Gone T'Gayle Mill: Working Saw Mill in Hawes, North Yorkshire open from 4th April 2012



You are more likely to find Gwen Clark and Maureen Price in joiners jackets at Gayle Mill these days than you are relaxing in their gardens.  These ladies are the two newest recruits to the volunteer team at Gayle Mill, near Hawes in Wensleydale.  Both Gwen and Maureen are being guided by Gayle Mill Director Mike Thomson in the art of joinery and they are very proud of the wood working items they have made.  ‘I have always loved wood and this is a wonderful opportunity to learn new skills, make friends and meet people, whilst contributing in various ways to an exciting project in Gayle.  I feel very privileged’ comments Gwen. 

Now that Gwen has retired she has more time to pursue her interests and together with Maureen, a local farmer and retired administrator from the Dales Countryside Museum, they are together using their wealth of experience to give volunteer time during the summer at Gayle Mill.  Both are keen to help as Receptionists and know there is also the opportunity to train as tour guides so that they can show visitors around the mill, passing on facts about it’s interesting past.

Thisweek the Mill welcomes back the whole volunteer team for the annual spring clean before the open season starts on next Tuesday 3rdApril. Best known for its feature on the BBC Restoration programme in 2004 the Mill is now fully restored and operating as a working Victorian Saw Mill and visitor attraction. Gayle Mill opens to the public for guided tours 5 days a week from April to October, and is entirely staffed by volunteers – no small task.

‘We are totally reliant and very grateful for the support of volunteers to keep the Mills doors open’ says Chairman, William Lambert. ‘Volunteers take on various roles including reception, tour guiding, duty managers and wood working. People volunteer for lots of different reasons; a historical interest in the Mill and the Dales, to meet new people, to enjoying hobbies like woodworking’.

‘We are always on the lookout for new volunteers to join the team, and help preserve this hidden gem’ If you are interested in Volunteering at the Mill contact 01969 667320 or email admin@gaylemill.org.uk  


Accompanying pictures shows L to R:

Gayle Mill Director Mike Thomson with Gwen Clark and Maureen Prince in the background.




 Additional Information


  1. Gayle Mill is a restored 19th century state-of-the-art sawmill, complete with Victorian machinery driven by water-powered turbines.  It is run by the voluntary organisation Gayle Mill Trust and supported by the Friends of Gayle Mill.  Gayle Mill Trust has four main areas of responsibility; running the Mill as a historic visitor attraction, providing commercial wood services, electricity generation and heritage education and training.


  1. Visitors can experience Gayle Mill on one-hour guided tours, given by

volunteer tour guides, from 3rd April to 29th June, Tuesday to Saturday at

14.00pm and 15.30. Then from 3rd July to 29th September guided tours are at

11.00am, 12.30pm, 14.00 and 15.30 on Tuesday to Friday but stay at

14.00am and 15.30 on Saturday. Gayle Mill also runs two-hour demonstration

tours on the 1st Sunday of each month, throughout the year, at 11.00am and 14.30.

On a special demonstration tour visitors’ experience, see and hear, the

original 1879 water-powered Victorian machinery being used to make wooden

products. Booking is strongly advised.


  1. Gayle Mill Trust (GMT) Gayle Mill Trust is a Limited Company by Guarantee and a Charity registered in England & Wales Company no. 05190918 – Charity registration 1123047- VAT registration: 898 4281 62. It was created on 27 July 2004 to provide formal support, alongside the Friends of Gayle Mill (FOGM), to the campaign to restore Gayle Mill and open it to members of the public. It is governed by a board of directors who are also trustees, as GMT was registered as a charity on 3 March 2008.


  1. The Heritage Education and Skills Training Project (which employs Samantha Belcher as Co-ordinator) is currently a 3 year project (2011-2014) funded by an £80,000 grant from the Yorkshire Dales LEADER programme. The Project will bring together key elements of the Mills long-term and more recent history in order to educate visitors, preserving its story for the benefit of future generations. The Project can be broken down into two main elements; Education and Skills Training.  Educational activities will be targeted at school children in the Yorkshire Dales Area and Skills Training will be aimed at young people over 16 and adults.


  1. 'LEADER' is an initiative for assisting rural communities to improve the quality of life and economic prosperity in their local area.  The funding is being made available through the Rural Development Programme for England, which is jointly funded by Defra and the European Union, and is managed by Yorkshire Forward in the Yorkshire & Humber region. LEADER is an acronym for "Liaison Entre Actions pour le Développement de l'Economie Rural3 (Linkages between rural economic actions and activities).


  1. 80% of the funding for this project comes through the Rural Development Programme for England, which is jointly funded by Defra and the European Union, and is managed by Yorkshire Forward in the Yorkshire and Humber region.  The other 20% of the funding comes from Gayle Mill Trust and the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE).


  1. For more information about schools visit and education at Gayle Mill please contact Samantha Belcher on samantha.belcher@gaylemill.org.ukor call 01969 667320.














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