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Meet the man spearheading the bicentennial celebration of a Norfolk windmill

PUBLISHED: 14:29 01 April 2019 | UPDATED: 14:39 01 April 2019

Alan Ferguson is the chair of Dereham Windmill Trustees. Picture: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOP

Alan Ferguson is the chair of Dereham Windmill Trustees. Picture: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOP

Archant

It has stood the test of time for more than 180 years.

Now Dereham Windmill’s new chairman is hoping to make sure the landmark’s bicentennial celebration highlights the town’s thriving asset.

Alan Ferguson has recently taken over the position from long-standing trustee Brian Webb after he and his wife Alison, former head of fundraising, stood down.

The couple had spent the last 15 years focusing on the revival of the windmill, based off Greenfields Road, and stepped down after completing their vision to see the 19th century building restored to its former glory.

Mr Ferguson, previously vice chairman, said what the windmill had become was “fabulous”.

Dereham Windmill. Picture: Ian BurtDereham Windmill. Picture: Ian Burt

“If you go back 15 years this was not a very nice part of Dereham,” he said. “Now if you look at it on a nice sunny day - families having picnics, people walking with their dogs, coming to the tearoom - it’s a nice part of town and it’s now part of what makes Dereham.”

Mr Ferguson, who has been a trustee for the past 15 years, said one of his personal goals was to put the plans in place to celebrate the windmill’s 200th anniversary. And although not for another 17 years, he said it was important to look ahead to 2036.

“We’ve got a little while to wait but we need to look at the windmill and what it will be doing in 25 years time - and more.

“In the next five years we want there to be lots of things going on here, both inside and around the windmill, and we want it to be a community asset.”

Dereham Windmill. Picture: Ian BurtDereham Windmill. Picture: Ian Burt

He also wanted to see the windmill incorporated more into existing walking routes and called on people to consider becoming a trustee or volunteer.

Mr Ferguson, of Swanton Drive, Dereham, said: “Please get in touch if you think you can help or would like to help with the events or planning - even people who can only commit to a small amount of time.

“We also want to encourage digital natives who can help with Twitter, Facebook and the website. It would be really helpful if someone who has time on their hands can help with things like social media.

“The windmill is bigger than all of us and we need to think about what to do to keep it going.”

Dereham windmill. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2018Dereham windmill. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2018

· To find out more about Dereham Windmill or volunteering visit the website .

Dereham windmill. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2018Dereham windmill. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2018

Dereham windmill. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2018Dereham windmill. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2018

Former chairman Brian and wife Alison Webb, former head of fundraising, with Biscuit the carnival mascot. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2018Former chairman Brian and wife Alison Webb, former head of fundraising, with Biscuit the carnival mascot. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2018

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