Windmill set to return to its best

The sails at Lytham windmill are being removed and repaired.
The sails at Lytham windmill are being removed and repaired.
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LYTHAM windmill looks set for a new lease of life — at the double.

The iconic landmark has been modelling a very different look as it was prepared to have two new sails fitted.

And Lytham Heritage Group has revealed it is still formulating plans for the windmill, after missing out in a bid for £1.5m in lottery funding earlier this year.

Storm damage means the windmill has been without one of its four sails since last October, and a second sail was found to be weakened and also in need of replacement.

In preparation for that work, the remaining sails were removed for a day to allow vital work to take place to repair the windshaft support.

Two new sails were ordered at a cost of approximately £15,000 and the vital repairs had to take place before the new sails, prepared by craftsmen J Gillett and Son of Wesham, could be attached.

The work comes just 12 months since two new sails were fitted to the windmill after high winds during the winter of 2010/11 destroyed one sail and left a second badly damaged.

It was hoped that the latest work on the windmill would be complete in time for a summer which includes the Olympic Torch relay and the Open Golf Championships as well as the Lytham Proms festival.

And the sails were re-attached at the weekend.

Meanwhile, Lytham Heritage Group is hopeful of launching an appeal to fund a bid to get the sails actually working for the first time in more than a century.

The Group missed out in March on a bid for £1.5m of lottery cash which would have entailed asking for the public’s help in raising more than £420,000.

Indications then were that the Group might well aim to raise around £60,000 for a smaller-scale plan which would include getting the sails working.

When asked for an update this week, a spokesman for the Group said: “We will be in touch when we have formulated our proposals.”