Heckington Windmill Interpretation Strategy Comments:

Link to Dropbox with copy of First Draft of Interpretation Strategy
Click here to link to Dropbox

Comments below:


From Ari Volanakis 11th July 2015:
Hello David, thank you for the documents. I think it is a very strong start. Here are my suggestions:

Spirit of place statement, without trying to make the document longer, find a way to quantify the uniqueness of the mill

Technology and sustainability, include ways/ information for people to use traditional technology in their homes/ lives in everyday life

Bread courses, put enough focus on this to ensure it is an integrated element of the site so that it does not drop off the agenda/ programming

Layered information so that it does not rely only on volunteers being present

Promotional leaflet. From a marketing point of view 2 separate leaflets are needed; one with events and site details to bring people to the site and a separate one for when visitors arrive that has site and locality maps and information. Mixing the two in one is a cost saving that does not serve nor deliver well the distinct and detached marketing and orientation functions.

The two key elements for me are the potential of the number 8 in use within the logo, emphasising the uniqueness of the mill. Visually it could be an 8 designed by 8 sails. Within text the 8 can be used to promote the elements of the experience, eg 8 reasons to visit Heckington Mill, 8 things to do during your visits, 8 exciting facts about the mill, 8 things to learn during your visit, and so on.

The personal element needs to be conveyed very strongly and consistently throughout the visit. If the main miller (as mentioned at the meeting around 1900’s ?) was such an interesting person and we have a lot of factual information then this is the opportunity for setting the scene. We could learn about the miller early on and the whole visit can be about or presented by the miller. It is important that we also learn about his family, eg what schooling his children had (so learning about the local community) or how his wife lived and what she cooked (linked with the field to fork, bread courses etc). Later elements of the visit need to link in, eg the farming project where the miller introduces the local farmer who then explains to the visitor about farming.

Regarding the very basic information, where one or two words only are used, perhaps this can be done to look as if it is on a dusting of flour with the letters written in the flour dust. This would be quite discrete, particularly if it is on a floor. The more text/ image heavy information can then be provided through packs in sacks, as mentioned, or similar.

Hope this helps, please share with the group as you see fit.


From Jo Lewin 12th July 2015

Hi David

My thoughts are:


As per my comments  on the day I feel it is important to have simple information available on each floor for visitors who are not with a  tour guide (for reasons of choice, limited number of guides, large number of visitors, etc) This information needs to explain the basics of what happens on each individual floor.


I agree with Ari that we need to make more of the number 8 and like the idea of themes around 8 things to do, etc.


It is important to show (& sell) that Heckington windmill is very different to every other windmill out there.  And yes, it is unique!


I think Alan is right in that people will just want to get into the mill and the majority will go fairly quickly past any displays on the way in, just so that they can climb the tower, especially if they have children. The displays will have to work on way in and on the way out.


I am not sure of having AV screens, etc within the body of the windmill itself.  I think it just needs to be the working mill doing what it does best.  One of the main reasons for moving the shop out was to clear the mill of “distractions”.


The mobile phone app idea may work, but having digital noise and speech could be distracting for other visitors. Maybe a hand held audio tour would be better.  It’s also important to bear in mind the need to climb stairs with both hands. Lanyards on audio tour sets would solve this.


Think an important part (that we only briefly touched on on Friday) is the hands-on interpretation for everyone (adults and children alike).  The piggeries would perhaps make an idea area for this  with dressing up, feeling grain, etc?


As Alan & Nick’s work is broken down into smaller projects, we would need to agree fairly soon which ones are essential and which could be held back. If cost does become an issue (this was briefly mentioned), we need to make sure we have the key areas covered.


Apart from that , very exciting and I am looking forward to seeing their results from Friday.





Comments from Stewart Squires 15th July 2015

I thought the Interpretation Strategy to be a very thorough piece of work. I also found our workshop very helpful. So, I have a few random thoughts.


  1. County/Region context. Why has Heckington got an ogee cap and why is this different to other parts of the country. Helpful for visitors from other areas of the country who have different regional caps as well as for locals also. Windmill tower spotting on long journeys elsewhere.
  2. An opportunity to bring out the importance of the development of technology in the County for windmills. Patent sails, steam and oil engines to drive the stones for example.
  3. We talked about the development of the power source. Links with 2 above and County manufacturers of steam and oil engines. Tuxfords here in particular.
  4. Straw was mentioned in the workshop. It was noted that straw stalk is much shorter today. Link here with the grain. Long straw needed for thatching. Still is today. There were many thatched cottages in Heckington. Issue of straw today still topical as it is itself a biofuel crop. Also we see lorry loads travelling on our main roads. Where is it all going? Biofuel/animal feed/bedding etc.
  5. We also mentioned the train. Opportunity to advertise to train passengers from site as they pass as well as at stations – Nottingham/Peterborough/Sleaford/Boston/Skegness/Lincoln. I believe that they have had live music on the local trains. Could there be bread/biscuit/beer tasting as well as music?


I enjoyed the day, and lunch. Thank you. Stewart