Imitation stained glass window 1951

Window to commemorate The Festival of Britain 1951. Click on the image to open a larger version in a new window: click again
From the private collection of Frederic M Avery
1952 modification to include Brighton Coat of Arms
From the private collection of Frederic M Avery

Made by students

I was a student at the school from 1952 to 1956, and went on to obtain my Diploma in Building at the Brighton Technical College in 1959. I have recently found my slide collection which included the imitation stained glass window at the secondary technical school for building and engineering in Hanover Terrace Brighton. The window was made by students under the direction of art teacher Mr.McKinley in 1951 to commemorate the Festival of Britain.

Depicted famous figures

The window measured 6 feet wide by 12 feet tall and built in two sections each 6 feet square. The window was constructed of two sheets of plate glass between which were black patterned cut outs representing the royal pavilion, four famous figures and in the centre – King George 1V (formerly Prince Regent). The coloured parts of the window were made with cellophane pieces cut to the required shapes.

Modified in 1952

In 1952, the window was slightly modified to include Brighton’s Coat of Arms in place of the Festival of Britain symbol. The figures in the archways beneath the dome are from left :- Phoebe Hessel; Johnny Townshend, Gentleman 1804; H.M.King George 1V (centre), 1821 Carriage Dress, and lastly Martha Gunn and ‘smoaker’ Thomas Miles.

Can you help?

Before the school was demolished, the window was carefully dismantled and removed to Pelham Street College with the intention of re-erecting it, but I doubt if this was done. If anyone has any information as to what eventually happened to the window, please leave a comment below.

Comments about this page

  • Yes, the window was re-erected in the main entrance hall at the Pelham Tower, now part of The City College. It was there 4 or 5 years ago. I will make some enquiries. I went to the Building School in September 1951. I was in Mr McKinleys Class when he embarked on a similar project for the Coronation - but this was never framed

    By David Pierce (22/12/2010)
  • I attended this school between the years ’51 to ’57 and remember two imitation stained glass windows in the Art room. The first was the window illustrated here, the second followed in the middle of the time I was there, so must have been the one that David mentions – the Coronation – but I cannot remember the detail of this window.

    By Ron Burtenshaw (27/12/2010)
  • Please contact me re Brighton building and engineering school. I would love to add to your lists. I would like to contact Roger Bateman and Dave Brazier. I have lived in South AFrica since 1972, as a contract tool design draughtsman thanks to a good schooling.

    By Terry Burke (20/02/2011)
  • Hi Terry Burke, I remember you from Underwoods, I have also heard a bit about you from Tony Bolding who is still a mate of mine, although I don’t see much of him as he lives in Sydney and I live in Brisbane. Post your e-mail address on this site and I will contact you for a chat.

    By Dave Brazier (23/03/2011)
  • Hi Dave Pierce and others ex forms 3x,4x & 5x 1950-54. Did you know that Mr McKinley designed a £1,000,000 note used as a promotion for the West End show “Zip Goes A Million” starring George Formby and when he passed away, Reg Dixon? The notes which were really authentically designed were given away as souvenirs in the foyer before the show started. McKinley was a very gifted teacher. Dave, do you remember me; also friends Ray Royston and Albert Paynter? All 3 of us went on to do apprenticeships with Vickers Armstrong at Weybridge at the end of which we were all called up into the RAF. I lost touch with them both until the mid 60s when Albert was my best man. Sadly he died soon after. I recall you being rather tall; also Dave Short. We played rugby at Patcham and Weedal put me at full-back. Not for long as I ran out of the way!

    By John Snelling (02/02/2013)
  • I made an error when I described one of the figures on the extreme right of the Prince Regent, as “Smoaker” Thomas Miles.
    It should have been “Smoaker” John Miles.
    Sorry for the error !
    Frederic M. Avery.

    By Frederic M. Avery (18/07/2020)

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