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Double vandals – new glass required

Posted by on Mar 22, 2019 in Conservation, Current projects, Maintenance, New stained glass, Uncategorized | 0 comments

St Giles Church in Holme has had some unwelcome visitors in the form of vandals who forced entry to the church. As you will see from this the first visit was through the right hand window.


Unbelievably just a few days later they destroyed the window next to it when they returned a second time.


The damage was extensive but luckily did not affect the cinquefoil headers which were untouched and a pair of new rectangular leaded lights were required, The old glass was salvaged and replaced in the same position during the build


The new glass in indistinguishable from the old and gives the impression that the disaster never happened

Once complete the churchwarden went to review the result and declared - (I) ‘went to see the new windows and (I am)  delighted.’  and a follow up I also hope to be the case -  ‘Don’t take this personally but I sincerely hope we won’t need your services again.’

The good news is that Cambs Police arrested and through the courts had the perps jailed who were well known – who knows hopefully they have some time on their hands to consider their future

Holme is situated in an area which was largely under water and the village sign shows a man leading a horse towing the Floating Church of Holme that was dedicated to St Withburga by the Archdeacon of Huntingdon on 5 April 1897. The Fenland Ark was the idea of the rector of Holme, Rev. George Broke who thought that a church on a boat could reach families living in remote cottages in the Fen to allow them to worship. The horse-drawn boat was 30 feet (9.1 m) long and about 10 feet (3.0 m) wide, it boasted an altar, a font, a lectern which doubled as a pulpit, and a harmonium. Between 1897 and 1904, 74 baptisms took place on board.


Etched glass Cambridge

Posted by on Jan 11, 2019 in Conservation, Current projects, Maintenance, New stained glass, Restoration | 0 comments

A project to restore an etched glass window in Cambridge in now complete

This was part of a package of work for Coulson Building Group  and followed on directly from the Hughes Hall contract


Kenmare House was the home of Cambridge University Estate Management until acquisition by Pembroke College who have acquired the associated site all the way down Mill Lane. The main staircase featured a large sash window with the upper half retaining a few pieces of original etched glass border which is highly intricate


The lower sash was fitted with ugly Flemish obscured glass which really detracted from the look. It was agreed with the Architect to rthe look and the job of salvaging the remaining glass which is incredibly thin and delicate was entrusted to us



With the pattern available a full set of perfect match glass etchings have been created and now the original look of the sash pair is restored


The project is entirely funded by the billionaire Dolby family – Ray and wife Dagmar who graduated from Heidelberg University in her native Germany met in 1962 while studying in a summer program at Cambridge University.

Un due course Pembroke College plan the redevelopment of the entire Mill Lane site.

New Malden new Stained Glass

Posted by on Jan 9, 2019 in Conservation, Current projects, Maintenance, New stained glass, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Working for the first time New Malden I have been creating new Stained Glass to exactly match that which featured in the house originally

Here was where I started – the original door lost and the need to rebuild the sidelight and restore the top light


Dukes Avenue has a good number of houses which have retained their glass and next door were king enough to allow a rubbing to be made of their door glass to get the scale and layout correct




Glass types and colours were selected and approved to recreate as before where the coloured glass is suriunded by a Victorian ‘muffle’ go give privacy.


The door was remade again to exact reproduction of the originals in Sapele by Edward Warrington of Period House Carpentry and Joinery - 07827 778843

The rebuild of the sidelight showed all the different glass types mixed together – this was treated to all new leadwork to last another hundred years:













Lastly the top light was refurbished with the name re-enamelled as this was faded.



Dukes Avenue is just across from New Malden railway station and is in the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames. New Malden forms part of the historic county of Surrey. Neighbouring localities include Kingston upon Thames, Raynes Park, Surbiton, Tolworth, Wimbledon and Worcester Park. – many of which I have worked in before.

New Malden suffered damage from German bombing during the Second World War.The first attack took place on 18 September 1940, killing about 50 people and damaging about 1,300 homes. After dropping approximately 150 bombs, German pilots reportedly flew over the railway station at low altitude and machine-gunned passengers as they got off a train that had just arrived at the railway station. Unexploded munitions from this period are still found on occasion.






Stained Glass refresh for Hughes Hall Cambridge

Posted by on Jan 8, 2019 in Conservation, Current projects, Gallery, Maintenance, Restoration, Uncategorized | 0 comments

The long hot summer of 2018 featured a stained glass refresh for Hughes Hall Cambridge working for main contractor Coulson Building Group

The work focused on the Margaret Wileman Building named after (19 July 1908 – 12 August 2014) was a British academic administrator, lecturer in education, and teacher. From 1953 to 1973, she was Principal of Hughes Hall, Cambridge, and a lecturer in education at the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge.

This is the building in colder times



The leaded lights feature fluted glass in lightweight cames requiring very careful restoration


Hughes Hall is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge. It is the oldest of the University of Cambridge’s postgraduate colleges. The college also admits undergraduates, though undergraduates admitted by the college must be aged 21 or over. There is no age requirement for postgraduate students. The majority of Hughes Hall students are postgraduate, although nearly one-fifth of the student population comprises individuals aged 21 and above who are studying undergraduate degree courses at the University.

Hughes Hall was founded in the 19th century as the Cambridge Training College for Women with the purpose of providing a college of the University dedicated to training women graduates for the teaching profession. Since then it has enlarged and expanded to support a community of students and researchers, both male and female, working in all the academic domains encompassed by the University of Cambridge.

The college is housed in a number of 19th and 20th century buildings at a main site immediately adjacent to the University of Cambridge’s Cricket ground, and between the City Centre and the railway station.

This was the first major refurbishment of the building designed by William Fawcett and inaugurated in 1895





Stained Glass in Saffron Walden

Posted by on Jan 8, 2019 in Conservation, Current projects, Gallery, Maintenance, Restoration, Uncategorized | 0 comments

The Cross Keys needed stained glass repairs in Saffron Walden


A challenging repair because I did not want to change the whole leaded light as the top portion was entirely sound. The bottom had been pushed out by diners in the restaurant leaning on the glass – the above picture has the bottom two rows of glass quarries inserted into the existing window.

The Cross Keys has recently been crownd the overall winner of the Channel 4 programme Four in a Bed The show involves four B&B owners taking turns staying at each other’s hotels, requiring them to inspect the rooms and sample the dinner and breakfast menus.

The next morning, each couple will then pay what they consider fair for their stay and the winning hotel is the one named best value for money.

The local papers include reports of the triumph – Saffron Walden Reporter and Cambridge Evening News


Located on the High Street of Saffron Walden the Cross keys is a timber-framed building dating back to the 15th Century and is said to be haunted by a Cromwellian soldier.

Staff and visitors have reputedly heard phantom footsteps walking up and down the corridors and each Christmas Eve it is said the soldier runs down a dead end passageway and then disappears without a trace

It was originally Known as the Bull in 1709, but had become the Cross Keys by 1778.

The original name of the town in north west Essex was simply ‘Walden’, from the Saxon words for ‘Valley of the Britons’. It gained the prefix ‘Saffron’ when it became a centre for cultivating crocuses in the medieval period. Though the autumn-flowering crocuses actual produced a purple flower, they were used to make perfume, and a yellow dye for cloth, hence the name. The crocus was also used to flavour food and in medicinal concoctions for catarrh. The medieval prosperity brought by the crocus trade is evident by the number of attractive timber-framed buildings clustered around the market square.

The area was settled from prehistoric times, and there are ancient earthwork remains near the town. Much of the street layout we see today in the centre of Saffron Walden follows the course of the bailey enclosure of a 12th century castle built by Geoffrey de Mandeville, Earl of Essex. Mandeville also founded a Benedictine Priory and established the first market here. He rebelled against the crown and lost his life, and the castle eventually crumbled into a ruin. It stands today near the museum, one of the oldest purpose-built museums in the country, founded in 1835.


Bespoke stained glass for Reigate

Posted by on Jan 8, 2019 in Current projects, Maintenance, New stained glass, Portfolio of our stained glass | 0 comments

Recently we have created new bespoke stained glass for a house in Reigate incorporating features for the family and in particular the children. Design and colour choice was all driven by the customer who was involved throughout the process


The top light has a rose and a Arthurian shield to encompass the children’s names


The strong yellow front door is an important element in any Feng Shui and is particularly auspicious for south facing

This is our first work in Reigate  and it really shows how the three different light levels work with glass. The morning sun projects the glass into the hallway and then there is the passive colours in the afternoon and then finally the entirely different colours form the electric light projected outwards.


Reigate /ˈrɡt/ is a town of over 20,000 inhabitants in eastern Surrey, England. It is in the London commuter belt and one of three towns in the borough of Reigate and Banstead. It is sited at the foot of the North Downs and extends over part of the Greensand Ridge. Reigate has a medieval castle and has been a market town since the medieval period, when it also became a parliamentary borough.

The origin of the name Reigate is uncertain, but appears to derive from Roe-deer Gate, as the town was situated near to the entrance to the de Warenne’s deer park.

Reigate has been home to some very notable people over the years:

Spike Milligan, writer and comedian, used to live at Woodhatch in Orchard Way

Norman Cook, disc jockey, was born in Bromley, London, and raised in Reigate and attended Reigate Grammar School


Mia Farrow, film actress, lived here while married to André Previn - better known of course as  ‘Andrew Preview’ on Morecambe and Wise

George Best, Manchester United and Northern Ireland football player lived his last years near Reigate

Dame Margot Fonteyn, ballet dancer, was born here

Ray Mears, survival expert, attended Reigate Grammar School

David Walliams, writer and star of the Little Britain comedy series attended Reigate Grammar School

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.