A dazzling piece of local history has been saved, restored and put on public display for future generations to marvel at.
Grangemouth Heritage Trust is proud to house three recently restored stained glass windows from the town’s West Church, which fell victim to the wrecking ball back in 1978.
Trust historian Maureen Burns told the Herald: “When the church was demolished, the stained glass was saved and put in storage, but it was in a terrible state – lying in bits.”
Along came Forth Valley College creative industries lecturer Trevor Griffin, a regular contributor to the Trust, who learned a whole new set of skills to restore the artworks to their former glory.
Trevor (46) said: “This is where they really belong – back in Grangemouth. My parents were married in the West Church and I was christened in it so it was important for me to do this.”
With the full backing of the Trust, Grangemouth man Trevor took it upon himself to get the windows looking as good as the day they were created decades earlier.
The technician’s expertise did not initially extend to stained glass window restoration, but a few mouse clicks later he was armed with all the knowledge he needed to take on the task – studying You Tube videos to gain the necessary skills.
Trevor said: “It’s been a real privilege to restore something so beautiful.”
One of the windows was initially created by world famous stained glass artist Gordon Webster, who died aged 79 back in 1987.
The Glasgow artist pioneered a new style of stained glass art in the 1930s and created more than 300 windows – many which can still be seen today in churches and museums across the world.
Before bringing the windows home to Grangemouth, Trevor held an exhibition at Forth Valley College earlier this year to allow students to view his work. Members of Gordon Webster’s family were also able to view the restored stained glass.
The late artist’s son, Martyn (72), said: “Trevor has done an absolutely amazing job restoring this. It is quite breathtaking.”
Gordon’s granddaughter Emma Jo Webster, who also attended the exhibition, added: “It is so heartwarming to see people like Trevor taking real care of artwork such as this.”
Team work was essential when it came to returning the stained glass to Grangemouth.
Iain Mitchell, of Mitchell’s Haulage, kindly supplied a truck to transport the windows to the Heritage Trust Museum, just off La Porte Precinct, and, another friend of the Trust, Alex Johnson did the electrics for the display to ensure Trevor’s hard work is seen in the best possible light.
Maureen added “This is from the West Church so it is right that it stays in Grangemouth and is able to be seen by people. It really looks fantastic - when you come in the door it just makes you smile.
“Now we want as many people as possible to come here and see it.”
Now displayed safely at the entrance of their premises, the Heritage Trust is now looking to secure Lottery funding to allow them to expand the building so they can house even more treasures from the town’s past.
Visit wwww.facebook.com/GrangemouthHeritageTrust for more information.