THEIR OWN CREATION
"One day we were just going to have some lessons when Mrs. David said, Mr. Banner keeps on edging me to make a stained-glass window.
We all thought she was quite mad to think of it. We thought we could never do it. Then we tried it."
Ron wrote that. He lives at Beechholme in Surrey, a village run for 350 children of all ages by the London County Council Children’s Department.
Most of the children of secondary school age at Beechholme, of which Mr. G. A Banner is the superintendent, go out to local schools, but about a dozen of them at any given time are too seriously disturbed for normal schooling, These children go to the Orchard, a unit within Beechholme itself, which has been run for the past nine years by Mrs. Nancy
David a classics graduate from the north of England, who first taught a remedial group in a secondary modem school in Scunthorpe. Ron is one of her pupils.
The window which is now complete stands in Beechholme’s chapel. It was put together on the floor in the Orchard.
It consists of two 15ft. high panels, both 2ft. wide. depicting St. Francis and the animals, and St. James the fisherman apostle. All Mrs. David’s pupils were involved in its making.
When they started off in February this year, they relied for guidance on a book on stained glass published in 1905. They followed this chapter by chapter, and as they went in search of the materials they needed they soon found themselves making helpful friends.
Two stained glass artists, Mr. Colwyn Morris and Mr. Frands Spear both took a keen interest in their work, and so did their glass supplier, Mr. Broad of Muller, Beale and Hyder, the firm who produced the glass for the Coventry windows.
The work was finished on the last day of the summer term, and the window was put into its place in October. Mr. Russell and Mr. Taylor, two bricklayers on the staff of Beechholme. were called in to help with this. "At the very last", Ron wrote, "Mr. Banner and John and I went up and cleaned it all inside and out. It took us all morning, but when we finished it was shining."