I first moved to Nottingham in 1974. I like Nottingham and although I moved to Leicester many years ago, I have been a regular visitor, to the theatre, to the shops, to some good tea rooms. I have three tea towels of Nottingham: a very traditional, tourist one, a terrible green and gold one which you can hardly see the pattern on and a cream one with a green sketch. When I was setting up the Virtual Tea Towel Museum, re-photographing all of my tea towels, I noticed that on the cream one was an image of a windmill. A windmill in Nottingham? Never. I’ve never heard of a windmill in Nottingham! So I looked up on Google ‘Windmills in Nottingham’ and there appeared a windmill in Sneinton. I’ve never been to Sneinton. The information said that Sneinton Windmill sold flour; Liz bakes her own bread so off we set one day. To cut a long story short, we found it; Liz bought some spelt flour and I bought a tea towel. It wasn’t until I got home and was researching for a potential blog that I realised that Green’s Mill was, in fact, a charity (and I was looking for some charities that sold fundraising tea towels) so here is the background to the tea towel.
“The tea towel has a number of elements to it which makes it educational. First and foremost, it’s an illustration of a fully working, 19th Century, tower Windmill which is a fairly unusual sight today. Secondly, it highlights the mill as a historic building and landmark. Thirdly, it helps preserve the memory of George Green, the famous mathematician who operated Green’s Windmill and whose mathematical equations are still used in modern life today”. George Green’s father, who was a baker, built the windmill in early 1800s but George had no interest in baking. George Green’s major work, with a snappy title, was ‘An Essay on the Applications of Mathematical Analysis to the Theories of Electricity and Magnetism’; this led to Green’s Theorum and Green’s Functions. I’m sad to say that I have no idea what either of those are but they are still considered to be important.
“The design of the tea towel is a fairly simple photograph of the windmill with a green cast over it. This was done with the help of Emblem Print Products who supply us with the majority of the souvenirs we sell in the shop. Tea towels have always been popular at the windmill. Visitors often buy a souvenir tea towel, along with a bag of flour. I think it is a great way of reminding people about their visit and make great gifts, of course.
The Green’s Mill tea towel can be found in our small on-site shop and from our flour stall at local food fairs and markets. It proves to be one of our best sellers as it appeals to a wide range of audiences. I’ve always thought that the windmill is visually eye-catching so it looks great printed up on a tea towel”.
Liz has used Green’s Mill spelt flour on a number of occasions. She says “It makes a very good loaf. Their white flour is very different from that bought in a supermarket. You can tell by the colour of the flour, the loaf and the taste, which is definitely superior. I used the white spelt flour to make pizza bases and they got the thumbs up all round. The staff at Green’s Mill are very friendly and knowledgeable. I tried the pizza bases after a discussion with one of the people working in the mill who recommended it. It seems such an unlikely place to have a working mill but I would always go back. I love their flour”.
Thank you Jamie for the story of the tea towel and to Liz for her experiences of using the flour. It is a great place and I love the tea towel.