Cross section of a Post MillOvershot Water Wheel

Breastshot WaterwheelPitchback WaterwheelSchematic of the Roman Hierapolis sawmill

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On a weekend in May each year radio amateurs set up stations in windmills and watermills all over the country. Apart from being an exciting time for those involved, the event promotes both the mill itself and also amateur radio since members of the public encounter enthusiasts at work. The event is organised in conjunction with the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB).

Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings

SPAB was founded in 1877 to counteract the highly destructive 'restoration' of medieval buildings being practised by many Victorian architects. Today it is the largest, oldest and most technically expert national pressure group fighting to save old buildings from decay, demolition and damage. Their membership includes many of the leading conservation practitioners as well as home owners living in houses spanning all historical periods and those who simply care about old buildings. Thousands of buildings survive which otherwise would have been lost, mutilated or badly repaired without their intervention.

National Mills Weekend

The Mills on the Air weekend is timed to coincide with National Mills Weekend. National Mills Weekend is the annual festival of our milling heritage and provides you with a fantastic opportunity to visit mills, many of which are not usually open to the public.

How the Mills on the Air Event Started

Some nine years ago, Jasmine Marshall, G4KFP, a member of Denby Dale Amateur Radio Society (DDARS) spotted a request in the RSGB news asking for any radio amateur willing to put on a station at one of their windmills or watermills. She contacted SPAB and initially agreed a plan for six groups of amateurs to establish at six buildings. As the word spread however this number rocketed to 30.

This event is not a contest, just an opportunity to have a good time and promote Amateur Radio while helping to preserve some of our heritage.

If you are operating, casually or otherwise, over a Mills weekend please try to work a few Mills stations. We look forward to meeting you on air.