I’m going to tell you a little bit about how I came to be a Miller.
~ by Karl Grevatt.
Before taking over Charlecote Mill, I worked within building conservation around Oxfordshire and Buckingham. I originally trained as a Carpenter but also worked using lime mortars. My interest in mills was sparked when I worked on Brill Windmill, not far from Bicester – it’s a small post mill and I was fascinated by it.
Following that I was lucky enough to be asked to apply for the William Morris Craft Fellowship, which is run by the SPAB (Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings) and I was selected to become a Fellow in 2009. The Fellowship is a unique course allowing crafts people, who work within building conservation to further their understanding and knowledge, try different skills and work with experts within their field. It’s spread over a year in two month blocks and gives you the opportunity to travel within the UK and work with crafts-people and experts within their field.
On my Fellowship I decided to concentrate on milling and millwrighting.
On my Fellowship I decided to concentrate on milling and millwrighting and spent some time with mills and millwrights around the UK. it’s then that I joined John Bedington for a week at Charlecote Mill. I was struck by how original and unspoilt the mill was and how traditionally it was run. There are only a handful of traditional mills left running commercially in the UK and I was amazed to see this one surviving so well. I went away from my time there contemplating what it would be like to be a Miller.
A year later (2010) I decided to become a trustee for the Fellowship and help support the course that had opened my eyes and introduced me to my future. I stayed in touch with John and went to help him at times on repairs and maintenance and when he said he was looking to retire, it didn’t take me long to jump at the chance. What an amazing opportunity to use my traditional skills, looking after one building. I also gain my own business and become part of the mill’s history – it was too good not to try!
It was about 2 years in the making from the initial decision to then becoming Miller.
In July 2012 I resigned from my job and went to shadow John for 3-4 months to learn from him and have a crash course in milling. I didn’t know if I was going to get to grips with milling, or running a business for that matter, but I officially took over the mill in October 2012 and I haven’t looked back since. I’m very lucky to be the custodian of Charlecote Mill, I love my job and spending my time looking after this amazing piece of working history. I thank John for his continued support and knowledge and I’m so lucky to have such supportive family and friends.
I’m a very happy Miller indeed! 😄