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September events

haystack building at brixton windmill

It's "back to school" with a vengeance for the Friends in September! As well as our main Harvest Festival on 17 September and the second annual Windmill Lecture we have four open days, two guided walks, our Autumn General Meeting, a bat walk, and Lambeth Local History Fair, part of Lambeth Heritage Festival. 

Put the dates in your diary now!

  • 2 September: Lambeth Local History Fair, St Leonard's Church, Streatham - the Friends will have a stall with guides, merchandise, and flour 
  • 7 September: Bat walk in Windmill Gardens - meet at the gate at 7.45pm
  • 9, 10, 16 and 17 September: Open days at Brixton Windmill, with free tours
  • 9 and 10 September: Guided walks of Brixton Hill area - meet by the windmill at 1pm, £5 per person
  • 17 September: Harvest festival, including haystack building, Brixton Windmill Theatre Group, free workshops, snail races, live music, and a bouncy castle
  • 20 September: Autumn General Meeting (see below)
  • 27 September: Windmill Lecture on the history of the Ashby family by Viv Whittingham, descendant of John Ashby, the first miller at Brixton Windmill
As you might expect, with all these events our team of fantastic volunteers will be at full stretch. If you are able to help out for an hour or two at any of these events we'd be eternally grateful! No experience needed - our regular volunteers will show you the ropes. Email to help out.

Autumn General Meeting on 20 September

guided tour of brixton windmill

OK, so it's not the sexiest subject in the world, but at our Autumn General Meeting we will be discussing a very important proposal that the Friends of Windmill Gardens change from being a charity that is unincorporated to an incorporated charity.

Why is this? Well, Lambeth Council are building an education and visitor centre in Windmill Gardens, which should be completed in 2018. The Council expect the Friends to take a lease on the building and enter into a Community Service Agreement providing for the Friends to manage the building and organise activities based in it. 

These responsibilities would give rise to substantial liabilities, and steps must therefore be taken to protect members from being personally liable. This can be achieved in only one way - namely, replacing the existing unincorporated association with one which is incorporated with limited liability of the members. 

There are more details on our website about what this change will mean, as well as a model constitution for the proposed charitable incorporated organisation.

If you are a member, please try to attend this meeting to discuss this important decision.

When: Wednesday 20 September, 7pm
Where: St Paul’s Community Centre, 24 Blenheim Gardens, SW2 5BZ 

Repairs to Brixton Windmill

brixton windmill fenced off

If you have been in Windmill Gardens in the past week you will have noticed that Lambeth Council have railed off the area behind the windmill. This is because a recent survey of the windmill has indicated that parts of the sails are dangerous and could fall off.

Following lobbying by the Friends about damp and other problems both inside and outside the windmill, including the poor state of the sails, which have not been painted since the major refurbishment of 2010, the council commissioned a detailed specialist survey of the building.

We understand that the council will carry out major repairs at Brixton Windmill over the next few months, including repairing and painting the sails and following up the surveyor’s recommendation to resolve the damp problem by improving drainage at the base of the windmill.

It is very important that this work is completed before the rain and frost of the winter months cause further damage at Brixton Windmill.

Fresh locally grown veg supports windmill

brixton windmill veg stall

Brixton Windmill benefited this summer from a great partnership with Myatt's Fields Park community greenhouse plant nursery. They supplied our FoWG Parks Group with a variety of healthy seedlings, which two of our members grew on in their allotment.

The result: we were able to offer local residents a continuous and varied supply of tasty organically grown salad leaves and vegetables, sold at the end of most tai chi sessions in Windmill Gardens on Saturdays and at various pop-up stalls. So far this year £651 has been raised for Brixton Windmill from these sales, which also included very tasty jam and chutney made from locally grown soft fruit.

Thanks to our hard working Parks Group volunteers, our jam makers, and above all to Fabrice and all our friends at Myatt's Field Park for organising such a great local food-growing initiative.

News in brief
green flag
  • Windmill Gardens retained its Green Flag Community Award this year for the third year running, one of three in Lambeth (in addition to 14 Green Flag Awards for larger parks). If you'd like to vote for Windmill Gardens in the People's Choice Awards, go to the Windmill Gardens page on the Green Flag website and click the green "Vote for this site" button. Voting opens on 1 September and closes on 10 September.
  • Thanks to the recent acquisition of a collection of reference books about windmills, we have the start of a good resource about English windmills. When the new education centre is built these books will have a permanent home. If you have books, tools or other items that relate to the history of windmills, flour milling, bread making or photos/memoirs about living in Brixton Hill in the 19th and 20th centuries that you would like to donate or sell, contact
  • The Friends have successfully bid for a grant from the Association of Independent Museums (AIM) to help prepare our education programme in the new building. The key elements of the project are to employ a consultant to write two new modules for the education workshop programme and to develop a robust monitoring system to quantify the impact of workshops delivered on the progress of the class/groups that attend. We are currently putting together an advert for this post and drawing up a job description that covers all the outcomes outlined in our bid and required by AIM. If you know of anyone who might be suitable to carry out this work please email so that we can circulate the advert to them once it is agreed.

Free tai chi on Saturdays
tai chi small
Can you help?
There are only 12 more free tai chi classes to go. The classes take place in Windmill Gardens every Saturday morning, 11am - noon, with experienced local teachers Nigel Gilderson and Anna Franklin.

Classes are open to all levels of ability - no previous experience necessary. All ages welcome. No booking needed - just turn up to join in. Loose, warm clothing and light footwear advisable.

We are grateful to Lambeth Community Fund and the London Community Foundation for supporting these classes.

For more information phone 07587170029 or email

All the tours of Brixton Windmill and other activities are run by our team of fantastic volunteers - why not join us? 

Whether it's milling, guiding, baking, gardening, event organising, selling merchandise, setting up gazebos or making tea, there's always a wide range of tasks available, if you can spare a couple of hours a month.

And if you want to get more involved, you can join one of our sub-groups covering communications, events, education, milling, the park, or fundraising - it would be great to have you on board!

Email for more information.

24 Prague Place | London SW2 5ED                            
Phone: 07587 170029

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Friends of Windmill Gardens
24 Prague Place
London, England SW2 5ED

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