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Once upon a watermill

The song of the grinding stones tells the story of the watermill and its community.

520€
Expired on 19 Mar 2019
2%
Regione Piemonte
Expired
All or nothing
Goal: 17,855€

Once upon a watermill

The song of the grinding stones tells the story of the watermill and its community.

520€
Expired on 19 Mar 2019
2%
Regione Piemonte
Expired
All or nothing
Goal: 17,855€

Repair and refit our local watermill.

A FIVE CENTURIES OLD WATERMILL AND ITS COMMUNITY

Bobbio Pellice is a small farming town hidden in the Italian Alps, popular with tourists from Italy and beyond. In 1533 the local community redeemed the watermill from local aristocacy and it has been central to town life ever since. Over time this small building has been witness to a series of disparate historical events and has survived religious wars, invading French soldiers, terrible floods and even the theft of its grinding stones! It continued grinding local cereals and chestnuts into flour well into the twentieth century. After its recent closure the mill risked being abbandoned, sold or demolished, but the town council decided to restore it and open it to the public.

LET'S GET THOSE MILLSTONES TURNING AGAIN.

Surely 50 years is enough rest for our grinding stones? The Bobbio Pellice mill ground its last sack of flour in 1970. It seems to us to be the right time to get them turning again! To do this we need funds to solve a series of problems. The sluice gates that regulate the water which turns the wheel need replacing. The wheel itself needs new wooden spokes, the old ones are rotten, as is the canal which brings the water onto the wheel. The gearing mechanism needs new wooden teeth so that the gears can turn...and power the millstones.

A VOICE FROM THE PAST TALKING IN THE PRESENT

Besides restoring the building and machinery we would like to bring the watermill into 2019, giving a voice and an image to those who dedicated their lives and their work to the mill.  With the installation of new lighting, a projector and a simple audio system the French soldiers, the robbers, the resisting Waldensians, the last miller and his customers, could tell their stories to our visitors. Their ghosts could flit around the walls as the millstones sing their unique song.

How funds will be used

The total cost of the project is 21,455 euro.

33% for repairing the stone roof.

23% for laying a stone floor outside the mill, to replace the existing gravel and create an area for activites and games. A                 place where visitors can sit and enjoy the sight of the wheel turning.

19% for the installation of the audio system and projector.

14% for replacing the wooden supports under the water canal and the spokes of the wheel.

5%   for the internal lighting.

4%  for replacing the wooden teeth on the gears.

!%  for the new sluice gate.

1%  for dehumidifiers for inside the building.


Who's behind the project?

The local town council which has, for the last 15 years, believed in the restoration of the watermill.

 The people of Bobbio Pellice, who have defended and maintained this symbolic building over five centuries and who continue to pass on its stories and secrets. 

Giovanni who has kept the wheel turning and opened the doors for fairs and feastdays.

I:RI:S, the cooperative which has been running the mill for the last few months.

Emanuela and Jane, membrs of I:RI:S, who operate the mill and organize visits and activities for visitors and school groups. Who clean out the waterways and sweep the floors, and hope that many more people will be captivated by the history, and the stories, of Bobbio Pellice's watermill.

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Project created by

The town council of Bobbio Pellice and ....

This project is the idea of the local administration and the I.RI.S cooperative.

Bobbio Pellice is a small farming town in the Alps which has conserved strong ties with the land and its history, ties which the local council has maintained and developed, valorising cultural and historical resources, including the watermill.

I:RI:S active locally in research and culture is working towards further promotion of the watermill.

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