A PAINSTAKING three-hour operation has seen the restoration of a York landmark move closer to completion.

The new cap on Holgate Windmill was winched into position on Saturday in the latest step to bring the historic building back into operation and to allow it to grind corn once again.

The creation of the cap was delayed after the millwright tasked with making it was detailed on to urgent work on another windmill at Skidby, near Beverley, and its installation was further held up by windy weather last week.

But now the Holgate Windmill Preservation Society is looking forward to the next stages of work. This will involve fitting smaller sails, known as the fantail, before the end of the year, after which attention will focus on putting up the mill’s main sails.

Society spokesman Paul Hepworth said the organisation hoped the £600,000 project to return the mill to full working order will be completed by this time next year.

He said: “It’s a great relief that the top of the building is now completely weatherproof – and that Saturday’s weather looked kindly on us!

“When the mill is fully restored, we will have a part-glass ceiling installed just beneath the cap so visitors can look up into it.”