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Thelnetham windmill to become general election polling station on December 12

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Thelnetham's historic windmill will be transformed into a polling station on December 12.

It will be the first time the 200-year-old windmill has been used for a general election.

Chris Mills, mill volunteer and event organiser, said: “The polling station is normally in Thelnetham Village Hall but the village hall is currently undergoing a major refurbishment.

Thelnetham windmill polling station (22494443)
Thelnetham windmill polling station (22494443)

“When I was approached I was quite pleased. I thought it was a great way to get people to come to the mill.”

The mill was built in July 1819, and first set to work on Christmas Day that year.

The granary is now used as a meeting room, while the mill workshop itself has a visitor centre offering guided tours. A spokeswoman from West Suffolk Council said having the windmill meant people could continue to cast their vote in the village.

While Thelnetham Windmill is one of the most visibly unusual polling stations, a handful of other interesting locations will also be used:

Pubs have been used in areas of the county in previous years, notably the White Horse in Beyton.

Residential properties are rarely used as polling booths, but it is not unheard of.

One Suffolk council chief executive recalls a kitchen being used once during an election held at a previous authority. This year, Flat 51 in Sandyhill Lane, Ipswich, will be doing the same.

The apartment, owned by Ipswich Borough Council, is empty and will not be occupied before December 12, so voters there need not worry about disturbing anyone’s domestic routine.

A dance studio at Waterlane Leisure Centre, Lowestoft, has been hosting ballots since 2011, so those wishing to bolero while they ballot can do so.

The leisure centre’s main hall is also where the Waveney count takes place.