The Story of the 33rd Entry's
Stained Glass Window
(Extracted from the account written by J.P. Bullock for the Winter 1998 Club Newsletter)
The 33rd Entry's stained glass window in St. George's Church, RAF Halton, was dedicated at a Sunday morning Service on the 18th October 1998, following Choral Matins. It was a simple but impressive occasion.
The initial idea of Entries designing and providing a stained glass window for St. George's Church came from the Reverend Richard Lee, the C of E Chaplain at Halton for a number of years. It proved to be an excellent idea. Some fifty-four windows have now been installed and more are planned.
It is believed that the proposal for a 33rd window came from Jim Goody, currently Chairman of the 33rd Club, who asked John Bullock and others for their ideas for the content and design. Ideas submitted included the last entry to wea r breeches and puttees, the last entry of Fitters 2, the only entry not to have a Passing Out Parade, the only entry to produce an Air Vice-Marshal of the technical branch, and the only entry to have an Earl in it's Club.
The next problem was who would design the window. A professional would cost a 'bomb', but being the 33rd the jungle drums began to beat and from our own ranks Les Rockey, a Fitter Armourer, stepped forward and, ignoring one of the precepts of l ife at Halton, volunteered.
This was, without doubt, the most important step in the production of the window, as Les turned out to be a brilliant artist and designer. Les presented his first draft at the Club's AGM in August 1997. A few alterations were proposed and, following advic e on the space available for the window, Les finalised his design. The design was approved and Les arranged for the construction of the window by a firm close to his home. The installation took place on the 7th March, 1998; the occasion being r eported in the local press. Click here for a picture of the Window with descriptive details.
The next and final item was the Dedication of the Window, which for various reasons could not be done for some little while. However 'J.P' got to work and, with the help of Mrs Margaret Pay, a RAF Reader at St. George's Church, the necessary arrangements were made. Sunday 18th October was chosen and accepted for the Service of Dedication, and Mrs Pay designed a Choral Matins embracing the Dedication, which would be acceptable to the regular congregation.
The 18th October was a glorious day with an almost cloudless sky. The first lesson was read by 'J.P' and the second by Vivian, Earl of Ilchester, the Club's President. The Address given by Mrs Margaret Pay was based on that long established endearment 'Brat'. It was brilliant and a transcript was published as an addendum to the Club's Winter Newsletter of 1998. Click here to see the transcript.