A couple of years back I inexplicably found myself on the board of trustees for a bold and exciting project - the restoration of a 200 year old smock mill in Upminster!
In truth, I've always had a passion for ancient buildings in all their myriad beautiful forms; from Bronze Age barrows to gloriously proportioned Georgian town houses or from Roman villas to Jacobean piles, I've always been drawn to the craftsmanship, history, romance and pure timelessness of great architecture.
The finest buildings always have the knack of both reflecting a landscape and enriching it and possibly none more so than that of the humble windmill. How remarkable that what is essentially a functional and utilitarian structure can be so beguiling and breathtaking - it seems that we can't help ourselves, we humans want to instil beauty, craft, elegance and poetry into everything we build.
As of late 2017 we're about halfway through the restoration of the mill as well as the provision of a new visitor centre and I have been afforded the enormous privilege of being allowed unprecedented photographic access to every aspect of the process.
Our Dutch millwright, Willem, along with our local millwright Paul, as well as a gifted bunch of craftsmen, volunteers, professionals and technicians are all steaming ahead with great passion and dedication to fully realise this amazing Heritage Lottery funded enterprise - and I get to photograph all of it! Woohoo!!