A plumber told me that windmill repair is a great job to be in – because they always need fixing. They have moving parts from the blades to the pump “buckets” that bring up the water. Moving parts wear out.
But when they’re working they are magnificently simple and sturdy…and require no fuel. Wind we have in plenty.
There’s only one person locally with the skills to repair broken windmills, and he’s constantly busy. Our neighbour Andrew complained that the last time the windmill had a major overhaul, it only worked for a month and then broke down again, leaving a suspicious scattering of loose bolts on the ground. Cliff the repairer humphed at the suggestion it was his fault as we went hunting for the parts in the long grass.
I was surprised to see that the main vertical shaft was made of wood, ancient, gray and flimsy looking. “Better than steel” said Cliff “You want it to break and be easy to fix, and leave the steel pieces unbroken”. Maybe it wasn’t so primitive, then. Continue reading