The inscription is an excerpt from a poem by the 11th century Arab poet, Ibn Mucana, who lived on the Iberian Peninsula in the Alcabideche area (in present day Cascais, Portugal). The excerpt translates as, "If you are a determined man, you need a mill that works with the clouds without depending on the streams". Ibn Mucana is thought to be the first writer on the Iberian Peninsula to expressly mention the existence of windmills in the area.
Wailes, Reginald (1901-1986), engineer, known as Rex
"With the complements of HA". Stamped Hallam Ashley FRPS "for Rex Wailes". Rex Wailes' note reads, "Langley Marsh. The [?]shaft of brakewheel of Langley Marsh drainage mill during demolition. The author if taking measurements".
Two sets of handwriting on the reverse. Rex Wailes' note reads, "Leach's Eight Sailed mill, Lynn Road, Wisbech. This [corn] mill was built on an old post mill mound. The sails were removed in 1896. It had originally 4 sails but by 1840 it had 8. When this change was made is not certain. Copy photo from A.A. Oldham, Mount Drive, Wisbech". The second set of handwriting is in pencil (underneath Rex Wailes' notes) and reads, "The Eight Sail Mill, Lynn Road, Wisbech. Taken before removal of sails in 1896. (Copy of original photo of course). Cap of mill demolished in summer of 1947".
Note on reverse reads, "letter in Mr Strain's rooms" and attached to the back is the following: "Recently WORTHAM Smock-Mill, Suffolk was demolished and in the picture workmen are removing the smock-boards off the body of the mill, while another stands on the curb upon which the cap rotates when the wind strikes the fantail on right of picture. The valuable timber was sold in lots recently. Photo: C. Elliott, Beccles".