Union Mill Union Mill, Cranbrook
Registered charity no.1031879

Photo Gallery

Mill Pictures | Millers | Renovations | Mill Workers | Delivery vehicles | The mill since 2003

The state of the Mill - pictures over the last 120 years which reflect it's economic fortunes:

pre1880 with the
original wide staging

1906 - run down
and neglected

ca1930 - in good
working order

ca1940 - still in good order

1944 - showing chimney
of engine house

1958 - awaiting restoration
Union Mill
1998 with black
steel stocks

2005 - after Lottery

Millers/Owners of Cranbrook Union Mill - dates in brackets are the years when they ran the mill. Each picture is linked to a page about their time in charge of the mill.

George Russell
George Russell (1832-1850)
John(1) Russell
John Russell (1832-1871)
Ebenezer Russell
Ebenezer Russell (1871-1883)
Hugh Russell
Hugh Russell (1883-1902)
Caleb Russell
Caleb Russell (1902-1918)

John Russell (1918-1956)

Renovations by Dutch Millwrights
The Kent County Council took over the mill in 1958 and decided to employ Christiaan Bremer's team of millwrights from Adorp in the Netherlands to restore the mill and get the sweeps turning again. At that time there were no plans to grind grain although the stones were in working order. The opening ceremony was on 25th July and the last photo shows the Dutch team listening to the speeches from the staging.

Pictures taken in the 1990s, with the black steel stocks installed by the Dutch millwrights.

Union Mill Union Mill
Sweps and spider
Union Mill Union Mill
Fantail and striking gear
Union Mill
Repairing shutters

Other workers - working in the mill or for the Union Mills Company

Mlll workers on steps
Hugh Russell left of dog
Thomas Hinkley
Thomas Hinkley
Frank Reeves
Frank Reeves
Henry Hicks
Henry Hicks
Miller/Foreman 1950s
Reuben and Samuel Mercer
Reuben and Samuel

Transport - How the flour and animal feedstuffs were delivered.

Mill Workers and large cart ca1890
Mill Workers and delivery
cart ca1890
Hugh Russell on left
Small Cart driven by Charlie Holyer ca1945
Small Cart driven by
Charlie Holyer ca1945
Lorry driven by Fred Bryant
Mill lorry driven by Fred Bryant

In 2002-3, major renovations were carried out on the mill. There are lots of pictures HERE.

The Mill since the 2002-3 renovations:

Cleaning the Mill Cleaning the Mill
After three years the outside of the mill had become very dirty with algae and accumulated dirt and in October 2007 KCC employed some "abseilers" to give it a good clean with soapy water and a scrubbing brush.

More Abseiling 2010-2011:
ONLY THREE years later the mill looked very dirty with the algae and dirt returning on the rough (unplaned) weatherboarding used in the 2002-3 restoration, so in October 2010 KCC employed more "abseilers" to clean and paint the mill - and tar the base as well.

Repainting the Mill 2011
looking really white
Repainting the Mill 2011
on the last sweep
Repainting the Mill 2011
where's the other guy gone?
Repainting the Mill 2011
and the brick base, too

By 2016, the sweeps were in a poor state of repair and had to be removed due to rot in the timbers. One was completely rebuilt, the other three repaired, and these were re-intsalled on the mill in June 2017. You can see photos and find a link to a video of the whole operation HERE