Windmill Advent Calendar Day 2, Thurne Windpump

Everyday leading up to Christmas I shall be adding a blog posting on some of my favourite windmills & drainage mills to be photographed in Norfolk & Suffolk. Today for day two I have chosen Thurne Windpump.

Day 2 Thurne Windpump.

Thurne Mill at sunrise

Thurne Windpump is located in the village of Thurne at the side of the River Thurne on the Norfolk Broads.  The mill stands at the mouth of Thurne Dyke and was originally built in 1820. Of all the mills on the Norfolk Broads Thurne is probably the most photographed. The mill photographs particularly well at dawn when the sun rises behind the mill and reflects in the River Thurne. To shoot the mill at dawn its best to approach from the village of Ludham. A mistake a lot of photographers make is to head to the village of Thurne itself, by doing so they are the wrong side of the river from the Mill and to get to the other side it’s around a 20 minute drive and a 20 minute walk.

Tiny Ice crystals cling to the reeds following an overnight hoarfrost

Because Thune Mill is painted white it photographs particularly well against a dark stormy sky. If possible I always like to show a bit of a gap between the main sails and the tail fan as I believe this makes for a much cleaner composition.

Thurne can also be photographed well at sunset, as was the case here.

Of all the sunrises and sunsets I have ever witnessed this particular morning back in December 2007 is the best so far. The particular mornings forecast was for rain, normally its one of those mornings you would never normally head out for, however on this occasion I happened to be staying on a boat next to the mill with a group of photography friends. After looking out of the window we quickly sailed to the other side and began shooting. It was still around 50 mins before the sun was to rise and for just for five minutes or so mother nature put on a truly magnificent display of colours from pinks and purples to fiery reds whilst lighting up the stormy clouds above. The colours quickly disappeared and by the time the sun rose it was already chucking down with rain. Myself and the three other photographers shooting couldn’t believe our luck, for the rest of the day it was raining but we didn’t care. There is one thing that did bug me about these images and that was the fact that the tail fan from the mill was down for repairs.

This image was shot from the Thurne side of the river on a summers morning.

Thurne drainage mill is one a few mills on the Broads that has a working tail fan to turn the main sails and cap into the wind, because of this the sails will face a different direction depending on which way the wind blows. This can be frustrating at times if they are pointing the wrong way, however it can also be used as an advantage as new angles are always there to be shot.

This image of Thurne on a frosty morning was captured in March this year. The rising sun is just starting to illuminate the mill.


3 thoughts on “Windmill Advent Calendar Day 2, Thurne Windpump

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