The Wind Catcher – Behind the Scenes in Greater Yarmouth

Wind mills and wind pumps have always been a particular feature on the Norfolk landscape, and for thousands of Broads visitors, the wind pump at Thurne wind pump is an incredibly distinctive landmark on the on banks of the river. For Debra, owning Thurne Mill is a dream come true, having always visited it on annual family holidays to Norfolk ever since she was small.

Harnessing the power of wind to create energy is not a new idea, and Thurne Mill is a beautiful example of incredible Norfolk engineering dating from 1820 by the millwrights England & Co who were based in nearby Ludham. Visitors to the area need look no further than Great Yarmouth for the UK’s first offshore windfarm at Scroby Sands, a 21st century example of engineers’ desire to capture even more energy from the wind.

The derelict Thurne Mill was bought in 1947 and brought back to life by an amazing man called Bob Morse, who had been passionate about windmills since he was a boy of just 7. He subsequently started his unusual collection of wind pumps sourced from all over the world, obtaining most in a woebegone condition and working tirelessly in his workshop to restore them and bring them back to their former working glory, telling the story of where he could, with gran plans to open a Wind Energy Museum.

Before he died in 2007, Bob made sure he passed on his intricate knowledge about the human race’s attempts to harness the wind to Debra, who has the same respect and passion for the power of the wind.

Without the wind, yacht sails wouldn’t flap, windmills, wind pumps and wind turbines wouldn’t turn and the watery Norfolk landscape just wouldn’t be the same.