Working Weekends

We usually organise three Working Weekends a year - March, June and October. They start on a Friday evening from 17.00 onwards in the "snug" at the Mill. Directions can be found on the Location page of this site. 

2018 DATES

23rd - 25th March 2018 

22nd - 24th June 2018

5th - 7th October 2018  

There is London transport available which leaves from outside the main gate of the William Ellis School at 18.30 prompt.   Volunteers preferring not to rendezvous at WES for a 18.30 prompt departure may elect to be picked up (and dropped back) from the following train or tube stations at the corresponding times    

  • Gospel Oak - please arrive by 18.30, and expect the minibus to pass around 18.35.
  • Chalk Farm (wait at the end of Prince of Wales Road) - please arrive by 18.40 and expect the minibus to pass around 18.45.
  • Baker Street - please arrive by 18.50 and expect the minibus to pass around 19.00.
  • Shepherd's Bush - please arrive by 19.15 and expect the minibus to pass around 19.30.
  • Hammersmith - please arrive by 19.25 and expect the minibus to pass around 19.40.
  • Barnes - please arrive by 19.45 and expect the minibus to pass around 20.00.

Please inform the warden of the Mill that you wish to attend the weekend AND travel from London by the London transport, indicating pick up point. Other pick up/drop back points are negotiable withthe London drivers.  It is also necessary to exchange contact mobile phone numbers with the drivers for updates on the evening of travel etc.


Please bring old 'scruff' gear for working in and robust footwear - welly boots can be borrowed from the shed on site; a change of clothes for the evenings; sleeping wear, towel wash bag etc; a sleeping bag and a pillowcase. (A bottle or two of your favourite tipple would also be appreciated!)  


On arrival at The Mill, volunteers are allocated their (bunk bedded) room for the weekend and await the London passengers whilst chatting, nibbling and sipping the odd glass of wine/beer etc. Around 21.00, a delicious 2 course supper is served, with wines, beers and coffee/tea to finish. 

Saturday morning begins soon after 08.00 with a cooked English breakfast after which the list of jobs for the weekend is allocated. Mid morning and mid afternoon on Saturday and Sunday there is a refreshment break with plenty on offer to replace the calories already spent. Saturday and Sunday lunchtimes are equally enjoyable fuel stops. Probably Saturday evening's supper is the most eagerly awaited meal as it is a chance to unwind and hopefully chase away the twinges from the day's labour, with more medicinal compound. A Table Tennis Tournament is always on offer for those game before climbing the wooden hill for a restful night's sleep. 

Sunday morning is a slightly later start - 08.30 - when a delicious continental breakfast awaits. 

It is always hoped that the weather will be kind to us on these weekends as a lot of the chores are outside. There are always inside jobs on the list. Indeed no job or contribution is too small.   

We look forward to seeing both familiar and unfamiliar faces again soon!   


Our volunteers carry out essential work around the site including maintenance of the grounds and repairs. You can see some of the work they undertake below.  


Our resident, regular diarist/photographer, fellow Old Philologian Peter Woodman unfortunately could not join us on this working weekend as he was away in the USA with family.

Many thanks to Alec Harmon ( Mini-Me version/clone of Omar to the last detail!) for giving Hayley, David and myself a lift to the Mill on Friday evening, especially as he was driving straight back to London the same evening.

Jack, Margaret, Adrian and Ian were early arrivals to the Mill.

Su cooked us a wonderful pasta and fruit crumble to follow. Bambos arrived later on that evening.

We were joined for breakfast by Donya, Oliver and Master Luca, who entertained us throughout the weekend with his first words and steps. After a full English breakfast Jack went through the list of jobs to be done.

The marquees and tents were taken down, cleaned and packed away for another year. The banks behind the Mill and Cas building were strimmed and tidied up, gutters were cleaned, computers were fixed, inside repair jobs were carried out, the stream banks were strimmed and cleared of debris.

There were piles of logs and branches throughout the grounds which had been felled by an outside contractor, these were collected for logging and branches for burning.

Throughout the day we were joined by Roy, Rob and Valerie and their guest for the day Theo, Su's daughter and partner Sam and Sam from William Ellis. The island was cleared of overgrown shrubs and weeds to be burnt. Bambos got the mother of all fires going and all cuttings, dead wood were burnt.

Special thanks goes to Roy and Jack for getting the tractor working again after I had parked it and jammed the parking lever.

Logs were chain sawed and split. Enough wood for a few winters.

Saturday evening Su warmed us up with a delicious curry with a nan chaser and then cooled us off with a cheeky fruit jelly and ice cream.

Sunday, logs were cleared throughout the site, cuttings and dead wood were burnt, the lake and stream were cleared of more debris and over grown weeds, more logs were chainsawed and split. Final big clear up.

Our IT team, led by Adrian, were up early by 7am to tackle problematic computers.

The whole estate looked a picture, the weather held out throughout

There were fewer numbers than previous working weekends but an amazing amount of work was completed, thanks to everyone who took part. Omar arrived to take us back to London after lunch.

Thanks to Su for all the wonderful meals and banter

See you in Spring 2018!

Photios Demetriou