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Burying cables protects Sussex landmark
A power line has been diverted underground to support a project to preserve one of Sussex’s most important landmarks.
The Grade II*-listed Jack Windmill, in Clayton, near Burgess Hill, is in the top five per cent of the most important buildings in England but has been in a state of decline.
The mill’s new owners are carrying out urgent repairs to help protect the 19th Century structure on the South Downs.
UK Power Networks has carried out work to put an overhead electricity line underground to enable the owners to get a crane on to the site to start vital restoration and maintenance work.
The three-day project involved staff from UK Power Networks’ office in Lewes excavating a trench and installing 50 metres of new underground cable.
Marc Lelliott, lead field engineer, said: “The power line was due for refurbishment and was in the way of the restoration work the owner is planning on the mill.
“We decided to underground the line, which will enhance the landscape and ease the way for the restoration.”
Owner Claire Maugham, who moved into the house beside the mill in May, said: “Jack Windmill is a very prominent local landmark on the South Downs but it’s in pretty bad condition at the moment.
"The wooden cap needs lifting off for repairs and two sweeps need replacing.
“It’s a hard-to-reach place on a narrow private drive so we couldn’t have got a crane into the site to do the work without UK Power Networks’ assistance.
“The work is very urgent because we don’t think the cap will last another winter. We are very grateful for the way the staff got things moving and made this happen. We couldn’t have started the preservation project without their help.”
This is not the first time the company’s staff in Sussex have got stuck in to help a local windmill.
Six years ago, 32 staff from Sussex spent four days repainting Stone Cross Windmill, near Pevensey, scrubbing the building from top to bottom, treating it with herbicide and then painting it.
Jack and Jill Windmills have been used as television and film locations, including the 1970s spy thriller The Black Windmill, starring Michael Caine.