have no email address, and many of our Snapscan bank statements gave no payer’s name.  If you have made a donation and would like an acknowledgment, please email your name and the date & amount of the payment to our Treasurer at thorpex@iafrica.com.  If you have friends or relatives overseas who would like to contribute, please refer them towww.GoFundMe.com/f/Mosterts-mill-restoration-fund

Yours sincerely – the Mostert’s Mill Restoration Team