Sunderland’s Fulwell Mill sails smashed by storms

Fulwell Mill was damaged in the high winds.
Fulwell Mill was damaged in the high winds.
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A HISTORIC Wearside landmark has suffered serious damage in high winds.

The 70mph gusts that blasted through Wearside broke the sails on Fulwell Mill.

The restored building has stood on the site for more than 200 years, forming a well-known part of Sunderland’s skyline.

The weather damage is a reminder of the fate of William Wren, a journeyman miller who died in an accident at the mill in 1839.

Wren died when the gales caught the windmill’s sails, forcing the rope which was holding Wren safe, to snap.

He hung on to the sails for three full turns before the force threw him 30 yards over the roof of a nearby house, breaking his neck and back.

Sunderland City Council, which owns the mill, is now counting the cost of the damage.

The sails were broken as the North East took a pasting from the strong winds on Monday night, as trees fell, cars were crushed and giant waves and sandstorm-like conditions hit the coastline.

The severe weather which kept emergency services busy came as the tail-end of Hurricaine Katia hit the region.