Restoration complete on school stained-glass

Iona Art Glass stained glass conservator Bill Read works on the windows at the Dukes Middle School in Alnwick.'Picture be Jane Coltman
Iona Art Glass stained glass conservator Bill Read works on the windows at the Dukes Middle School in Alnwick.'Picture be Jane Coltman

Work has finished to repair four large stained-glass windows at an Alnwick school which were broken last year.

Craftsmen from Iona Art Glass worked hard over the Easter holidays to restore the windows at the Duke’s Middle School to their former glory after they were damaged last winter.

Iona Art Glass stained glass conservator Bill Read works on the windows at the Dukes Middle School in Alnwick.'Picture be Jane Coltman

Iona Art Glass stained glass conservator Bill Read works on the windows at the Dukes Middle School in Alnwick.'Picture be Jane Coltman

The operation first needed to collect as much of the broken glass as possible and remove the four stained- glass panels.

Once all the broken pieces were collected, the team used special epoxy resin to put the pieces back together.

The operation started in December and was completed last weekend.

Alison Milligan, a stained-glass conservator from Iona Art Glass, said it was “quite a complex task, just because of the breakage.”

Iona Art Glass stained glass conservator Bill Read works on the windows at the Dukes Middle School in Alnwick.'Picture be Jane Coltman

Iona Art Glass stained glass conservator Bill Read works on the windows at the Dukes Middle School in Alnwick.'Picture be Jane Coltman

She said: “A lot of the time we don’t have quite so badly-damaged jobs. There was a lot we couldn’t salvage and we had to do a lot of repainting.

“What we did was we removed the windows. We took them out and brought back as much of the broken bits as possible, collected that together and then it was almost like a big jigsaw, finding where the pieces fitted.

“The window itself is quite big but we only had four large panels out, we didn’t take the whole window out, just the bits that were badly damaged.

“We try to make them as close to the original as possible, but we sign them so that they know we’ve done a copy.”

Iona Art Glass, which is based in Warkworth, is one of the only places in the area which has special status from Icon, the Institution of Conservation, which sets a certain standard of work.

Established in 1986, it designs and makes new stained-glass windows for places of worship, public buildings, offices, restaurants and private residences.

It also undertakes the conservation and restoration of stained glass from medieval to modern with particular specialisation in 19th and 20th century works in listed buildings, from the smallest chapel to grand stately homes

The work at the school was under strict guidelines and prodedures handed down under the the Institute of Conservation. All the work is carried out under the supervision of an accredited member of the Institute for Conservation, working within the Corpus Vitrearum Guidelines for Glass Conservation.