How to watch the Coronation on a cardboard 1950s TV!


Hi Amanda – It sounds like some interesting things are happening at Rottingdean’s Beacon Hill Windmill! Can you tell us a little bit about your Open House and how it acquired its name – More Tales from the Windmill?
Thank you, yes, we are very pleased to be exhibiting inside the Windmill for the third year running. Last year’s Tall Tales from the Windmill went so well that we thought we would continue the theme. Stories of Rottingdean’s much loved Windmill have become folklore. Tales of smuggling mixed with cricket, a buried Saxon warrior and the last miller to grind flour, are perfect themes to illustrate our Crankie theatre and project on film. Also, Philip Sugg and Liza Stevens have produced some inventive and beautiful artworks.

Can you tell us about the special Coronation events you have planned?
Well, it’s history in the making. Whatever your views maybe, there is no doubt that the late Queen’s passing has reminded us that the last time a Coronation was celebrated it was televised in black and white. So I thought I would make an old 1950s TV from a cardboard box and  pop my iPad inside!  I used two knitting needles to replicate the indoor aerial. Back in the day, those who couldn’t afford to hire a television would crowd around shop windows, now they can pop inside the Windmill. The idea amused me so much that I went on to create two life sized cardboard cut-outs of King Charles and Queen Camilia (complete with waving arms) and cut-out kits of their crowns. I enjoyed reading about St Edward’s Crown and Queen Mary’s Crown… all a bit nerdy really, but I hope others will have fun colouring them in and making them up. While I was designing them I could imagine my old art teacher, Raymond Briggs’, voice mumbling ‘bloomin’ crowns…!’

What else can we expect to see there?
I have also designed Smock Windmill kits with rotating sweeps, an exact replica of our mill, embracing its history as guardian of the village. People are always amazed how atmospheric the mill feels inside, even though it ceased working many years ago. From the old oak beams we have suspended Philip’s paper lanterns, depicting the four figures of King Charles. That’s right, Charles 1st, Charles 2nd Charles 3rd and err, Charlie Chaplin! They are suspended from the beams and lit with LED bulbs and available for sale.

You also have live music and fortune-telling! Can you tell us about these?
As a joint project, Philip and I have designed some smuggler themed tarot cards, again as a kit. If you’re lucky Mystic Sugg may even give you a reading.
We had hoped to have some shanty singers, but time ran out to organise this, but any musicians who would like to join us during the week, please contact me.

The Windmill is protected by Rottingdean Heritage and under the exclusive care of Colin Dellar, our own Windy Miller. They are all volunteers, so a few coins in the donation box on your way out would be most helpful.

Visit: More Tales from the Windmill
Beacon Hill Windmill, Marine Drive, Rottingdean, BN2 7HG
In the Coastal Trail