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Historic stained glass window in Forglen Hall restored thanks to local groups

By Sean McAngus

Restoration of a historic stained glass window which was originally commissioned for a local house in the 1860s has been completed thanks to the efforts of two local groups.

The window in Forglen Hall that illustrates Jacob’s Ladder from the Old Testament has been restored to its former glory after Alvah and Forglen Community Council and Friends of Forglen Hall worked together to get the damaged window repaired.

Jacob’s Dream window was unveiled at a public ceremony by Banffshire Lord Lieutenant Andrew Simpson who also presented Forglen Hall with a letter of good wishes from Her Majesty The Queen.

Work on the windowwascarriedoutbystainedglassartistandconservatorLindaCannonwhopreviouslyworkedintheBurrellCollections for eight years and whospendsmuchofhertime on historical conservation.

Thiswindowwasacommissionfromworld-famous designersofreligiousstainedglasswindowsClaytonandBellandwasoriginallyinstalledinArdmiddleHousewhich was situated on the other side of the River Deveron.

Thehousewasbuiltin1836for John Adam and taken over by Alexander Rae, a naval surgeon, and Adam’s partner in a business of flax and seed merchant,whohadmarriedJohnAdam’s sister Margaret Adam.

Their daughter, Barbara Rae, marriedJohnDuguidMilne andtheysignificantlyextended the house in 1868.

ThehouseremainedwiththeMilnefamilyuntilitwasboughtbyRobertCollierCaw a tea planter in India, in 1924.

Heimmediatelyauctionedthecontentsofthehallanddonated the stained glass windowtoForglenHall beforeArdmiddlewasdemolished in 1952.

EarlierthisyearHistoricEnvironmentScotlandandStrathofBrydockWindfarmawarded fundingfor the project.

CommunityCouncilsecretaryJimBaynewhoplayedakeyroleinbringingforwardtherestorationsaid: “FirstIwouldliketothankourtwosponsorsHistoric

EnvironmentScotlandandStrathofBrydockWindfarmwhonotonlyprovidedthefundingfortheprojectbuthavebeengreatenthusiasticsupporters throughout.

“IwouldalsoliketothankAberdeenshireArchivesandAberdeenUniversitywhosehelp was critical in discovering the history of the window.

“Icantellyouthatithas been an absolute joyto workwithLinda.

“Wehavebeenamazedatherskill, patience and the different techniques involved, but most ofallherenthusiasmforthe project.”

BanffshireLordLieutenant,Andrew Simpson said:“Everyoneinvolvedwiththis projectistobecongratulatedon their success.”

FriendsofForglenHallchairwomanRhodaBurns said:“I’msodelightedwithitandthisisagreatcommunity project we hope can bring more people to the hall.”

RestorerLindaCannonbased in Glasgow said: “It was acompletejoytobepartofthis project.”

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