Bill's Lecture - Dudley






Bill's Lecture

Brierley Hill


Dudley Wood

Cradley Heath










Additional Material



Bethesda, Cradley


Great Witley



Well, we're coming up to the Top Church at Dudley, we're travelling along - nearly halfway through - which contains this. They call it a stained glass window, it uses the colour of light with a little illumination outside. I don't think very much of it. Itís very heavily painted, a very dark sepia paint. The two angels of the Resurrection and unfortunately in 1940 a bomb fell in the churchyard and this window, the glass upon which the sepia was  painted in the enamel painting was like tissue paper, it was so thin. And check a lot of pieces, they're cracked. One or two of them were smashed. And, they did a restoration after the war, at least that's what they called it, restoration.



Down here was a beautiful scene in the distance of Jerusalem. Now, part of the restoration, as far as I can gather they just put some pieces of plain glass in and sloshed brown paint all over it. And the Angel of the Resurrection there, it had got beautiful fingers you know, they were very expressive, pointing up to the recent Christ risen. And you should see the hack hand that the restoration people gave it. Terrible. That's a male fist.

(This is taken from a postcard of the window showing the original hand).

And then someone put a brass plate to say that they'd paid for the restoration of it on one of the pillars, here's the two angels, lovely, nicely done after the style of Van Dyke, I'd say, a painting, not true stained glass, and they only fools when somebody had a brass plate made to say theyíd restored the window, they must have been proud of it. I don't think so.


Now we come to this other, shall I call it a monstrosity? Dare I?


It had only been in for two and a half years and it all started to fall apart. It isn't true stained glass at all, itís just pieces of glass stuck on to plain glass, I think itís armour plate glass. Now when you stick coloured glass onto a piece of plate glass, or armour plate glass, you've got two dissimilar kinds of glass you people will know what it is, tracing glass. You've got to get similar types, haven't you. Especially in the open air, outside. We're asking for trouble, because the expansion rate in bright sunlight and frost is going to be more than theyíll take. And in fact the glass they used, it wasn't that thick glass a lot of it was only thin double rolled, rolled out by the mile, you know. But I could never, then 2 years after it fell down, it cost them £8000 to renovate it up, it was only a short while It was a white elephant if ever there was one.

But look, look at Churchill's face. Our great statesman. I think itís an insult to his memory that ugly blotch that's supposed to be Churchill's face. And I told him, I said one day again itís going to fall down again.

Oh, he said, it couldn't be. He said, we've had everyone down to test the adhesive he said, we've even had the department from the ministry of explosives down here, I said, are they going to blow it up? But then I say, this blue glass here, itís just simply rolled cathedral, and look at the little spacers, that should have been done in the traditional manner and if it had have been done in that way it would have lasted like Churchill's famous words "for a thousand years". Not like that, I donít know how Churchill looks more like the butcher of Uganda donít he, Idi Amin. It does, doesn't it? I think it does. Anyway, everyone raves about it, I don't know why. Still, perhaps I'm wrong, I don't know, itís a matter of painting.


(This was installed in the Churchill Centre in Dudley. In 2016 as far as I can ascertain it has been removed and put into storage).