DJ Bryant of Hove was asked to complete this vital redecoration work and the contractors obtained all their supplies for the project through their local branch of Brewers. They took samples from the existing wood, which had previously been coated with a low sheen opaque finish, and selected Sadolin Superdec in Cherrywood to match the original texture and colour.
The mill, one of Hove’s most treasured historical attractions, was famously captured in sketches by artist John Constable not long after it was built back in 1825, remains a prominent feature on the Hove skyline, just as it was in the nineteenth century. This is due to the efforts of Brighton and Hove Council who now own the Grade II listed building, and to the Friends of West Blatchington Mill who have been helping to restore it for over 30 years.
The mill is actually a ‘smock mill’, so-called because its shape resembles the linen smocks that were the traditional dress of British millers and agricultural workers of the period. Smock mills have tapered towers and are clad in weatherboard. Most are octagonal in shape but West Blatchington Mill is unusual in that it has only six sides. These are clad in cedar boarding which has been coated in Sadolin Superdec to enhance the visual appeal of the exterior and provide maximum protection to the wood.
The exterior elevations were relatively straightforward to decorate with the woodstain but each of the sails (or sweeps as they are more commonly called in Sussex) had to be carefully removed from the tower before they could be given similar protection.
Sadolin Superdec was the ideal product for the job as it offers a paint-like solid colour finish but with the flexibility of a woodstain, which means it won’t flake or peel. The product combines both alkyd and acrylic resins, a combination which has been proven to provide an increased life span and reduced maintenance requirements.
“This was the first major redecoration in eight years,” said Peter Hill, Chairman of the Friends of West Blatchington Mill. “Over the past 28 years, we have restored the mill as a museum of milling and local agricultural history. We added a new north barn ten years ago, which provides important education resources, as well as a multi-functional venue for the local community. By redecorating the mill tower and its elegant sails with Sadolin Superdec, we are preserving this very significant and historic monument to our industrial heritage.”
Brewers and Sadolin were so impressed by the work carried out by the Friends of West Blatchington Mill that they joined forces to make a financial donation to the charity. The money donated will go towards future restoration projects, helping to ensure that this unusual building continues to be enjoyed and treasured by future generations.