Talk to us about stained glass maintenance and our proactive maintenance scheme

Bullard & Sons original leaded window rebuilt

Posted by on Jul 3, 2013 in Conservation, Current projects, Gallery, Maintenance | 0 comments

Recently a rare Bullard & Sons original leaded sash window panel came into the workshop to be rebuilt.

The panel was in a sorry state with the word ‘Stout’ almost completely lost. The entire window panel was rebuilt with new leadwork and replacement glass where the panes were cracked or lost. Once completed it has been mounted into a purpose built wooden frame allowing it to be mounted on a wall.

The panel was almost certainly fitted within one of the Bullards public houses as a form of advertising. These were used just in the same way as beer mats, bottles, and glasses to show brewery allegiance. The panel features a mix of ‘flashed’ red glass and a pearl white to form the lettering all then surrounded by a ‘cathedral’ type glass. 

As a brewery Bullard and Sons were based in Norwich and started trading in 1837 before they were ultimately absorbed into the Watney Mann empire in 1963 with the original Bullards site ceasing brewing three years later. All the history of the Bullard brewery can all be found here: Bullard-and-sons

With the current popularity of all types of breweriana I can produce genuine reproductions using all the original materials - please enquire for details

leaded glass panel Bullards & sons special stout

Rebuilt panel installed on site

This original panel was discovered at a sale within a Norfolk steam fair in the late 1980′s and has been awaiting a full rebuild ever since. Once these were commonplace in every public house but now very rare to find in a salvageable condition.

French Resistance – leaded glass window repair

Posted by on Jun 8, 2013 in Current projects, Maintenance, Restoration | 0 comments

French Resistance – leaded glass window repair to a leaded window which would not give in. Not everyone is aware quite how strong a leaded window is – certainly the would-be burglar in Bury St Edmunds had a surprise when he tried to gain entry through a french door in a house in the town – despite battering a hole in it they were unable to climb through.

I was on site within three hours of the first call and working around the team from Suffolk Constabulary’s SOCO I secured the property using an interim plain glazing solution.

The leaded window having put up such a strong fight was beyond salvage and a new unit will had to built to exactly match the original. The replacement will include hidden internal steel strips which will further reinforce the door.

leaded glass French doors repaired after attempted break-in.

Whilst it is possible to crack an individual pane with an errant stone from the lawn mower actually ripping a way through a leaded window is remarkably hard as the solder joints and lead came will readily flex repeatedly absorbing the force applied through it.

 Hopefully the burglar has learned a lesson and will not take on another leaded window in the future!

Proactive maintenance

Posted by on Sep 13, 2012 in Maintenance | 0 comments

In almost all cases the stained glass maintenance work I undertake is reactive – panes are cracked or the leaded window itself is loose or collapsing. Problems are compounded behind the scenes when water ingress leads to corrosion of window frames or internal damage and rectifying the results can be more involved than expected. Missing or loose fitting window catches are another issue where the mere fact that the window is not properly closed allows for problems to start.


Acting promptly

Prompt repair and regular maintenance can save time and money later and with the proactive scheme I focus on three key areas:

  • Any cracked or loose fitting panes are replaced or resealed to avoid water ingress.
  • Ensure the leaded window is held securely in the casement with either mortar or putty and with the latter that it has a protective paint covering. Any cracks are repointed or filled.
  • All opening sash windows have free movement of the hinges and window catches and that these are well lubricated to prevent them seizing.

A number of my main clients are now using proactive maintenance and seeing the financial benefit of heading off a problem before it starts – if you would like to know more about the scheme please email me here.

Using non specialists is always a risk – as you can see here with this example. The glass needed to make the repair was cut undersize (next image)


replacement stained glass panel Queen's campus cambridge gap

resulting in an air gap around the repair (image shows the gap clearly open to the weather) which was then filled internally using clear silicone whilst the lead was externally over folded behind the glass.

Revisiting and correcting poor quality work is time consuming and in this case five other windows were damaged beyond economical repair and had to be completely replaced.