Green’s Windmill in Sneinton Nottingham has all the appearance of being an irascible monument. It’s being refurbished at the moment and apparently some builders got injured in the process so they too are now undergoing some kind of physical refurbishment to their own bodies and souls.
You can’t help but wonder, if the windmill had a mind of its own, would it have taken kindly to being crawled over by scaffolders intent on acts of refurbishment? Perhaps it would have preferred to have been allowed to gently fade away and its brick work continue to crumble? Perhaps the need for the refurbishers to be undergoing their own refurbishment is the mark of a monument irritated by its place in the world?
Fortunately though for the casual tourist and local resident, the windmill’s desire to deny its role in the world has been thwarted by a local group of enthusiasts, skilled experts and Nottingham Council. The restoration and refurbishment which has been going on for many years now imaginatively draws you into what it would have meant to be living off the land with nothing but a sharp north-easterly to grind your wheat into the finest organic flour.
The windmill can’t help but be interesting, whatever attempts it might surreptitiously make to present itself as unworthy of the visitor. Whilst it might want to resemble the battleship windmills of Holland, or the industrial machinery of Don Quixote legends, flailing at imagined heroes and mobsters, its more modest role to serve the local people of Nottinghamshire with the provision of flour, ground out by its heavy stones, cogs and gears means that its role is assured in the heart of the community and wider city.
It’s a place to visit which nurtures the soul by providing the very physical stuff of life. I for one am glad that it’s being nurtured for a longer life, despite its irascibility.