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Hundreds flock to Shrewsbury's Flaxmill to catch a glimpse of behind the scenes - in pictures

By Lucy Todman | Shrewsbury | Shrewsbury entertainment | Published:

Hundreds of people poured through the gates of Shrewsbury's Flaxmill last weekend keen to see what had been going on behind the scenes.

The historic mill was taking part in the Heritage Open Days and even before opening time people queued outside the gates eager to have a look inside.

The Flaxmill, the world's first iron framed skyscraper, has undergone years of restoration.

Visitors looking at the site of one of the steam engines as they tour the Flaxmill Maltings, Spring Gardens Shrewsbury to look at the progress of work at the historic site

New windows have been unblocked and fitted with frames, the brickwork has been stabilised and renovated, new roofs installed and the interiors painstakingly returned to their former layouts.

The building was open on Saturday and Sunday and 1100 people visited with many taking up places on the guided tours which had been laid on.

Alan Mosley, chairman of the Friends of the Flaxmill said the 'wonderful weather' added to the success of the day.

The newly restored brick work

"I am really pleased with how it went," he said. "It was a highly successful weekend of Heritage Open Days and people were queuing from the start to book on the tours.

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"The weekend proved to be a record turnout in terms of visitors.

One of the large floors undergoing restoration

"People were amazed by the transformation that has taken place and were delighted to hear the plans for the future use of the building which includes and interpretation centre, exhibition space, cafe and commercial space. We also had an art exhibition and displays and large numbers of people took great interest in those.

"It was a wonderful day in the sunshine and the newly refurbished building looked splendid. It is a tremendous feature for the local area and for Shrewsbury and Shropshire and now it looks the part as an internationally renowned and important building.

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Guide Penny Ward explaining the iron beam construction

"The renovations have been impressive and people can now see how such an important building will be prepared for the next 100 years of successful and productive use.

"People were able to go in to the main mill and see the changes that have taken place. They visited the upper floors and were also able to visit the dye house where exhibitions had been set up. They were also able to see the detailed plans for how it will all look when it is completed by July 2021. This included detailed plans of the car parking and landscaping near to the old canal bed.

"I have to say that the event was such a successful thanks in no part to the work of the volunteers who supervised the day and provided the much applauded tours. The feedback we have had has been excellent."

Lucy Todman

By Lucy Todman
@shroptod

Senior reporter for the Shropshire Star and Shrewsbury Chronicle based in Shrewsbury.

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