Saturday, 2 July 2011

Frustration run rampant

22 June I set out once more for Yorkshire, first stop St Albans and Frances Bardsley School in Romford to check out the Reyntiens windows. Just before the Dartford Tunnel my car informed me that it had overheated. I slowed down, the temperature subsided a little and I managed to coax China to Thurrock Service Station. Rang Green Flag who arrived within 10 minutes, declared the car unworthy to travel further and took me back to D&D autos in Ashford. The water pump had broken. So I had to cancel my appointments and warn mother.

23 June D&D declared the car mended at midday so trooped along there, complained about some odd noises, but they said it was nothing and I'm off once more heading north. About 20 miles south of Cambridge on the M20 same thing happens, only this time going slow and talking kindly to China doesn't do a blind bit of good so I eventually drive onto the hard shoulder under a bridge (raining heavily). Get out of said car and huddle under the bridge to ring Green Flag. They declare the last time I had an account with them was in 2009, I give them my policy number, every detail under the sun, including the fact that yesterday there had been no problem - meanwhile I can only hear every other word because of the noise of lorries in the rain. After half an hour and just as the girl is about to cut me off she announces they had the postcode wrongly listed, a service operator will be with you in 30 minutes. Actually it was closer to 45 but a lovely cheerful Irish chappie. A pipe had bust, corroded away.

Meanwhile I'd rung Graham who agreed to meet me at Stanstead Services and we'd swap cars. Amazingly enough we both arrived there at the same time, I moved my files, laptop etc into his car and he returned to Kent with the Green Flag man. I finally arrived at Thornton 9pm, very tired and hungry.

24 June with mother who was not too happy that she was only seeing me for a day!

25 June arrived at Film Farm only to discover that huge triffid like plants have started marching down the drive to attack said house.

We finalise the Reyntiens film and discuss our next project. Having clipped the wings of the new stock of hens they are allowed to range freely over the garden. Charles has 4 now, a Rhode Rock, Coucou, Copper Black and Columbine (which lays pretty little blue eggs) and I bought myself a hen which he looks after - a Chicken House Blue (2nd from left) which doesn't lay blue eggs! I rang Father Hingley and he kindly agreed to show me his church (St Albans) on Thursday.

30 June I left at the crack of dawn to arrive in Romford by midday. Father Hingley is an amazing character, his church is full of wondrous art works, a mural by Cazalet in the chancel, five windows by Patrick at the east end (the photo shows both of these and the inimitable Father Hingley), a baptistry window (detail below) and rose by Patrick, candlesticks by Alex Brogden, a Christus Rex by Peter Eugene Ball (very similar to the one in Southall Minster) etc etc. He's only too happy to show people round (01708 473580)

He then took me along to Frances Bardsley School where he is head of Governors to show me their Reyntiens window on the main staircase and introduce me to their delightful Headteacher, Suzanne Philipps.

And then I dashed over to Brentwood to see the Sion Community church, rather wonderful abstract, pale coloured windows which blur the lines between inside and outside as the illustration indicates - the reflection of one window is seen through the other against a background of trees.

Postscript: 1 July my spirits were feeling much raised by the delights I'd seen the previous day and I drove off in a mended China to Aylesford to see a rather unusual Brangwyn item (in a Hospice no less) only for the car to break down again - the protective cover under the engine had dropped off and was dragging along the road. Boy was I furious! Yet another 2 hours wasted - a guy from D&D autos came out and took offending cover off completely and suggested I took the car in at my convenience to get it fixed sometime. I exploded - I don't have time to spare - I work 8am to 10pm nearly every day (what with housework, tending 1/2 acre of garden, cooking, washing, ironing, shopping let alone the day job!). Grrrrr!

Monday, 20 June 2011

wonderful window watching

Today whizzed down to St Leonard's, St Leonards. Always rather a depressing area of coast I think, especially on a drizzly day like today. Church rather shabby looking but a very welcoming helpful lady, and a double sided colour illustrated leaflet about the windows, four double panels each side of the nave and a triple panel in the sanctuary entitled Transfiguration (image above). Early Reyntiens work, I rather liked them except one couldn't see most of them clearly enough.

Friday, 17 June 2011


This time to St John The Baptist, Ilford and a couple of amazing floor to ceiling windows, unpainted, apparently abstract but of course Patrick's layers of symbolism, almost Art Deco looking, no hand painting, and wonderful subtle soft colouring, pale greys, mauves, light yellow, touches of turquoise. Exquisite. Well worth a visit. Details above.

An update on St Peter and St Paul, Aldeburgh, the memorial window to Benjamin Britten, designed by Piper but carried out by Reyntiens.

St Edmundsbury Cathedral, Bury St Edmunds - I've visited the city previously but never the cathedral so took the opportunity. Actually rather disappointing, somehow lacks the gravitas that accretion over the ages can bring (no Reyntiens windows).

And yet another trip to Ely Stained Glass Museum, wonderfully enthusiastic young curator, revisited the Piper/Reyntiens Coventry panel and Reyntiens own Temptation of St Anthony.

Busy few days, then completed the Reyntiens family slide show for the DVD today. Meanwhile poor Charles was faced with trying to fit a voice-over onto the start of the film - previously recorded in his own mellifluous tones. Unfortunately the recording he was sent was much slower than the original with huge pauses between the words (i.e. not fitting the images) so he spent most of the day editing the pauses, but it was still too long, so he then had to actually export the sound to some special audio processing software to speed it without altering the pitch.

The things we do for art!

Thursday, 9 June 2011

lawks a mercy!

Spent most of yesterday making another slide show for the DVD of Patrick's autonomous panels as sold through Goldmark Gallery recently - that's five I've made to date, the others being earlier autonomous panels, stained glass on location, the work of former students and a Reyntiens family slide show featuring Patrick's sketchbooks and cartoons for panels, his wife Anne's beautiful paintings and hopefully some of John Reyntiens work.
Anyway, today was looking up information about Edinburgh College of Art in Wikpedia (as one does) - I was HORRIFIED to discover that the alumni list did NOT include either Patrick or Anne - so I proceeded to add them to the Hall of Fame!

Tuesday, 7 June 2011


Despite cooking for the multitudes over the weekend, in recognition of an aunt's 96th birthday (!), I managed to finish the Reyntiens catalogue today - well as much as I am prepared to put on the DVD. It is by no means definitive - but could be if someone gives me backing/money! The ground work is there. When I questioned him a couple of years ago Patrick agreed to my compiling his catalogue of work, but little did I believe at the time that it would progress to this stage.
Phew, so now I can concentrate on other work and start thinking about the Fay Godwin film at last, although poor Charles was faced with yet more changes to the DVD over the weekend.

Tuesday, 31 May 2011


Annie left for work at some outrageous hour this morning (she's a nurse at the local A&E) - I took things slightly more gently and left the house at 9am, heading for Scole, another Reyntiens window. Extremely bright colours and loads of sandwiched glass (detail below). Back to Kent.

Friday, 27 May 2011

Collecting windows (4)

Today a drive from Southampton to Film Farm, passing through Ascot to see 2 Patrick windows in Heathfield School (girls very Sloaney!). Detail of one of windows below. Then to Nettlebed for 2 Piper/Reyntiens windows (detail of one below), rather satisfying. I have to admit that Piper windows do have a sense of calm and authority about them rather than the somewhat manic appearance of some of Patrick's windows. After that to a tiny T-shaped church at Pishill for a small memorial window also Piper/Reyntiens (detail below). Then to Bledlow Ridge, also JP/PR, gloriously secular to my mind, blues with pale and dark squares and circles, little white squiggles and red spirals (detail below). I see why Patrick once famously declared he was 'rather good at blue!'

And the last visit of the day, Totternhoe for a delightful JP/PR Tree of Life (detail below). A rather exhausted car rolled up at Film Farm late in the day, together with an overworked camera and a Libby who can't decide whether she is tired or not because she can't get off the roller coaster!
A couple of days working on the latest changes to the DVD and then off to see my cousin Annie in Norwich, a good chat and moan about the oldies followed by a long walk round the University of East Anglia site.