A campaign to restore a famous memorial to war-time leader Winston Churchill has been well received.
Dudley North MP Ian Austin, who had called for the mosaic to be returned to Dudley, announced that talks were taking place with developers about displaying it as part of a new development planned to replace the disused Cavendish House.
The artwork, which had been the centrepiece for Dudley’s original precinct for more than 20 years, was taken down in 1991 after vandalism and weather damage.
On Monday, September 8, 1969, The Rt. Hon. The Viscount Cobham, K.G., G.C.M.G. had officially opened the shopping centre and unveiled the Churchill Screen, a magnificent mosaic of coloured glass depicting aspects of the life of the nation’s greatest ever Briton.
Bugle reader Keith Cherrington, who has been following recent developments to the story, said: “Although reports state that only eight of the original 17 stained glass panels exist, Dudley Council has been studying just how much of the original glass work exists and its condition and should it be reused.
Dudley Council has kept the original mosaic in storage.
Keith added: “It would be a great pity if the restoration of this long missing masterpiece of the life of Sir Winston Churchill should be abandoned before it got off the ground, and it would be terrific if historically minded people and Bugle readers like myself rallied to the cause and gave their opinions.” He was supported by Winston Churchill’s grandson and Conservative MP for Mid Sussex, Nicholas Soames, and David Lewis, the son of John T Lewis who created and designed the original Churchill Precinct and Birdcage walk.
In the guide to Dudley’s new shopping centre, the Churchill Screen had been described as “One of the most impressive features of the precinct, measuring 40ft wide and consisting of 17 glass panels. The glass includes crystal glass from Brierley Hill and Norman slabs. A relatively new technique termed appliqué glass has been used.” Designed to be viewed from either side, the screen includes scenes from the Second World War.
What are your feelings about this magnificent work of art that had a chequered career during its time in the Churchill precinct? Should it be restored to form part of a new development at Cavendish House.