WHEN Wheatley Windmill last produced flour, television had yet to be unveiled by Logie Baird and Europe was on the brink of the First World War.

But now – an incredible 98 years later – the windmill is back in use again.

After standing derelict for more than 90 years, the windmill was reopened in 2009.

And now it has started producing its own flour.

Mavis Ramsden, whose grandfather was the last miller in Wheatley in 1914, said: “This is a great achievement. It is a place with a lot of family history for me.”

Mrs Ramsden’s great-grandfather George Cripps bought the mill in 1857 and passed it on to his sons. Her grandmother Ezra Cripps was the last miller at the outbreak of the war in 1914.

For decades afterward, the windmill was neglected and fell victim to fire and lightning.

About 30 years ago, volunteers started a campaign to get the mill up and running again.

The 150-strong committee raised £150,000, including a £38,000 grant from South Oxfordshire District Council, to restore it. Mrs Ramsden, 71, who lives next to the windmill, said: “Firstly the mill had to be restored to working order because it was in a poor state.

“Then we had a visit from a miller and several lads who showed some of our volunteers how to get it going and showed them the methods of making flour. It was a great success.

“It is very rewarding to see it milling flour again.”

Wheatley is one of a handful of working windmills left in the county, including Venn Mill in Garford, near Abingdon, and a smaller mill in Bloxham.

Another 30-year campaign to restore a windmill is under way in Chinnor.

To mill flour, specific wind conditions are needed.

It takes a breeze of 10 knots, or 12 miles an hour, on a dry day to generate sufficient power to turn the millstones. Parts of the mill date back to the 18th century and it was originally used to grind wheat and ochre.

It is now hoped flour will be produced again in the coming months and will be sold at the mill’s open days.

The next open day is on Sunday, August 12. The committee wants volunteers to help produce flour.

l For more information, visit wheatleymill.co.uk