Thursday, 23 November 2017 09:24

A Miller's work is never done...

Keeping a working mill in good running order is quite a task and at Heatherslaw Cornmill maintenance goes on behind the scenes throughout the year. As the visitor season draws to a close you might be forgiven for thinking that the miller puts his feet up on a sack of grain and takes a well-earned break but in fact the opposite is true.
Every year in the autumn the millstones have to be “dressed”, a process which involves lifting the huge stones, which weigh around half a tonne each, sweeping them clean of flour and carefully re-grinding the channels and grooves which help to produce the high quality flours for which Heatherslaw Mill is renowned. If this wasn’t done then through time the surface of the stones would become so smooth that they would no longer cut and grind the grain correctly and would eventually cease to make flour.
In addition to dressing the stones the bearing in the bed-stone has to be cleaned and regreased, then it is packed tight with sheep’s wool and grease to keep everything turning smoothly for the year ahead
In days gone by the stones were dressed by hand, the miller using a “mill bill” – a type of stone pick – to slowly chip the lines and grooves. Nowadays the process is done using an electric grinder, which not only speeds it up but also causes much less damage to the millstone and produces a better end result.
Dave Harris-Jones, miller at Heatherslaw said…’’ Dressing the stones is such an important part of the mill year, when they are put back together and the first flour comes out it is as fine as talcum powder and always a time for celebration, The first of this flour will be available for the Ford Christmas Market on Nov 26th, The Mill is also staying open this winter on most Weds and Thursdays so our customers can call in to buy their flour and cereals”


Monday, 06 November 2017 14:32

Winter Opening

Details of winter opening hours below.  For further information please contact the venues direct.

Hay Farm Heavy Horse Centre is once again hosting the “Looking Back” event on 7th & 8th October and this year has something special to celebrate.  The Centre has just been accredited by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust (RBST) as a Rare Breeds Conservation Centre.  This award coincides with the RSBT’s launch of their #SaveOurHeavyHorses campaign. 

Friday, 29 September 2017 14:06

Along the Banks of the Till

Tweed said to Till, ‘What gars ye rin sae still?’

Till said to Tweed, ‘Though ye rin wi’ speed,

And I rin slaw,Yet where ye droun ae man,

I droun twa.’

The River Till is the only tributary of the Tweed that lies wholly in England. As the rhyme above suggests, it has a deceptive appearance. Although picturesque and tranquil-looking, it hides strong currents, and it is a spate river – fed from the Cheviot Hills, it can rise fast in wet periods, flooding large areas.

The countryside is constantly changing, both with the seasons and with the activities of man.  This week regular visitors to Ford & Etal will notice a big change to the landscape on the road between Heatherslaw Railway Station and Etal. The small clump of Poplar trees beside the cycle path has been felled. 

Monday, 25 September 2017 12:10

Heritage Heroes!

The children from Hugh Joicey C of E First School, Ford Village, became “Heritage Heroes” this summer by taking part in the Heritage Lottery funded Village Atlas Project run by local archaeological group TillVAS.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017 10:33

BBC4 MAKE! Craft Britain

MAKE! Craft Britain first aired on BBC4 in 2016 and proved to be extremely popular, and we are very excited that a new show (to be aired in 2018) will be filmed in the beautiful Lady Waterford Hall, Ford.  The Hall's wonderful murals and artworks provide an inspirational setting for keen artists and crafters to learn new techniques and hone their skills.  RDF Television is looking for outgong individuals or pairs to take part in the free 2-day craft workshop which will run over the weekend of 21st and 22nd October so if you are interested, or would like more information, contact them at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Saturday, 02 September 2017 12:26

Hannah Longmuir at Lady Waterford Hall

Hannah Longmuir is a countryside artist, building delicate, detailed drawings by layering thousands of little pencil marks. She combines her love of the great outdoors with her passion for drawing and an obsession with beautiful paper goods.

Wednesday, 30 August 2017 16:42

Ford Then and Now: Lady Waterford’s Village

Ford village, picturesque and secluded, is still recognisable as the place it was a hundred years or more ago. After centuries of border warfare, the union of England and Scotland led to a more peaceful time, and by the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries the area was a quiet, rural backwater.  But it was also an era of change – industry was growing, travel and communications becoming easier, the population was expanding, and agricultural estates like Ford were vital for food production.

Ford and Etal Estates is a quiet and remote part of the country, filled with hidden gems, with many walking trails around the villages and farms. But one of the wildest parts of the estate is a place many visitors don’t get to: the nature reserve of Ford Moss. Situated east of Ford village, it lies away from the main roads, accessible by foot from Ford, or by car along a narrow, winding lane followed by a short walk. The Moss itself is a bog, dangerous to walk on, but a circular path allows visitors to explore the area safely.

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