Stunning, Superb Stained Glass

Glass group

The Glass Workshop group epitomizes what the U3A really means; you have an idea, you find a course to get you started and you pass on your knowledge to others.  John Jackson has a love of glass and a love of design; put them together and you have works of art.

Eight years ago John; who by now had created some wonderful pieces of stained glass for his own home and completed a stained glass window city and guilds course at Southport; decided that this was something that might well appeal to other members of our U3A. He was right.

The members who joined him learnt the basic skills of handling glass, designing, selecting pieces, choosing colours and textures and began to create beautiful objects.  Clippers, goring pliers, grinders and lead cams became part of their everyday vocabulary and their acquired skill helped them create individual pieces of great quality.

Parish hall window 2

From creating these individual pieces the group moved on to their first commission.  Maghull Parish Hall had a window made up of eighteen individual pieces that was in need of repair and they turned to the U3A for help.  All members of the group got together and between them created and built the amazing window we see there today.

Bob Jones and Ros Leith had used their skills to produce a U3A window that showed off their capabilities and this in turn gave the late Nigel Winchester an idea.  The project closest to Nigel’s heart was the re-development of Maghull Station and he thought the group could create windows to bring the bricked in windows of the station back to life.  Sadly a lack of light made this impractical as it is the sun that gives life to the stained glass but the project was not abandoned.  The answer was obvious, move the window to the waiting room.

The Group met with Merseyrail and designs were created and adapted until finally everyone was happy and the work could begin.   The photos you see can only give a small glimpse into the work that went on.  The design, adapted many times, shows Maghull at the gateway of the world.  The rail tracks leave Maghull and lead us to the six continents (no railways in the arctic regions!).  The side panels take us to Paris, Sydney, New York, and the African plains with our journeys taking place both day and night.  The result of all their work is breathtaking and gives pleasure to all; it makes us proud of our Station and all those who have helped make it all it is today.

The Group was all present at the dedication of this window by the Mayor of Maghull and the Reverend George Perera to the memory of Nigel Winchester and Alan Pritchard, his successor at the Maghull Station Volunteers.

Don’t think this most able group is now resting on its laurels though; each member is currently pursuing pieces close to their own hearts for either themselves or friends. Ros Leith and Jo Newton have just completed a piece for a couple in Station Road.  Sounds like Sir Alan Sugar would be envious of the initiative and success of our friends in the Glass Workshop.   We look forward to seeing these pieces, possibly one Tuesday morning??

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