A significant addition to the visitor experience will soon be available to view at Frogmore Paper Mill.
Since Apsley Paper Trail was awarded £193,000 in January from the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage, Frogmore Paper Mill has become a hive of building activity, with some major works being undertaken.
It has not only ensured that they have been able to meet our ongoing regular monthly bills in these very trying times, it has also afforded them the funds to refurbish a very important addition to the mill, a cylinder mould papermaking machine.
Whilst there have been some major ongoing works internally – whilst using COVID safe work practices – the only visible external evidence has been the temporary disappearance of the millpond.
The River Gade was in fact diverted to our backstream, to enable renovation to the river wall inside the mill where the cylinder mould machine is being installed.
It is also in this area the newly acquired Hollander Beater is to be housed.
The cylinder mould machine creates paper using a wire cylinder to capture and form the sheet.
It is a missing bit of our Gade Valley paper story and a very vital one.
The machine was designed and patented by our local Victorian Industrialist, John Dickinson in 1809.
The Gade Valley was home not just to the first mechanised paper machine in 1803 at Frogmore Paper Mill (the Fourdrinier conveyor mould paper machine), thanks to the Fourdriniers and engineer Bryan Donkin, but also just down the road at Apsley Mill, the invention of the other internationally acclaimed paper machine, the Dickinson cylinder mould machine.
Both created here, in this corner of Hertfordshire.
You can see this along with the Fourdrinier machine, when Frogmore Paper Mill opens from Saturday, July 3.