Work is progressing steadily on the upcoming Australian Milling Museum [AMM] at Tremain's Mill, with the emerging project receiving a number of donations from prominent milling industry figures.
The museum recently received a small stone mill from the widow of Heinrich Kruse, a German-born miller who was associated with the Bread Research Institute of NSW in Sydney.
AMM director John McCorquodale, who is in town this week to do work at Tremain's Mill as a milling engineer, is looking to get the stone mill working for sourdough bread production.
"Up until the 1850s, every grain of wheat in the world was being milled on stones, and it was the invention of the roller mill in 1855 that revolutionised the entire industry," Mr McCorquodale said.
"This mill is a smaller version of the stone mills that were commonplace before 1855, and the process of milling wheat using stone dates back to ancient times."
Mr McCorquodale has a diverse history in the milling industry through the McCorquodale Bros. flour milling business [1896-1983], who was a key supplier to businesses such as Arnott's Biscuits.
"Back in the 1950s, all the bakeries were being bought up by our opposition, and Arnott's were the only major user of flour who weren't allied to the one mill," he said.
"So me and my cousin set up facilities in the Riverina region of NSW to produce soft, suitable biscuit wheat for Arnott's, which proved successful for decades."
AMM chief executive officer and Bathurst councillor Jess Jennings said the stone mill is being trialed as a potential active display item within the museum.
"This is the sort of thing where we'd hope to invite visitors to bring their own cup of wheat, put it through the mill and receive ground flour to use in the production of dough, biscuits and damper," Cr Jennings said.
"There's a lot of potential here to turn this space into a tactile, hands-on museum, and this is one of many pieces of equipment destined to bring this mill back to life."
Cr Jennings said the AMM is progressing "in leaps and bounds" behind the scenes, with an official website set for launch in the coming weeks.
"We'll be looking at some major historical publications over the next six to twelve months, and merchandise offerings are currently in the works," he said.
"The works on the museum are in conjunction with stage two of the Tremain's Mill precinct redevelopment, and has plenty of support from milling organisations all across Australia."
Tremain's Mill owner Stephen Birrell said last week that "the main priority now is securing funding to establish an ongoing income stream" for the AMM.
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