Ref NoMILL/TIFF
CollectionTiffin Mill Scrapbooks
TitleTiffin Mill Scrapbook
Datec 1902-c 1982
Extent1 m/5 volumes
Description3 scrapbooks of mill pictures, donation from Donald Muggeridge.
PhysicalDescriptionScrapbook
Admin historyDonald Muggeridge was a Kentish man, and he obviously inherited his father William's enthusiasm for windmills. Donald feels that he was very fortunate to have his own life-long interest aroused at a time when there were still more than 200 windmills at work in England, and indeed still places where several could be within sight working at the same time. He was photographed by his father acting as 'miller's boy' to John Paris of Blackboys postmill in 1927. By 1932 he was taking his own pictures of this mill.

Donald Muggeridge was a Kentish man, and he obviously inherited his father William's enthusiasm for windmills. Donald feels that he was very fortunate to have his own life-long interest aroused at a time when there were still more than 200 windmills at work in England, and indeed still places where several could be within sight working at the same time. He was photographed by his father acting as 'miller's boy' to John Paris of Blackboys postmill in 1927. By 1932 he was taking his own pictures of this mill.

In 1933 Donald had met HES (Syd) Simmons, a fellow fanatic, and they embarked on a systematic tracking down and photographing of mills not only throughout Kent but all over the country. They became close friends and often met up at each other's homes to look at maps and pictures they had taken, as well as duplicating for one another many snaps taken in the course of their separate travels.

Donald and Vera MuggeridgeIn 1936 Donald met his future wife, Vera. Donald and Vera spent all their holidays and most weekends cycling about the countryside together looking for windmills, watermills, columbariums, direction posts, etc. - in fact anything that was part of 'bygone' England. Vera was particularly interested in the furniture of old churches. They covered up to a hundred miles a day.

Not only did Donald take pictures of the mills from outside, he managed to get a number of interior shots, particularly in Essex, Kent and Suffolk at a time before the advent of the flash bulb. This could only be done by using magnesium ribbon or flash gun, or by relying on natural daylight, an exposure time of about 20 minutes and a small aperture for better definition.

Donald volunteered the month after war broke out, and was sent to the Cavalry Barracks on the Sturry Road in Canterbury. Between October '39 and April 1940 while there he still carried on walking or cycling to the mills in his off-duty hours, and one picture shows his gas mask, fixed on behind the saddle of his bike. A month later he was on the Dunkirk beaches, but escaped without injury and, shortly after, was married to Vera at her home village of Chiddingfold.

He returned to Kent in 1943 to an infantry camp on Wrotham Hill, for officer training, but found time while there for visiting mills in a 10 mile radius, this time on foot. That same year his only son Derek was born. In the final phase of the war Donald saw action with an armoured division making its way from Normandy to Berlin,. Even then he found time to take about 400 photos of mills in Belgium, Holland & Germany, some in less than congenial circumstances. He returned home in 1946.

In the mid-1930s Donald had undertaken extensive field research into the windmills and millers of Surrey and Essex which he had hoped to publish. The Second World War interrupted that work and he eventually made all his notes and photographs available to Kenneth G. Farries and Martin T. Mason; they became a significant contribution to their Windmills of Surrey and Inner London (Charles Skilton, 1966) and later to Farries's five volume unique treatise Essex Windmills, Millers & Millwrights (Charles Skilton, 1981-8). More recently Trevor L. Stainwright drew on Donald's collection of photographs for his Windmills of Northamptonshire & the Soke of Peterborough (WD Wharton, 1991).
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