Bradshaws can trace their milling heritage back to William Bradshaw, who was apprenticed to a miller in the 1790's. When he died in 1824, he left the freehold to three windmills and all his five sons were master millers. One son Benjamin Bradshaw took a 60 year lease at Perio Mills in Fotheringhay near Peterborough. He had three sons, who joined him in the business.
Eleazer B Bradshaw
Benjamin’s eldest Son, Eleazar left Perio to gain
experience at other mills, settling in Driffield in 1875, to be Mill Manager for Richard Kirby, the owner of Bell Mills. He became a partner in the business in 1880 and upon Richard’s death in 1894 bought the business. In 1910 he bought the freehold to the mill from the Londesborough Estate. He was joined in business by three of his five sons (the other two choosing farming as careers). The company was restructured as a Limited Company in 1927, trading as E B Bradshaw & Sons Limited, with brothers John, Peter and Alfred as directors. The business is now run by John and Alfred’s grandsons, who are 6th generation Bradshaw millers.
Perio Mills circa 1890
The Modern Mill
In June 1949 a disastrous fire completely destroyed Bell Mills. However, literally out of the ashes’ John and Alfred Bradshaw built a completely modern mill and installed all the latest milling equipment that was available in the 1950's. It became a flagship mill for the mill engineers, Henry Simon, of Manchester. The mill was further modernised in 1970. By 1990, with the onset of the Food Safety Act the directors decided to undergo a major remodel, taking out all the machinery and replacing it with a new mill. Continual plant investment has always been a policy of the company and the site has developed over the last two decades to encompass enhanced bulk outloading, modern hygienic flour packing and a second specialist flour mill, dedicated to a range of bread flours.
C Mill 2018
“C” mill was commissioned in the Summer of 2018 and is one of the most technically advanced mills in Northern Europe, manufactured by Italian Millers OMAS srl who are based in Padua. Parameters such a food safety, flour purity and energy consumption were all taken into account in its design. Continual monitoring of a number of milling parameters will ensure superb consistency of the resulting flour.
The process starts with blending control to ensure wheats are correctly mixed. Then cleaning machinery takes the wheat blend (grist), through a series of stages which separate out any impurities. This includes sieving, density separation and optical sorting. The grist is then brought to an optimum moisture content and left to rest in one of a series of conditioning bins. Before milling the grist is passed through a patented scouring process that removes soil and dirt on the outside of the grain before the milling process begins.
The milling process itself makes use of Omas’ patented “Leonardo” S Roller Mills which are designed to regenerate electricity from the kinetic energy (KERS) created by the milling rolls. The KERS system enables the mills to reduce their power requirements to what is actually required. This makes the whole process cooler and quieter than traditional methods of grinding. The building has controlled airflow systems which minimises condensation and mould. The sifter design makes use of lightweight, yet strong materials which adds to the energy efficiency. The finished flour silos are sited next to the mill building minimising energy use in flour transfer.