Korenmolen Windlust Nootdorp – continued
In the following years the windmill’s condition deteriorated. In 1974 better times began for the windmill. Mr J L de Wolf, watch and clock seller and repairer from Delft, bought the windmill. With an enormous amount of determination and patience Mr De Wolf initiated the restoration of the windmill. Despite the slow machinations of various organisations such as Monumentenzorg (Care of Listed Buildings), the county and the council, Mr De Wolf stuck to his guns. When the restoration plans became more concrete sponsors were found from the banking and business world. Finally, after almost 40 years of idleness, the windmill proudly turned again on 29 May 1989. The restoration had cost Fl 480,000 (€ 220.000).
Type of the windmill
The windmill Windlust is a smock mill on a stone base: the windmill has a reefing stage that lies at the height of the first floor (approx. 3 m). Smock is said to have been used because of a fancied resemblance to a countryman’s smock. The sails turn just over the reefing stage. The windmill is therefore not one where the sails turn just above the ground – with those you can climb the sails from the ground. The main body of the windmill is octagonal and covered with thatch. The top portion of the mill, the cap, can turn, enabling the miller to turn the windmill and sails into the wind.
Function of the windmill
The function of the Windlust is as a corn mill, producing meal or flour for bread.
The octagonal base of the windmill is of stone and approx 6 m high. At ground level there are two doors opposite each other. Horses and carts could drive through the windmill to unload grain or to load flour. On the ground floor old stocks can be seen as supporting-beams. They are being used as loft flooring. There is a good chance that these stocks come from the hollow post corn windmill which from circa 1622 originally stood on this site.
The first floor: the meal floor
On the meal floor, sacks hang to collect the meal discharged through chutes from the stones above. If grain is being milled, the miller always stands here to feel the quality of the flour – not too coarse and not too fine. If the wind strength varies the miller can adjust the space between the milling stones to maintain this quality.
In the meal floor there are always at least two doors which give access to the platform. The one closest to the turning sails is always locked. To be hit by a turning sail could be fatal. Therefore, on the platform, there are always safety barriers which it is forbidden to cross.
The reefing stage
The meal floor is almost always on the same height as the reefing stage. The miller must be able to quickly stop the windmill should anything unexpected happen or should the wind suddenly increase. It is very important that the miller is aware of the weather conditions.
The miller mans the brake from the platform. This is not only so that the sails can be stopped at the end of the working day, but also stopped should the wind strength change, and the clothes need to be reefed or spread. From the cap a large heavy beam (the tail pole) runs down to the reefing stage. The cap can then be turned by pulling the tail pole to the left or right by means of winding the anchor chain on the capstan. This anchor chain is fastened to the reefing stage via the capstan. When the sails have been adjusted to face the wind, the tail pole is secured so that the cap cannot move.
If the wind blows really hard (but not if there is a storm!) the windmill can turn without sail-clothes on the sails. Mostly a sail-cloth must be on the sails to ensure a constant sail speed. The miller must estimate how much sail-cloth he should put on the sails. If there is little wind then it may be necessary to completely unroll the sail-cloths on all four sails. The sail-cloth can be gradually rolled in – it can be done in 5 steps to bring it from full sail to completely empty. If a windmill turns without any sail-cloth then it is called ‘with bare legs’.
If there is no wind whatsoever, then the windmill cannot turn. There is no electric motor in the windmill to enable the sails to turn. It can also happen that if there is too much wind then it is too dangerous to let the windmill turn. It could turn so fast that it would be impossible to safely brake it. This could be very dangerous!
The second floor: the stone floor
The second floor – also known as the stone floor – is so called because of the mill stones. The ‘Windlust’ has two pairs of stones. The milling stones are approx 1½ m in diameter and 25 cm thick. They lie in a big round wooden cradle. The lower stone is called the bed stone and this is static. The top stone is the runner stone and this is turned by the quant. On the quant sits a wooden pinion which meshes with the great spur wheel on the upright shaft. When that happens, grain can be poured through a hole in the runner stone. The grain then comes between the two stones and is ground. The meal then falls through a wooden pipe down to the meal bags on the meal floor. If you look upwards from the stone floor you can see the big wooden great spur wheel that brings the quant into motion. The great spur wheel itself is mounted on the upright shaft, a heavy timber, square in cross section. On the stone floor it can be clearly seen that the wooden octagonal top structure is built on a stone foundation.
The third floor: the bin floor
The third floor – also known as the bin floor – is so called because the miller has to hoist the sacks of grain up to this loft. The sack hoist is an interesting invention. On the upright shaft a round hoist table has been made. With the aid of a rope the miller is able to let the hoist wheel descend on to the hoist table. The turning hoist table ensures that the hoist wheel turns too. As the hoist wheel turns, the hoist rope entwines round the spindle causing the sack of grain (which is attached to the other end of the rope at ground floor level) to rise.
The fourth floor: the top floor
The top floor is the most interesting, but also the most dangerous floor in the windmill. Under no circumstances are you allowed here unless you have permission from the miller.
The most striking thing here is the brake wheel, an enormous wooden gear wheel mounted on an inclined iron axle, the windshaft. The windshaft passes through the front of the cap and carries the sails at its’ outer end. The cogs of the brake wheel mesh with the wallower, a lantern pinion mounted near the top of the upright shaft, and this transmits power down into the body of the mill. Around the brake wheel is a band of curved wooden blocks, held clear of the rim when the mill is at work. A heavy brake lever, operated by a rope from the reefing stage below, allows the miller to clamp them firmly around the brake wheel, so that the friction brings the mill to a stop. If the miller keeps trying to slow the windmill then, due to the friction, the blocks can become too hot and fire could break out. If that should happen this windmill would be destroyed in a very short space of time.
On the top floor it can also be seen that the cap itself rests on iron rollers, which allow it to be turned to suit the direction of the wind. Everything that is above floor level here turns with the cap. Often you will see blocks of lard hung up to dry on a beam over the wind shaft. Lard has been used for centuries in windmills as a lubricant. The iron wind shaft rotates in a neck bearing at the front of the cap, where the sails are situated, and in a hollowed stone tail bearing at the inner end. Where the axle rotates in the stone it is lubricated.
The windmill is regularly operated by qualified voluntary millers:
- C. (Cock) Weerheim, Pijnacker, 015-3696433, chief miller,
- D. (Dirk) Pereboom, Pijnacker, 06 – 111 86 039
- D.J.N. Steeneveld (Dick), Nootdorp, 015-3108461
- F.A.P. (Fred) Heidt, Nootdorp, 015-3107799
Foundation Vrienden van de Windlust te Nootdorp
On 28 April 1998 the Foundation ‘Vrienden van de Windlust te Nootdorp‘ (Friends of the Windlust in Nootdorp) was founded. The aims of the foundation are:
- to maintain the integrity of the windmill
- to stimulate awareness of the technical cultural value of the Windlust
- to maintain the milling capabilities of the windmill
- to maintain the activiness of the windmill and to open it to the public
The Foundation is the owner of the windmill since 2 September 2008.
You can become a Friend of the Windlust with a minimum donation of € 12 per year,
IBAN NL34 RABO 0137 3360 20, of Stichting Vrienden Windlust Nootdorp.
The secretary of the Foundation is B.G.M. (Ben) van Hagen, Ribeslaan 3, 2631 HV Nootdorp
The windmill has been designated as a wedding location by the Pijnacker-Nootdorp town council, and wedding ceremonies may be conducted here. The wedding ceremony takes place on the meal floor where around 30 people may be present. A video link can be provided to the ground-floor, where a further 40 – 50 people are able to follow the ceremony.