Making Stained Glass Windows for the Guildhall

Making Stained Glass Windows for the Guildhall

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Digitised as part of the BFI's Unlocking Film Heritage project





08min 53sec




British Film Institute, UTV

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Bomb damaged windows from Derry are painstakingly restored in Belfast under the watchful lens of Ulster Television. An IRA bomb that destroyed the interior of the Guildhall in 1972 shattered these windows. We join Jack Calderwood and his son Stephen four years later as they restore the stained glass using the original 1912 watercolour designs by the Campbell Brothers. These drawings remain in safe keeping with Calderwood family. Attacks on churches and decorative buildings during ‘the Troubles’ generated a wealth of experience making Belfast leading experts in glass restoration.   


The Guildhall has been destroyed twice since ‘The Honourable The Irish Society’ built it in 1887. Once by a fire in 1908 and then by the fire bomb that devastated these windows in 1972. As you can see they managed to salvage some of the original glass however 30-40% of the original glass was damaged beyond repair. During work on the Guildhall in 2012-13 Stephen Calderwood restored the windows again this time with his brother Lewis. The 23 windows depict an imperial history of Derry from St Columba to the early 20th century. If you visit the Guildhall you can also see the contents of a time capsule that was buried under the building’s foundation stone in 1887.


This material is courtesy of the UTV archive with camera work by R. Wilson and sound by P.Soon. It features appearances by Jack and Stephen Calderwood.



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