Friday, 7 June 2013

Memories from the Mill

Hazel Nudd, Stubb Mill Guide 

NWT Stubb Mill
I first visited Stubb Mill in 1974 with my future husband Harry, who was born in the cottage next to the mill and was still living there with his parents. Having grown up in a house with all the modern conveniences the 1960s could provide, I was amazed to discover that some people still lived without running water and a flush toilet, and cooked on a coal-fired rayburn. Harry’s family had looked after the mill since it was built in about 1800, at first living in the mill itself and later in the cottage alongside. My father-in-law, Billy was the last man to work the mill, which had been built to drain the surrounding marshes and was in use until 1940. 

After Billy died in 1993 the cottage remained empty and all the buildings were falling into disrepair; Harry was resigned to seeing them left to ruin as had happened to so many of the old marsh mills. It was wonderful news for us when Norfolk Wildlife Trust and the Broads Authority chose Stubb Mill as the final year project for its millwright bursary training scheme in 2009. Although the mill will probably never carry sails again, most of the works are still inside as well as the infrastructure of the living accommodation, and parts of the other buildings still contain signs of a way of life that died out almost before living memory. 

Harry and I wrote down everything we could remember of what he had told us about the mill and the family, and we were pleased to pass this on to Norfolk Wildlife Trust along with some old photographs that are on display in the mill. Passing on this knowledge on our open days is something that I enjoy immensely and some visitors bring along information that is new to me. Last month one visitor had newspaper reports of an accident at the mill in 1851 in which a child died and another gave me details of Billy’s involvement with Norfolk Fruit Growers. Why not join me for a guided tour of Stubb Mill? 

Sunday 16 June, 11.30am and 2pm
Sunday 21 July, 11.30am and 2pm
Sunday 18 August, 11.30am and 2pm
Sunday 15 September, 11am-4pm – Heritage Open Day

Join Hazel Nudd at the newly restored Stubb Mill in NWT Hickling for a guided tour of this wonderful building; look at historical photographs and climb right up into the cap to see the inner workings.  As well as getting a wonderful insight into a piece of Norfolk history, there are fabulous views across our nature reserve.

Venue: Park at NWT Hickling Broad Visitor Centre and meet at NWT Stubb Mill
Cost: £2.50 adults, £1 children (free with full reserve admission and to members)
Booking essential: call 01692 598276


  1. We had a wonderful visit on June 16th and thoroughly enjoyed listening to Hazel's passionate account of the Mill's history. It meant so much more as she can recount at first hand what happened to the family who lived there. The interior is beautiful and views amazing. We were blessed with great weather and a lovely time of year.
    Can thoroughly recommend a visit. Thank you Hazell.

  2. if this blog is still being monitored please could you contact me on 07768 286113 or My father in laws mother was a Nudd and we are trying to follow the family line..

    1. Hi Keith, thanks for getting in touch. I've passed your details on to the People and Wildlife team who will be in touch with you!