THE warden of the historic Bunbury Water Mill hopes it will not be the last time its doors are shut to the public.
Dennis Buchanan has been warden at the Mill for the past 18 years and yesterday he had to lock it up for the last time.
Dennis said: “I am very sad to be closing up. The mill has been a big part of my life and it seems very wrong not to be handing over the mill to someone.”
United Utilities who own the mill decided to stop its funding at the end of march and currently there is nobody to take it over.
The Bunbury Water Mill ended its working life in 1960 but since then it has operated as a museum with fully working machinery.
Hundreds of school children visited the site each year to see the mill producing wholemeal flour and oatmeal made from locally grown milling grain.
A group of Bunbury residents has now set up a committee to look into the ways the mill can be opened up again. United Utilities have told them they wish to sell it as a going concern.
Ernest Croley of Wyche Road from the committee said: “We want to set up a charitable trust and open it up again, but because we don’t own the mill many of the funding avenues are closed to us.”
Dennis added: “I will help the committee and I would like to be involved in an advisory capacity. I do not see this as the end.”
Eddisbury MP and Shadow Health Minister Stephen O’Brien has said he backs the committee’s plans to take it on.
He has written to United Utilities expressing his concern that this community resource has been closed.
He also said he would be quite happy to chair a meeting about the future of the mill with interested parties after theGeneral Election. He said he has also encouraged United Utilities to look at its renewable energy potential.