Historic windmills preserved for generations by council project in Kent

Windmill in Kent are being preserved for generations by a council project to save the county's heritage buildings.

The 19th century site at West Kingsdown is among those repaired by volunteers from the Kent County Council Heritage Service.

The council, which owns more windmills than any other in the country, says historic sites would risk "falling into disrepair" if they didn't act.

Luke Bonwick, one of the council's conservation officers, explained that the heritage service is often "the owner of last resort."

"There was a public move from the 1950s onwards to try and preserve some of these traditional buildings.

"Over the decades the council acquired more and more."

"It's a bit like painting the Forth Bridge really," he said.

"Once you have finished you have to start again and with eight windmills, there's plenty for us to do."

Drapers Windmill in Margate is another of those historic buildings owned by the council.

It was originally built in the 1800s and was due to be sold for development during the 1960s - before being save by the headteacher of the primary school opposite.

The chairman of the trust that now runs the mill, Steve Villette, was a pupil at that school during the 50s.

"Children today don't know what a windmill is" he said.

"All the technology, the gearing, the measuring the weighing...just seeing it work I find it inspirational."