Blue Flower

We get a lot of visitor interest about the mechanism from a Saladin Box on display at the bone mill. This is from The Maltings which is a mile upstream from the mill and made malt from barley. The malt laid on the floor had to be continuously turned as part of the process, this was originally done by hand but the saladin box automated this task. 

A revolving shaft running the length of the floor provided power which moved the mechanism along the floor and turned the stirring blades driven from a shaft at 90 degrees to the main shaft, see diagram. When it reached either end of the building an End Stop hit the lever which can be seen at the top of the mechanism, this disengaged a dog clutch and engaged the opposite one to reverse the direction of travel. The clutches and gears can be seen in the pictures. Oil reservoir boxes and covers are intact and can also be seen. 

Because the drive shaft was so long it had to be supported at various places along the length, but the mechanism also needed to pass, so it was supported by half bearings which were lowered as the mechanism passed, the bar with angled ends at the bottom of the unit lowered the support bearings as it approached and returned them when it had passed. A pinion at the bottom of the mechanism drove the unit along a rack the length of the building, two sections of rack were found in 2022 and put on display, one in situ to show how it worked, and one on the wall of the visitor centre.

The Maltings is now a small industrial estate but was originally a larger establishment with railway sidings going in to serve the buildings as well as the river. A large fire in 1992 destroyed much of the complex but the main building with its distinctive roof still survives and is now used as a carpentry workshop and fitness studio. Also part of The Maltings estate are a row of holiday cottages, a doctors surgery (now closed), a fishing lake known as The Pit, and railway piers which used to support the low railway bridge. The Maltings has the river on both sides due to a fork in the river. The river bank from The Maltings to the bone mill has private fishing.

There are several connections between the bone mill and The Maltings:-

The Maltings was a collection point for locally supplied bones which were then taken by boat to the mill.

The mill and maltings were both owned by the Marriott brothers when they were in use.

They are now both owned by the Munford family. 

The Maltings yard and workshops were used to refurbish the railway wagon, build our new visitor centre, swinging footbridge and walkway, make the oak gate frame over the river and create the seat and table used outside at the mill made from old maltings machinery. In 2022 the new shed was made at the maltings.

Some of the bone mill equipment is stored in a secure building at The Maltings and taken to the mill when needed.

The Maltings yard is our bone mill volunteers meeting place and the railway piers area is our visitors car park at open days and events.

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