SEPTEMBER 2001
EDITORIAL
MARTIN'S MUSINGS
SPONSORED BIKE RIDE
SCHOOL GOVERNORS
HARVEST FESTIVAL
METHODIST FLOWER FEST
HISTORICAL SOCIETY
THE MILL & DAM
WORK IN THE GARDEN
HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY
A REAL GHOST STORY
MILL DRAWINGS
STROKE?
GARDEN DIARY
POST OFFICE UPDATE
SCHOOL REUNION
THE OLD SCHOOL
ASSISI AFTER QUAKE
'DIARY DATES'
WILD FLOWERS
DUMONT LUNCH CLUB
TENDRING NEWS
PARISH COUNCIL REPORT
MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS
HARRY GENTRY
RECYCLING NEWS
PRE-SCHOOL PLAYGROUP
SCHOOL NEWS
MISCELLANY OF EVENTS
THE 'OLD LADY'
CRICKET CLUB
CONGRATS' FELICITY
C.D. REVIEW
THE CYCLING GRANNY
ADULT COLLEGE ECC
COOKERY
WOMENS INSTITUTE
LETTERS & STAMPS


THE MILL AND THE DAM


Until recently a tidal water mill stood at the bottom of Mill Street.  Many years ago the locals realised that the tides coming up the creek would provide a free and permanent source of power to run a mill.  A dam was put across the valley and the mill was built.  The method was simple, the tide came in, the sluice gates closed, the tide went out and at low tide, the gates were opened and the water wheels ground the corn.  The snag was only a couple of hours grinding every day and night was the limit.

The only houses on the far side of the dam were Hill House, a small mansion, three farms and a few workers’ cottages, and also two unoccupied Martello Towers.

When roads improved and lorries were more reliable the mill became redundant and in 1930 the mill closed.  The miller, George Simmet, set the flood gates closed and opened the Mill Pond as a boating lake.

When Point Clear started flourishing, the bridge by the mill was unable to cope, cracks appeared in the concrete, the bridge was declared unsafe.  Wooden beams were placed and became the temporary bridge with restrictions on width and weight.
Work to improve things took several years.  The massive piles still visible holding the road on the lakeside were made on site and driven home by a pile driver, the modern way of using vibrations to drive piles home hadn’t been thought of then. 

The old road was widened, strengthened, straightened and raised to the present level.  The bridge was replaced by a culvert.  The sluice gates were placed outside the mill and the road was ready about 1937.  The common sight of water coming over the road at spring tides was a thing of the past but not at the high tide in 1953.



Barges at St. Osyth Mill


St. Osyth was very lucky during the war.  As far as I know, the only buildings damaged in air raids were the Mill and a row of cottages along the creek.  A land mine was dropped by parachute and landed in the creek.  If it had landed on hard ground it would have flattened half the village.

When the war ended an enthusiast, Mrs Faithful-Roper, tried to get the mill repaired but with building material in very short supply she failed to raise much interest and the damaged mill finally gave up the ghost and one windy night finished up in the roadway.

I have used words common at the time.  The dam kept the water in the Mill Pond and the address of houses on the far side of the dam was simply Overdam.
Nowadays times have changed and names with it.  The Mill Pond is the boating lake and the dam is more correctly called the Causeway.

Charles Langlands



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