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Riddings Windmills -Sarah and James
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The windmills were called 'Sarah' and 'James'. Built by the Oakes family in 1877, they were about 100 feet high. For years they were used as storerooms for Deosan Ltd. Agricultural chemical manufacturers. They stopped working in 1927. Sarah was gutted by fire in 1963 and both were later demolished. The Oakes family dominated the village of Riddings, owning not only the ironworks but several local collieries. They collaborated with the Butterley Company in establishing the Riddings and District Gas Company in 1888 and founded other companies which manufactured coal by products such as tar and sulphuric acid. They also used the clays in the local coal measures to make bricks and spun pipes. James Oakes was one of the instigators of the railway built along the Erewash valley to supersede the canal.