Local musicians write songs and give virtual performance to celebrate 200th birthday of Burwell Windmill

PUBLISHED: 09:30 09 September 2020 | UPDATED: 09:30 09 September 2020

Local musicians support 200th birthday of Burwell Windmill. 2Steps at 4Words are pictured performing. Picture: PAT KILBEY

Local musicians support 200th birthday of Burwell Windmill. 2Steps at 4Words are pictured performing. Picture: PAT KILBEY

Archant

Earlier in the year musicians from Burwell Folk Club were challenged to write songs to commemorate the 200th birthday of the historical Stevens’ Mill - the last windmill standing in the village.

Local musicians support 200th birthday of Burwell Windmill. Causeway are pictured at the back of the mill. Picture: PAT KILBEYLocal musicians support 200th birthday of Burwell Windmill. Causeway are pictured at the back of the mill. Picture: PAT KILBEY

The mill which forms part of Burwell Museum should have celebrated its 200th Birthday in May with a weekend of folk music and celebrations but all plans ended with Covid-19 Lockdown.

That didn’t stop local musicians though: keen to make sure Steven’s Mill didn’t miss out on its birthday, two songs were written and recorded by the folk club.

One was written by Pat Kilbey, who plays with the Burwell-based group Causeway, while the other was written by members of another Cambridgeshire group, 2 Steps 4 Words.

Then the folk club as a whole joined in the project to create a virtual performance.

Vocals, harmonies and instrumentals and were recorded individually, by musicians in their own homes.

Files were sent to co-ordinator Robin Bane, who merged the tracks to form the completed works.

The songs are very different in style but both narrate the life of Stevens’ Mill, which was built by Oliver Carter 200 years ago, fell into disrepair, and was brought back to life by Burwell Museum Trust who gained Lottery Funding to carry out extensive repairs. The mill is now one of the main attractions at the museum site.

Both songs were released on Amazon, Bandcamp, Spotify, itunes and other online sites for download plus on CD for sale in the museum. Any proceeds from any sales will be donated to Burwell Museum Trust towards the upkeep of the mill.

MORE: Museum confident as it reopens for first time since lockdown

A celebration for the mill is now planned with a Heritage Day on Saturday September 20 and the songs will be sung there live for the first time.

If government regulations change and the live event is not permitted to take place, the songs will still be sung but will go out on Facebook Live.

Videos were made to go with the songs - each part recorded separately and at a safe social distance and this will be used on the museum’s website and in publicity for the event.

Alison Giles, education officer for Burwell Windmill and Museum, said: “We’re really grateful to all of the volunteers, visitors and well-wishers who have helped us to celebrate the mill’s bicentenary in this very odd year.

“We hope that as many people as possible will join us either online or on site to celebrate 200 years of Stevens’ Mill.

“Please keep an eye on our website and social media for any last minute changes as we make sure that everything we are doing is safe.”

For more information contact Pat Kilbey by email patkilbey@mail.com or call 07788 524033


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