South Manchester Schools Work With Withington Baths To Design Equality-Themed Stained-Glass Windows For Restoration Project

Over the past year and a half, five local schools have worked closely with Manchester Stained Glass to design equality-themed stained-glass windows for Withington Baths, the last remaining Edwardian pool in Manchester, as part of their restoration project that started in January last year.

West Didsbury CE Primary School, Cavendish Community Primary School, Manchester Muslim Preparatory School, Old Moat Primary School, and St Pauls CE Primary School each worked individually with Sharon Campbell, an artist at Manchester Stained Glass based in AWOL studios, to develop the stained-glass designs. With Sharon’s guidance, each school co-designed one of the five windows that were installed in July above the door entrance to studio two.

Sharon Campbell, from Manchester Stained Glass , says “Each school group went through a process of understanding stained glass and designing to the theme. The theme of equality was chosen because of the famous and also local to Withington, Margaret Ashton, and her work on equality for women’s and children’s rights. It is thought that she had a lot of influence on the Baths having the UK’s first mixed bathing sessions in the pool.”

Approximately 100 children from year groups 3, 4, and 5 represented their schools in the project, working together as design teams. They were encouraged to think about universal themes that promoted the topic of equality. Then using their ideas, they developed their own designs, including the colours and glass to be used during three workshops that took place in Autumn 2022.

Emma Horridge, Heritage Engagement Manager “These windows will be a lasting legacy for the school children, their parents, friends and own families as they grow up. Typically, stained-glass windows can last up to 100 years.”

The installation of the stained-glass windows is just one of the many projects – including the installation of the new pool roof, the new changing cubicles and the replacement of both studio roofs- that have been made possible by The National Heritage Lottery Fund grant, a loan from Manchester City Council and support from the local community.

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