For the second day that I was venturing out, I decided to go to a local museum called the Green Mill museum which houses a fully functional 18th century water mill.
This day started out with sunlight – what a shocker! Okay, I have to say that the rumours about the bad, dreary weather in/around London, though true, are really over exaggerated. Even in winter, there were some days with sunlight, and the only annoying thing was the cold rain, because it was way too windy to carry an umbrella. Now that spring is finally here, it seems the sun coming out more often. Of course, it’s no where as sunny as my tropical homeland, but it really ain’t that bad.
Anyway, getting to the museum was super easy, as I have a direct bus there from school. The area was rather quiet that day, and the museum itself looked rather unassuming, but I saw the ‘milling today’ sign and was immediately overjoyed. When I entered, the lady at the counter looked so surprised. She told me that visitors were sparse in the winter.
Besides the mill, there is also a small gallery area in the museum which changes its exhibits of art and local history every now and again. When I visited, they were having a WWI & WWII exhibit! The lady told me to take my time looking around and let her know when I was done so she could call the miller.
There were some really cool things in the exhibit, including a gas mask, wartime medals and clothes and ration cards.
I then informed the lady at the entrance and made my way to the milling room. And what a huge mill it was! Just look at those gears. Maybe I’m just stupid, but I didn’t actually know what mills were used for, and that day I learned at least one thing – they make flour, among other things.
He then led me to the water wheel, which was built over the river Lea. This particular wheel is really massive, and with the mill up and running it started to sound like we were at the base of a waterfall. While the miller was enthusiastically explaining how it works, I just had to smile and nod – because it was so loud I had no idea what he was saying.
The mill makes 3 grades of flour that range from course to fine. The miller really went above and beyond to explain to me how the gears and millstones work to grind the wheat into the different grades of flour. You can even buy home some freshly ground flour here!
The staff were all really lovely and asked me about how I had found their little museum (google is my best friend). This was definitely one of the best educational places I visited, simply because its so intimate and the people are so warm and willing to explain. If you happen to be around Hatfield (Ha) do check this little place out! You will definitely not forget the experience.
The museum also has a garden area, but as it was winter there was nothing there. So, I started to make my way back to school and guess what – I saw a bunch of wild swans! They immediately swam towards me but I didn’t have any bread (or food, for that matter) on me so I just said sorry and carried on my way. It was really an unexpectedly great day!