Roger Lee is the Project Manager at Parndon Mill.

Greetings from Parndon Mill hub of creativity and part of hidden Harlow!

Although we’re hidden on the fringes of Harlow we do feel we are an important aspect of the town’s cultural asset and are deeply rooted with our fellow cultural venues.

It’s been a busy year so far and I’m delighted to have seen a good few Harlow Ambassadors enjoying our exhibitions in the Gallery.

It has been brilliant to see the growth in both the number and range of people coming to visit us over recent years.  We now have around 3,700 student engagements a year and our annual Open Studios event brings over 800 visitors over the course of one weekend.

Parndon Mill

Except with the growth comes a problem:  we can no longer easily provide water for the amount of visitors that we receive.

In order to accommodate our visitors to Open Studios this year, I scrounged 3,300 litres of water from Harlow Fire Station. This was just enough to run the Mill building for the weekend, so huge thanks to them for their frequent fillings of my mobile tank. It reinforces one’s faith in human nature and civic pride when you rub shoulders with remarkably brave men and women like these.

However, water is becoming a major issue here.

Although we are a water mill, literally overlooking the River Stort, Parndon Mill is not connected to mains water – it is cut off from the town by the railway line, making us reliant on an 18 foot deep well that was originally dug to water the horses!

In order to allow Parndon Mill to grow, flourish and continue to deliver public engagement with the arts, we need to find a sustainable water supply.

The solution is a borehole.

This year we launched a Borehole Appeal, to try and raise the £20,000 needed to fund the project.

As a registered charity, we rely on donations and help in kind. But we hope the increasing number of people who are coming to Parndon Mill and enjoying its offer will consider donating.

I think it goes with the territory that Harlow business and enterprise is often a victim of its own success. Is it the tenacity of Essex men and women which drives us to stretch to the limits?

Here’s hoping we get the much needed investment in infrastructure to maintain Parndon Mill as Harlow’s creative hub and allow our town to continue to grow and flourish.

To donate to the Borehold Appeal visit Parndon Mill’s Just Giving page.

The Gallery at Parndon Mill is open 10am – 5pm Tuesdays to Fridays and 2pm – 4pm on Sundays and Bank Holidays. We are also pleased to open ‘by appointment’ if you have friends and family visiting from afar on a day that we are not normally open!

A programme of eight exhibitions in the Gallery here offer a wide variety of artwork to view or purchase. Check the Parndon Mill website for what’s on now.