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Fire Destroys Church - 1968


A year's painstaking work by children from broken homes in designing, making and erecting a beautiful stained-glass window in a church has gone up in smoke.

The intricately designed window was destroyed when fire completely gutted the church at Beechholme Children's Home, Banstead, Surrey.

But now Wandsworth Council which runs the home - is to consider giving youngsters the chance again to design a stained-glass window when the church is rebuilt.

The window destroyed was designed by a group of deeply deprived and maladjusted chil­dren aged 11 to 16, who were pupils at the special unit, organised by the ILEA, at the home.


Much of the window's glass cut by the children themselves, was that left over from Coventry Cathedral.

A spokesman says the church is a great loss to the children's home - one of the largest in the country.

"In particular, it is a tragedy that this fine window on which youngsters. worked so hard and so long, should be destroyed," he says.

"But they may get the chance to design another one."