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many former employees around to share with us memories of "times

past" at the premises known all over Munster as "K.B.s".

The Williams mill was termed a "grist" mill, which was simply a

premises for grinding corn. Oats and barley were the two main

grains involved. When fully ripe the outer core of the grain is very

hard, and unsuitable for animal feed. Consequently, the oats was

rolled, i.e. the grain crushed or broken and then fed mainly to horses.

Barley was ground to a finer degree and used as cattle, poultry, or

other such animal food. The grinding operation has existed for

centuries. It was originally performed between two horizontally

circular stones, rotating against each other. Grooves were chiselled

out of the stones to allowmovement of the grain during the grinding


Mill wheels operated by waterways were used in early times to

rotate the stones. Horses attached to shafts and walking in a circular

pattern were also used. The introduction of steam was a later

development. Stearn produced from solid fuel boilers became the

popular method , as the equipment became more sophisticated. The

introduction of electricity modernised the entire scene. This was the

operation which K.B. Williams inherited in the early years of the

century, and developed as time went by.

Torn Taylor is remembered as the man involved in dressing the

crushing stones. Members of the Linton family were also involved in

this operation. Bill Lenahan of Mountain View was fitter, engineer,

during the modernisation of the machinery, and he was followed by

John Hickey.

Albert Coulter of Quartertown commenced work in the mill in


and remained there until it closed in


He recalls that the

only entrance was from the Main Street through a narrow archway,

which was probably designed for the horse and cart. This entrance

became known as "the hole in the wall" , a term attributed to it by

some of the larger mills. K. B. subsequently made several efforts to

get pernission to make an entrance from the Town Park, but he was

never successful. Albert's memory of the mill , when he first worked

there, is of a relatively small premises, but Mr. Williams soon started

to expand, and added extensions to the buildings each year.

The general operation consisted of buying barley and oats at

harvest time from the farmers for use in the mill for the production

of animal feed. The company was an agent for wheat which was sent

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