In the heart of Cambridgeshire lies Smock Tower, a stunning mill that has been standing since the early 19th century. Now owned and home to a talented boatbuilder, James Foryth, the Smock Tower Mill is the result of years of hard work and dedication, which has been finished using Osmo Country Colour.
As a shipwright, James’s passion sent him all over Europe where he gained valuable transferable knowledge and experience to allow him to confidently transition to millwrighting and renovate the derelict mill back to its former glory.
“The mill will be the first in the UK to produce electricity. It is the only village in the UK to have two working mills opposite each other and is one of only three of its type left in existence in the UK!”
Alongside two fellow shipwrights, James strived to not only achieve a home, but also a working mill. However, what he didn’t realise at the time was that there are no parts for old mills and every part which needs repairing or replacing needed to be made from scratch. Patterns were successfully borrowed from other similar mills, and so, with a lot of research James managed to build the complicated mill back to working order.
“As you can imagine, traditional windmills are time consuming to build and equally to maintain. This requires a high-quality natural paint that weathers well and allows the wood to breathe without peeling and splitting.
“The icing on the cake with Osmo, is that it ticked all these boxes and importantly, doesn’t require sanding between coats. Not having to sand cuts the maintenance time dramatically, therefore cuts costs by 50% which puts Osmo in a class of its own.”
White 2101 and Charcoal 2703 were the two main colours chosen for the mill from the Country Colour range creating a striking monochrome style on the exterior wood. As a feature, the fantails were finished in Signal Red 2311, adding character and personality to the roof of the windmill. The main sails will soon be completed and installed onto the mill, which will also be finished in White 2101.
For the secondary living space next to the mill, clear UV-Protection Oil was used to add a natural wood contrast to the cladding around the windows, which pops against the mono colour scheme. Both Country Colour and UV-Protection Oil will provide excellent durability and maintenance advantages for years to come, giving peace of mind to James and other future builders living this unique way of life.
“When we finish this mill we will move on to build new sails for a mill in Kent, at our Suffolk workshop, then a full mill restoration in Norfolk.
“We will be using Osmo on all this work and any future projects. We are also recommending your products to the local authorities that undertake work for other millwirghts.”