Bill's Lecture - Dudley Wood






Bill's Lecture

Brierley Hill


Dudley Wood

Cradley Heath










Additional Material



Bethesda, Cradley


Great Witley



Now we're coming down to Wellington Road Church, with a very tall church, St Luke's, and it was demolished, about 5 or 6 years ago. Of course, like all churches, the congregation falling. But the Reverend Ron Crisp, who's the vicar of Dudley Wood Church in Cradley Heath, he came to me, he said, come up to Wellington Road Church because I want to show you something up there. He'd got his warden in, he said "Look Bill", he said, "when I was a curate here", he said, "I admired that window very much." He said "And they told me the church was going to be pulled down and if I wanted it for my church, they'd give it me". It was a Victorian window about, put in for the diamond jubilee of Queen Victoria, beautifully painted by the old Victorian Masters of the craft. Well, I mean, that was about 40 foot up, I looked on it as a challenge if I remember. I said, look if you put me a scaffolding up and I'll whip the window out and we'll see what can be done.


Scaffolding up, and single handed I removed that window and that it was about 13 foot in height. And that rose window in the top, it took some getting out but I managed it alright. And the trouble was that his church there was a pilot light window at the back and this three lights was going to have to be made into five lights.



And this window was about 10 to 12 inches wider than his windows in his church the church in Dudley Wood and they were going on the west end there and there are 5 lights there. Well, can you imagine this, I had to cut the centre pieces down and I had to make out of all the bits we got left over, I made some windows for the sides, and that is the finished effect.


It was a bit awkward because in cutting 5 inches, I think it was, off each side we cut Christ's hand back you see and I had to swing them in a bit more and make him some new arms. But they came out very well, I think, and out of the bits that were in the top, the rose window at the top, I made all these little bits and bits of antique glass, and the tracery pieces that came off the side of all those, I put round the 2 outer windows and everyone was very pleased. And it would have been a pretty shame, that window might have been smashed up by the demolition men's hammers. and he wrote me such a nice letter about it.


And the Bishop of Worcester came and did a dedicatory, well he spoke a sermon as well, and he came and he was very, very pleased with the effect

Here I am in my workshop, putting one of those bits together of the side pieces. (picture not available). And look at some of the beautiful painting on the faces and pictures here. And the artistry, how nicely done that is. There aren't many people who can do this stuff today. It takes a lot of patience. And there's the Resurrection - the angel was on the side but I had to cut the angel's face straight off to get that in. Yes, I was very pleased about that, the honour really of putting that in. I did get a little money out of it, it was creative work.