Restoration of the Memorial Hall Soldiers Window

It took less than an hour, but fitting the Soldiers Window back into Bellingen Memorial Hall was painstaking and at times nail-biting work, at least for the onlookers.

However, restoration expert Christine Stewart and the team from Nambucca Glass - Heath, Tate and 18-year-old apprentice Ethan - remained calm and steady throughout, even when the fourth and final panel refused to fit.

They simply took out their rulers, announced it needed 2mm off, and began the process of trimming the lead framework with side-cutting pliers.

"It's very common to do this," Christine explained. "Frameworks on old windows are never square."

The stained glass window featuring a soldier hand-painted and kiln-fired into glass was removed from the front of the hall in April 2017, because the lead holding the panes had deteriorated and this was causing the glass to buckle and crack.

To restore the window, Christine first stripped the lead canes and took a rubbing to ensure each piece of glass could be put back to its original position.

She replaced cracked or damaged pieces of glass with the closest reproduction glass possible, then re-leaded, soldered, puttied and polished.

The window was an original part of the Memorial Hall, which opened on ANZAC Day 1929 and was built to pay tribute to the 960 men and women of the district who served during World War 1.

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