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27 July 2018

Nederwaard 1 mill’s stock repaired

Yesterday, the expert craftsmen of Van Der Vegt smithy and construction firm clambered all the way into the Nederwaard 1 windmill to repair its damaged stock. The high-altitude special operation was completed successfully.

Nederwaard 1 mill’s stock repaired

As our more astute visitors will have noticed, the Nederwaard 1 windmill has been standing still for about two weeks now. This was done as a precaution, after minor damage was detected in the welds of the stock, which has been in service for some forty years. Presently, the damage has been expertly repaired by the professionals of Van Der Vegt, a Bleskensgraaf-based company with ample experience in the specialist jobs like working on the World Heritage windmills. They started working in ideal conditions: as they began early on Wednesday morning, a slight drizzle set in. As if it had been arranged in advance, this type of weather is ideal for the job, because both the thatched roof and the parched mill yard had to be kept moist throughout the welding activities. As a further fire prevention measure, volunteers from the Kinderdijk World Heritage Foundation were standing by to keep the mill and the yard damp as work commenced.

A brief work consult at Nederwaard 1. To the right, Van Der Vegt’s general manager Weso Wijnen inspects the site.Vooroverleg bij Nederwaard 1. Rechts directeur Wesco Wijnen van Van der Vegt.

A brief work consult at Nederwaard 1. To the right, Van Der Vegt’s general manager Weso Wijnen inspects the site.Vooroverleg bij Nederwaard 1. Rechts directeur Wesco Wijnen van Van der Vegt.

Bjorn den Ouden, Nederwaard 1’s miller, was afraid that his mill would be out of service for a year or more, but fortunately, that turned out not to be the case. He was obviously pleased with the prospect: “After all, that’s my favourite thing to do; making sure my own windmill keeps spinning.” To make sure that no faulty welds remain, the entire stock was subjected to a close inspection. No further weak spots were detected.

The stocks were manufactured here in Kinderdijk back in 1979

This particular stock is known as a ‘Nederwaard stock’, and it dates back to 1979. What makes this one special is the fact that Nederwaard stocks were made in the stock workshop that used to be next to the J.U. Smit pumping station, which is our visitors centre today. The lifespan of these stocks is estimated at anywhere between forty and fifty years. The stocks of our Nederwaard 1 and Nederwaard 6 mills – original Nederwaard specimens too – will be kept under close supervision in the coming years, just to make sure they are replaced in time.

The author

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