Rottingdean windmill holds an interesting history because it’s traditionally associated with Lot Elphick, a local smuggler.

In 1970, The Argus revealed the association between the smuggler and the 250-year-old windmill.

Elphick owned many small sailing ships which landed on the Rottingdean beaches at a time when there were three windmills on the beach.

Elphick imported illegal French wine, spirits and lace over night to be stored in the windmills, leaving Rottingdean windmill forever associated with the local smuggler.

The windmill became the talk of the classroom again in 1970, but this time thanks to a helping hand in education.

Cyril Moreman, head of woodwork and handicraft at the Fitzherbert secondary school, explained how it began: “It really started at the beginning of June when a party of 50 pupils taking a technical drawing examination made mathematical calculations of the windmill.”

This led to the pupils creating a replica model of the windmill.

The model was incredibly detailed, even having the same broken sail.

A repaired sail was also created to be on hold for when the windmill’s sail is mended.

Patcham windmill also has an interesting past; in 1990 the mill was struck by lightning costing thousands of pounds’ worth of damage.

George Musgrave, who lived at the windmill during this time, was woken at 4am by the blaze.

George fought the fire with a garden hose while the fire brigade raced to the scene.

It took until 1992 for the windmill to finally be repaired.

All four of the sails had to be removed and restored.

George watched the windmill being repaired and said “£170,000 has been spent putting things right”.

Repairing windmills is a difficult and expensive task. Unfortunately Patcham Windmill hasn’t been the only one to need some restoration.

Rottingdean mill has had many problems over the years.

In October 1988, a part connected to the sail crumbled due to high winds, leaving one of the sails to be completely taken down.

In 1994 the Rottingdean preservation society took action on the 190-year-old mill due to a cap supporting the sails having crumbled, therefore the sails needed to be removed.

John Commin, chairmen of the society mending the windmill, said “The last time the sails came off was in the 1950s; most of the bolts were rusted in and difficult to shift”.

Polegate windmill has also faced problems. In 1989 around £20,000 was spent to amend the building, due to wind and rain taking its toll on the 170-year-old windmill.