File NICH-REP-UK-018 - Notebook - 1974 to 1985

Reference code

NICH-REP-UK-018

Title

Notebook - 1974 to 1985

Date(s)

  • 12 October 1974 (Creation)

Level of description

File

Extent and medium

1 notebook

Name of creator

(11 February 1938 - 21 August 2020)

Biographical history

Having attended Reading Collegiate School, David Nicholls' career as a millwright began as an employee at F. Ingram Smith Limited where he worked alongside Derek Ogden (and others) on the restoration of Woodbridge Tide Mill (1973). Other early projects involved F Ingram Smith Limited supporting the millwright, John Fairbanks, in dismantling and moving Alton Water Mill, Stutton to The Museum of East Anglian Life, Stowmarket and the restoration of Felin Geri Water Mill, Newcastle Emlyn, for which the firm was awarded a European Architectural Heritage Award in 1975.

Nicholls left F Ingram Smith Limited in 1975 to join Jameson Marshall Limited during which period Nicholls took on the restoration of Wilton Windmill from Derek Ogden (1975 -1976). The project introduced Nicholls to stone dressing (under instruction from the Potter brothers of Ecchinswell Water Mill). The completed project at Wilton won a Civic Trust Award in 1976. Other highlights from this period included surveying work with Rex Wailes and for SPAB (1976), major repairs to the sweeps at Outwood Post Mill (1978-1979), and the restoration of Mapledurham Water Mill (1977). After its restoration, Nicholls set up a weekend milling operation at Mapledurham which he continued for five years before handing its operation over to Mildred Cookson in 198[3] who continued its operation with assistance from David, his wife, Diana, and family.

Nicholls left Jameson Marshall Limited in 1979, becoming one of five founding directors of Millwrights International Limited, where he took on the role of managing director and administrator and where he remained until his resignation in early 1988 (the company being liquidated in 1989). When time allowed, Nicholls worked on a variety of 'hands-on' repair and restoration projects, including the dismantling, moving and rebuild of Chiseldon Tower Mill (1984).

In 1988 Nicholls set up The Chiltern Partnership as sole proprietor, with a staff of eight employees. Major works during this period included the extensive restoration of Wellesbourne Watermill (1989), Warwick Castle Watermill (1991-1992), further restoration work on Wilton Windmill (1992-1993) and major repairs at Maddingley Post Mill (1993-1994) where dendrochronological analysis was deployed to reveal re-use of 16th century materials. It was also during this period that Nicholls carried out a survey and drew up proposals for the complete restoration of the Morgan Lewis Windmill, Barbados, the only remaining sugar mill in the Caribbean, resulting in a five year programme of repair (1994-1999). During this period Nicholls also set up The Amy Nicholls Mill Wall Project for the Barbadian Ministry of Education involving schools in plotting any mill walls remaining on the island, The Chiltern Partnership donating prizes for winning entries (1995-1996).

In 2000, the business of The Chiltern Partnership was sold to IJP Building Conservation Limited (now Owlsworth IJP) where Nicholls took the position of director of millwork, stepping down in 2002. Since then, Nicholls continued to work and advise as a millwright, often in a volunteer capacity (Quainton Windmill (2009-2011) and Pann Mill, High Wycombe (2007-2008)), a last major piece of consultancy being an extensive survey of House Mill, Bromley-by-Bow in 2011. From [2010], Nicholls was in regular contact with the Mills Archive, providing details of the scope of his career [NICH-PER-xxx] as well making two large deposits of the records which comprise the David Nicholls (Millwright) Collection.

Repository

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Scope and content

Nicholl's foolscap notebook containing:
(1) 56 double-sided pages of dated notes, drawings, and measurements of the wind and watermills listed at "Place access points below".
(2) A newspaper clipping from the mid 1980s reporting on Millwrights International Limited's work on the restoration and removal of Chiseldon tower mill to Windmill Hill Business Centre, Swindon.
(3) A photocopied newspaper clipping from [the Telegraph] reporting on the restoration of Mapledurham Watermill, also referencing Nicholl's concern about the future of milling machinery at Rhydlydan Watermill, Wales.
(3) Further notes, contacts, addresses and potential suppliers of materials are listed on the last 6 pages of the notebook.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling

Accruals

System of arrangement

Conditions governing access

This material may be consulted free of charge at the Mills Archive; please email visitors@millsarchive.org to arrange an appointment.

Conditions governing reproduction

Language of material

Script of material

Language and script notes

Finding aids

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

Related descriptions

Alternative identifier(s)

Subject access points

Place access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used

Status

Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion

Language(s)

Script(s)

Sources

Accession area

Related subjects

Related people and organizations

Related genres

Related places