©Steenmeulen |Destination Coeur de Flandre
Jeff, the miller

Jeff, the miller

In Terdeghem, you’ll often see the red wings of the Steenmeulen turning in the wind. The man who brings the windmill to life is Joseph, but everyone calls him Jeff. Portrait.

Born at the mill

Jeff always says that “he was born looking at the windmill”. It was in this white house that he came into the world, where his parents, Clara and Michel, lived. You can actually visit this house with Jeff. He will tell you about the day-to-day life of his parents at the start of the century. Jeff grew up in the shadow of this stone giant, then he left to work near Lille.

When he retired, he came back to his beloved windmill.

Gold in his hands

Jeff has always loved building, making, repairing. His curiosity encouraged him to see how objects work and how to improve them. So, imagine the possibilities that a windmill represented! After seeing the windmills in the Netherlands, he came back with an array of knowledge to apply to the Steenmeulen. Today, not a day goes by where Jeff isn’t involved with the windmill. And since he collects old machines, there is always something to do!

Sharing, encountering, passing on

But what brings Jeff to life above all is the pleasure of meeting the visitors. Spending 2 hours with them talking about his windmill. It is an opportunity to share his knowledge, and pass on the importance of the milling heritage. To highlight the talent of elders in terms of engineering and techniques. This is why Jeff has even created a Persian mill so that everyone can understand how windmills work, and where they come from. Amongst his anecdotes and good spirits, there is no doubt: people come to the Steenmeulen for the building’s history, and they stick around for Jeff’s warmth!