Apprentices rebuild watermill machinery

Mill of Benholm Trustees found themselves in a predicament recently, as they found themselves without the funds or the knowledge to repair the watermill and get it running again in time for the 2012 visitor season.

Wear on working parts of one section of the mill machinery had made it dangerous to operate resulting in all the mechanisms being brought to a standstill and the mill being silent.

Visitors to Mill of Benholm walk down into a small valley where the ancient mill was renovated and reopened in 1995 as a time capsule of Scottish industrial history. The working watermill provides a unique experience of life as our forefathers knew it.

Apprentices from the GlaxoSmithKline works in Montrose stepped in to investigate and applied their skills and knowledge of modern technology to replace and reshape worn metal bearings and wooden bushes and remake other broken parts.

Mel Robertson, Engineering Team Manager at GSK then arranged for the apprentices to spend a day working amongst the ancient machinery re-installing the repaired parts.

Mel said, “We are delighted to be able to help out Mill of Benholm with this both interesting and historic challenge. The apprentices have really enjoyed getting involved in something completely different from their normal day jobs and with the GSK Montrose site celebrating its 60th anniversary this year the nostalgic link is very poignant.”

The Mill of Benholm Trust is delighted to put in place on the machinery a plaque celebrating the work of the young apprentices and recognising the crucial role which can be played by commerce and industry in cherishing our heritage and a valuable community resource for this and future generations.