Australia, Australian history, windmill

a tall, elegant, rusty icon of Australian rural history (pt 2)




Following on from previous post Pt 1 . . .  As mentioned I wanted the fan’s shaft, gears, cogs & associated parts checked, oiled & serviced before we finalised the installation. I wanted the top of the stand, where the fan is attached, also checked for safety & durability. The 2 images above show the fellas, a few weeks later, taking down the heavy fan (also known as the mill, sails or blades) for servicing.  It’s just that, given the windmill’s age & work history, & when first erected, it creaked & squeaked a little more than I felt comfortable with.

Nothing surprising given the old gal had been turning for a long time, most likely with little or no attention for what could be many, many years. As I say she’s a fair dinkum vintage Aussie gem. Don’t get me wrong, the early Australian windmills were well constructed & proved to be very reliable with many operating & pumping water for 50, 60 years or more.  In the images above they had just removed the tail. I could now embellish it

                                          😉  😄




A week or two later, after servicing the fan, the guys were back to re-install it and the tail.  In these fascinating images & short video clips you see them attaching the fan to the lifting harness, started the lift & installing. Then you see the tail go back on.



The slow, careful raising of the suspended fan.




The fan hangs, unattached, while the guys checked out its positioning & connections. It was then brought down again to re-attach the tail.










😁 😉

How could I not embellish the tail accordingly?  Nothing flash or arty-farty as I’m not an artist or calligrapher. Plain & simple letters painted with exterior oil based paint for more durability. I started off with enlarged paper alphabet letters printed off from the computer & roughly cut out.  I kind of loosely taped them to the tail so I could outline in pencil then paint.  As I say, nothing very straight or precise – just enough to convey what’s needed.

My basic research reveals that the tail usually indicated the make or brand name of the windmill & each windmill brand may have had a defining tail shape.  If you look closely at the tail you can see the very faded words: BRYAN BROS FOOTSCRAY under the new words




Tail on the ground waiting to be attached to the sails.




The fan had to be brought down again to pick up the tail.


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Attaching the tail.




Above 4 shots show the fellas re-connecting the tail to the fan ready to hoist up again & attach to the stand.



Hauling the fan & tail back up.

Connecting the fan & tail to the stand.





This magnificent piece of Australiana, an icon of Australian rural life found a new home here. Of course, it’s not a functional windmill anymore.  I didn’t get it to pump water. This ol’ lady is simply a piece of Australian history, made in Australia, deserving of preservation in my mind.

While, to some, it’s just a bit of rusty junk, an old piece of machinery fit for the scrap-metal heap, I see it in a more romantic light. This tall, elegant, old lady stands proud as we look across & down from the front veranda watching her whirl and turn and squeak, so magnificently, just as she did for all those years pumping water for our rural farming communities in Australia.




The aspect, the vista, is as I wanted.




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