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The New Stained Glass in the Museum

The Brief

• The lower 15 panels should have elements symbolising the town of Bury, and the two associated towns of Rochdale and Salford, the County of Lancashire, and the history and architecture of the building.
• In the top 10 panels, there should be the same structural composition as below but with a Regimental heritage theme based on the modern Regiment - The Royal Regiment of fusiliers and the four previous Regiments: The Northumberland Fusiliers, The Royal Warwicks, The Royal Fusiliers, and The Lancashire Fusiliers.
• The intention should be to have a high proportion of white glass to maintain the light airy quality of the stairwell.
• It was suggested there should be a rose theme weaving through the composition on a thorned stem.
• The windows should have a narrative and be part of the museum tour.

The Design Concept

• The window façade is set an Arts and Crafts building with initial use as a college teaching a variety of subjects including technical instruction for the local fabric printing industry – much of which was on linen and cotton by companies such as Turnbull and Stockdale and designed by Arts and Crafts designers and destined for shops like Liberty’s of London.
• The design is a contemporary take on these original fabrics and wallpapers, many featuring plants and animals with a local significance. The animals are in pairs –painted positively and negatively.
• Millinery was also taught and the woven hat ribbons are echoed by the strips of reds, pinks and purples weaving through the panels. In the top panels these become the medal ribbons.
• The greens, turquoises and greys are drawn from the landscapes and plants of the Pennines and the uniforms in the museum.
• The top panels are drawn together with a wreath of symbolic plants

The Details and Symbolism

This evolved from extensive visual research including in the Fusilier Museum, the collections of Bury Art Gallery particularly from the bolt stamp (trade marks on bolts of cloth) archive and Richmal Crompton’s pressed flower collection (Richmal Crompton was born in Bury and wrote the Just William stories) and The Storey building and Lancaster Castle in Lancaster.

The panels on each side of the façade have roses and thorned stems weaving up through all five rows with bees – from the Bury and Salford coats of arms. Bees symbolise industry and are found on coats of arms in the North West and are part of the design on the mosaic floor in Manchester City Hall. Some of the roses in the top two rows are stained yellow to symbolise the Minden roses. There are many versions of these formal rose flowers. In this window stained glass roses from the Fusilier museum, The Story building in Lancaster, and Arts & Crafts design were the inspiration.

Lower Panels | Bury Rochdale Salford and Lancashire

1a Roses and bees

1b Field pepperwort plant from Richmal Crompton’s pressed flower book. Butterfly motif from bolt stamp archive in the collection of Bury Art Gallery

1c The Bloody cranesbill plant found on limestone pavement in Lancashire. The peppered moth which developed two forms during the Industrial Revolution in the region – one darker than the original light form. The dark moth was less visible to predators on soot blackened trees.

1d The linen plant - symbolising the Lancashire linen weaving and printing industry. A pair of fish – the roach from the Rochdale coat of arms.

1e Roses and bees

2a Roses and bees

2b Marsh marigold plant from Richmal Crompton’s pressed flower collection. A lizard motif from the bolt stamp archive in the collection of Bury Art Gallery.

2c The cotton plant from the Bury coat of arms and also symbolising the Lancashire cotton weaving and printing industry. The second butterfly motif from the bolt stamp archive.

2d The Wild celery plant from Richmal Crompton’s pressed flower book in the Bury Art gallery collection and a tailor bird from the bolt stamp collection at Bury Art Gallery .

2e Roses, bees and the second tailor bird.

3a Roses, bees and one of the pair of ravens symbolising the Tower of London and the home of the Royal Fusiliers. They are also resident of the Pennines.

3b Oak symbolising Gallipoli but also a native tree, and the second raven of the pair.

3c The Pennycress plant from Richmal Crompton’s pressed flower book and a pair of swallows. There are swallows on some of the shields in Lancaster Castle.

3d Field poppy plant symbolising remembrance and the pigeon motif from the bolt stamps archive in Bury Art Gallery.

3e Roses, bees and the other pigeon of the pair.

Upper Panels | Regimental Heritage

4a Roses, bees and the Sphinx

4e Roses, bees and the lion from the Lorne Scots insignia

5a Roses, bees and St George & Dragon

5e Roses, bees and Bobby the Antelope

Central panels : 4b, 4c, 4d, 5b, 5c, 5d wreath of olive, symbolising peacekeeping and laurel. The text shows the numbers of the current and original regiments and the Lancashire Fusiliers motto ‘Omnia Audax’. The crown is drawn from Churchill’s gun in the museum collection.

The making of the window

The glass is ‘mouthblown’ antique – made by hand. York Glaziers Trust made the windows in their studio in York. They worked from full size cartoons, cutting and painting the designs onto the glass with fired - on enamels. The glass pieces were then leaded together and the panels were mounted in specially designed metal frames, powder coated to match the stone mullions.

About York Glaziers Trust ……………

About the Artist
Bridget Jones works in architectural glass and print to commission. Her designs weave together image, pattern, and colour.
Born in Glasgow, she studied zoology, and worked in university teaching and museum education. After a degree in art & design she set up her studio in Newcastle in 1988.
She has worked on major glass commissions including the National Glass Centre, Edinburgh City Chambers, and Ripon Cathedral.
She has worked collaboratively with writers, designers, and artists. As well as work in glass she has also designed for stone, metal, paper and textiles. Her practice centres on printmaking. She has exhibited nationally

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