Smallburgh
Moy's
drainage mill
River Ant


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Norfolk Windmills


c.1932
c.1932

Moy's drainage mill was built on the south side of the River Ant to drain the marshes into the river. The name of Moy probably related to Percy M. Moy who lived at Smallburgh Manor in the 1920s and ran Manor farm containing land drained by the mill.


The mill had a small tower that was later heightened. In later years 2 pairs of patent sails, each with 5 bays of shutters were fitted along with a very small cap, a gallery and an 8 bladed fan. The sails drove a scoopwheel set on a shaft that extended beyond the wheel to allow for an auxiliary engine drive.


Painting by Claude Muncaster c.1925
Painting by Claude Muncaster c.1925

27th December 2007
27th December 2007

27th December 2007 27th December 2007
27th December 2007
27th December 2007

NORFOLK WATER MILL FATALITY
__

YOUNG GIRL KILLED
___

A terrible accident, resulting in fatal injuries to a girl named Eva Abigail, aged 10 whose parents live at Wayford Bridge, Smallburgh, and severe injuries to her brother Reggie, aged six, occurred at Smallburgh on Good Friday. The children, with a playmate named Gedge, were playing near a water mill on Mr. Darrell’s farm at Smallburgh. It is appears that the boy Reggie was caught by the wheel of the mill and carried in to the well through which the wheel passes, and the girl, in an attempt to save her younger brother met with the same terrible accident. The little boy Gedge, who witnessed the shocking affair, ran home and apprised his parents of the occurrence, and the children were recovered. The girl was dead, while the boy, was found to be severely injured, and he was removed to the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital. An inquest on the body of the girl is fixed for this afternoon.
Eastern Daily Press - Monday 24th March 1913

A CHILD’S SACRIFICE
__

TRIED TO SAVE HER LITTLE BROTHER
___

SMALLBURGH WATERMILL FATALITY

Mr Coroner Culley yesterday held an inquest upon the body of Eveline Sarah Abigail, aged eight years, who met her death on Good Friday, in an attempt to save her little brother, who had fallen into a water mill pit at Wayford Bridge.

Arthur Abigail, a malster, of Wayford Bridge, stated that on the afternoon of Good Friday, at about half past two o’clock, he saw deceased and his son, aged six years, go with two other children, named Brooks, down the road. He assumed they were going to the “strip,” a piece of uncultivated land with trees on it about 200 yards from his house, he hearing them told them to go and play there. At about four o’clock Mr George Gedge told him that his girl had been killed in Mr Durrell’s mill wheel, and his son severely injured. Witness went at once to his son, who was lying at Mr Gedge’s house and waited till Dr Williams came and attended to him, immediately after which the child was sent to the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital. Witness then went on to the mill, and saw the dead body of his daughter. The mill is about 200 yards from the “strip,” and is easily reached by a footpath from there. Whenever his children were sent to play on the “strip,” they were warned not to go near the mill, and on this occasion he heard his wife caution them. The mill was a marsh drainage mill, and was used for pumping water from the dykes. It was at work on Friday, and probably the children were attracted to it, because it was at work. A lad named Wilfred Gedge told witness that his son fell into the pit in which the mill wheel revolved, and that the deceased in trying to rescue him fell into the wheel, and was carried round by it. The boy was not carried round by the wheel.

George Gedge, farm labourer, of Smallburgh, said his son at half past three on Friday afternoon told him that the children had fallen into the pit of the drainage mill. He was in his garden, about 400 or 500 yards from the mill, but he went at once and saw the deceased child and her brother in the pit. He stopped the mill, and got the children out. The girl was dead, but the boy was alive and conscious, although much injured. The girl’s head was at the base of the pit and her feet were pointing upwards. The position in which witness found the body suggested that the girl had been caught by the wheel, and carried over the top, and then head foremost down the pit, and had become fixed there and so killed. The deceased was at one end of the pit and her brother at the other end, the wheel revolving between them. The boy was in a sitting position at the base of the pit, and the wheel grazed his clothing as it revolved.

The jury, of which Mr. F. W. Durrell was foreman, returned a verdict of “Accidental death” and expressed their sympathy with the parents of the deceased.

The little boy is lying in a critical condition at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital. Upon inquiry yesterday evening, we learned that his condition is much about the same.
Eastern Daily Press - Tuesday 25th March 1913

MILL TRAGEDY AT SMALLBURGH
(Summary)

On Good Friday (21st) Eveline Sarah Abigail, aged 8 years was killed in an attempt to rescue her brother who had fallen into the pit of the drainage mill at Wayford Bridge whilst it was working.
'Mr. Durrell's mill ... The mill was a marsh drainage wind mill and used for pumping water from the dykes ... the boy had fallen into the pit ... was alive and conscious although much injured ...'

Dereham & Fakenham Times - 29th March 1913

27th December 2007 Bricked in wheel arch 21st March 2008
27th December 2007
Bricked in wheel arch 21st March 2008

Gravestone of Evelyn Abigail Gravestone of Evelyn Abigail
Gravestone of Evelyn Abigail (left) 13th January 2008
Inscription on gravestone


In

Loving Memory

of

ETHEL MARY LYDIA

THE BELOVED WIFE OF

ARTHUR ABIGAIL

DIED 23 RD AUGUST 1923

AGED 49 YEARS

ALSO OF THEIR 2 CHILDREN

EVELYN DIED 21 ST MARCH 1913

AGED 8 YEARS

AND MAUD AGED 4 MONTHS
THY WILL BE DONE

 


The gravestone for Evelyn, together with her mother Ethel Mary Lydia Abigail and a baby sister Maud can be found in the churchyard at Smallburgh Church.

Leaning protectively towards Evelyn’s gravestone is one for Evelyn Mary Ann Sussams believed to be Ethel’s sister, Evelyn’s aunt.
Anne Grand - 14th January 2008


Reginald or ‘Reggie,’ Abigail, Evelyn’s brother, the six-year-old boy severely injured in the accident, survived. His gravestone is also in Smallburgh churchyard recording the fact that he married and lived to reach the age 71 dying in 1978.
Anne Grand - 21st March 2008


Reggie Abigail's gravestone 21st March 2008

Diesel engine 21st March 2008 Water outflow 27th December 2007
Diesel engine 21st March 2008
Water outflow 27th December 2007

Small tarred red brick stump with batter and cemented shallow dome roof. Door at front, bricked-up doorway opposite at rear and small bricked-up aperture at side ground level. 7ft. 6in. high (to top of brickwork): about 12ft. overall diameter at base with 15in. thick walls: doorway 67in. by 28.5in. Diesel engine inside (in working order) driving external pump [presumably turbine pump?]. In shade of oak tree near river; on dyke at end of long track from Manor Farm. Private. Date of visit: 11 June 1994.
Arthur Smith - 1994


O.S. Map 2005
O.S. Map 2005
Image reproduced under licence from Ordnance Survey

Kelly's 1900: Frank William Durrell, farmer, Manor farm - mill owner

Kelly's 1904: Frank William Durrell, farmer, Manor farm - mill owner

Kelly's 1908: Frank William Durrell, farmer, Manor farm - mill owner

Kelly's 1912: Frank William Durrell, farmer, Manor farm - mill owner

1913: Frank William Durrell, owner

21st March 1913: Eveline Sarah Abigail aged 8, drowned in wheelpit while attempting to rescue her brother

Kelly's 1916: Arthur Edward Banham, farmer, Manor farm - mill owner

Kelly's 1922: Torrens Herbert Moy, farmer, Manor farm - mill owner

Kelly's 1925: Percy M. Moy, farmer, Manor farm - mill owner

Kelly's 1929: Percy M. Moy, farmer, Manor farm - mill owner

Kelly's 1933: Percy M. Moy, farmer, Manor farm - mill owner

1935: Mill still working with wind power

Kelly's 1937: Percy M. Moy, farmer, Manor farm T N 54 - mill owner

2007: Mill tower remains about 8 feet high, covered in ivy

December 2007: Mill still working with a Lister diesel engine



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Copyright © Jonathan Neville 2007