Windmill Advent Calendar Day 5, Clayrack

Day Five, Clayrack Mill

Clayrack Mill

Clayrack Mill sits on the banks on the River Ant at How Hill nature reserve. Clayrack Mill is an unusual design and one of only two mills of its kind left on the Broads today. The Mill was actually located 2 ¾ miles away at Ranworth Marshes but was moved to its present site at How Hill in 1981.

Clayrack is quite a hard mill to photograph, it stands close to the river restricting how far back you can get. It’s also one of the smallest mills surviving on the Broads today. For quite a few years I really struggled to get a picture I was happy with. I finally managed to get a shot I was happy last winter on the 20th December. I remember the shoot really well, about a week previously I became ill with really bad chest pains, I thought I had just pulled a muscle or something but when my girlfriend got home after a 12 hour shift at the same hospital she dragged me back there up to A& E and after a quick chest X-ray we found out I had Pneumonia in one of my Lungs.

After about a week of a diet consisting of every pill & antibiotic out there, I felt a bit better, and was in a little less pain. It was a really hard time to be a photographer stuck indoors looking out of the window as at the same time we were having some of the best snow and wintry weather for years. I was rapidly running out of days to collect all my Christmas print orders from my framer and unfortunately my partner was working so to ensure they got to my customers in time for Christmas I decided to drive up to my framer and collect the orders myself. The weather was fantastic outside and we had hoarfrost that just want melting so I decided to pack my camera bag just in case. I drove past so many good picture opportunities ,but I just felt far too ill to stop. Eventually I couldn’t resist anymore so on my way back home I decided to stop at How Hill for a few quick shots.

Clayrack Mill & Winter Hoarfrost & Snow

The walk from the car park to Clayrack mill wasn’t far at all, but by the time I got there I could hardly breath and felt like I was dying. It was a case of grabbing a couple of quick grab shots and getting back home and indoors. Here are a couple of the quick shots I managed to get, in the end they turned out to be the best I have managed to capture of this mill to date so I was really glad I did put the effort in and get out there. After missing lots of last year’s wintry weather I really can’t wait to get started this year.

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