Brill Windmill - a photographic exploration of Brill's post windmill and its restoration
Brill Windmill is a beautiful 17th century post mill standing at the top of a grassly hill. It is a beacon for community events in Brill, a lovely English village that has been my home for the last 25 years. I've amassed a great collection of photos, especially of its restoration a few years ago. This book is the culmination of years of heading out to capture the Windmill when the light is special or for village events that inevitably include it.
Throughout the book you'll find a mixture of full bleed, double page spread photos of the Windmill, as well as numerous pages of detail shots. The restoration process meant I could photograph angles and views that have never been captured before. You can compare the Windmill before and after restoration. The restorers' plan was to get the Windmill back to the specification last seen in archival photos taken when the Windmill last worked back in the early 20th century. Over intervening years, it had decayed and by the 1940s lost some of its original features. Rescued in the 1960s, it needed major work by the millennium. The 2008-2009 rebuild put most features back, but without sacrificing the historic timbers. I've zoomed in on the ancient wood, showing the weather and work beaten patina. You'll see photos of the stripped down Windmill, where strengthening steel girders have been installed, before the cladding was re-instated. There are photos of the dismantled mechanism, and the reconstruction of the roundhouse.
I'm looking to fund the huge printing costs of launching this coffee table photographic book. It is a hardback, full colour, 176 page book printed on top quality paper. This is not digital printing but a traditional litho printed top end book. The sort of book you'll treasure and be proud to show to visitors or give as gifts.
These are some of the key chapters:
- Topography of the land around the Windmill
- Village festivals and events that involve the Windmill
- Dismantling the Windmill
- Rebuilding the Windmill
- The sites of old vanished local windmills
- Pottery and Brick-making that sculpted the landscape
- The environment, fauna and flora
- Interviews with older village residents about the Windmill
I've included many aerial photos from planes and drones to help you understand the landscape the Windmill is set in. Here's an extract:
"The common land Brill Windmill stands on is scarred by the industrial clay quarrying, potteries and brick manufacturing that Brill built its reputation on. Brill bricks were widely used for construction of local and regional dwellings. The clay extraction left a pock marked “lunar” landscape that eventually grassed over after the demise of the brickwork kilns. The topography and hovels built nearby were likely to have inspired J. R. R. Tolkien for his series of Hobbit books when visiting from Oxford."
There's the human side too. I interviewed a few older villagers who spent or, some say, misspent their youth playing around the Windmill. They also comment on the state of the Windmill in former years and its recent restoration.
If you live in Brill, you'll be proud to have this book as a record, especially when you see the Millennium photo with 400 villagers; you are probably in it but 17 years younger! And how about sending a copy to far flung relatives? If you are a windmill enthusiast, the detail of the photography and rare photos of dismantled parts will make this a compulsive purchase. Brill Society, which looks after the Windmill is fully supportive of this book. Here's an extract of the foreword:
"The Brill Society is delighted to be associated with Tim Andrew’s outstanding record of Brill Windmill and commend this publication to all those interested in the building, or pursuing the bounds of photography".
Jan Molyneux, Chairman, Brill Society.
Book launch; I plan to have an official launch of the book at the annual Brill Festival on the bank holiday weekend of 26 & 27th August 2017. The books will be printed well in advance of this, so supporting this kickstarter project will mean you get your book early. I'll update this page with progress. I have had a few quotes in from printers, and this project is definitely a goer once this Kickstarter project gets funded. After the funding period is over I will order the printing from the printers. This is likely to take around 4-8 weeks from order, so the earliest the books will be sent out is beginning of June 2017. I'll be keeping you updated here so you know when to expect yours.
I'll be using an FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified UK printer, who sources paper from sustainable forests and manages and recycles waste.
Update - Saturday 8th March
I've just received a foreword (which I can still add to the book) by Luke Bonwick. He is one of the UK's leading millwrights and was responsible for the recent restoration of Brill Windmill. Here's an extract, "There used to be hundreds of windmills like this one dotted around the east of England and the home counties. Most were knocked down, blown over or simply left to rot when advances in milling technology left them unable to compete. The fact that Brill mill stands firm today is nothing short of miraculous."He is also proof reading the book to check for technical details.
Update - Saturday 8th March
The campaign has sailed past the £3000 milestone, but the end date is approaching fast. Sales so far have mostly gone to Brill residents and a few to their friends/families scattered around the globe. So I'll be leaflet dropping houses in Brill, as some people have said they didn't know about the book despite all my PR/social media/posters. A sense of urgency helps when people are sitting on the fence, so to speak.
Update - Monday 27th March
The campaign has reached a significant milestone of £2000. By special request I've added a 4 book reward. You can of course just modify the price of a reward; so if choosing a £30 book and changing the price to £90 I will know you want three books and that is fine.
Update - Friday 24th March
I've added a very special price for trade resellers in the UK only. If you run a book shop, cafe, pub etc and want a stock of 20 books, then this is for you. I'll deliver them for free within 15 miles of Brill, or add the postage during the pledge process. If you are not a trader but still want to buy 20, then that's fine too!
Update - Thursday 16th March
I've been promoting this project via posters around Brill and press releases to local newspapers to support the online effort. Today the fund stands at 25% with 4 weeks to go, which is really encouraging, but please share this to all your contacts to keep the kettle boiling.
Risks and challenges
The main risk is funding, without this Kickstarter campaign I'd be unable to fund printing at a sufficient quantity to make the book affordable. Once printing is taken care of the risks are very small. Things can still go wrong of course, such as printing faults, disputes, or late delivery from printers. There are plenty of Kickstarter projects that slip or fail, but book publishing is a well sorted industry without the problems associated with high technology etc. The book itself is already 100% written, laid out and photos prepared, so there's no risk of incompletion. Technically, it has been prepared in Adobe inDesign which is an industry standard page layout app that checks all sorts of technicalities before sending the files off to the printers. My work as a full time freelance photographer means I'm very familiar with the issues of preparing photos for printing. All the photos and text are mine so there are no issues with copyright and no third parties who could fail to deliver copy or images.
Many thanks, and I'm sure you will enjoy your copy of the book.
yours Tim Andrew
- (36 days)