St Bartholomews Church, Newbiggin by the Sea, Northumberland - Church of England
St Bartholomew's Church

Visiting St Barthlomew's

The East Window

Stanley Murray Scott (1912-1997),
stained glass designer

For over forty years Stan Scott was the chief designer in the stained glass studios of Reed, Millican & Co. Ltd., of Newcastle upon Tyne, and his work is to be found in many churches in Northumberland, Durham, Cumbria and Yorkshire.

He was born and brought up in Sunderland, educated at Bede Collegiate Boys’ School, Sunderland College of Art and finally at Armstrong College, Newcastle, which was a part of Durham University at that time.

During the War he served in the Royal Corps of Signals in Egypt for four years. Afterwards he returned to Reed Millicans (later joined by Messrs. Bagueley & Atkinson) and in the following years produced many designs for decorative panels in ships, hotels, colleges and private houses, but his main and favourite occupation was designing stained glass windows.

In his early years, if he signed his work at all, it was with the firm’s name or logo, the latter invented by him, but later he was persuaded to use his own name, which he put in the bottom right-hand corner - sometimes! He was very modest about his work and seldom spoke of it, unless questioned.

When making a window, he used only hand-made glass from Hartley, Wood & Co., of Sunderland. This firm was renowned for its coloured glass of unrivalled quality, including a rich ruby red made to a secret recipe known only to the Senior Partner, Alfred Wood. After the latter’s sudden death, it took the firm a long time before they were able to make such fine ruby glass again. The firm has recently closed, but its glass making department has become a part of the new National Glass Centre at Sunderland University.

In his leisure time, Stan Scott was an accomplished water colour artist, producing many landscapes of his native England and of other countries which he visited over the years. On his retirement he moved from Newcastle into the country and lived in Allendale, near Hexham, Northumberland, for the last twenty-one years of his life. He joined Hexham Art Club, served for a time as its President, and several times won the top prize in competitions run by the Federation of Northern Art Societies. His paintings, many of which were sold, were much admired. His interests and hobbies were many and varied and during his time in Northumberland he was much in demand as a speaker at men’s meeting, Women’s Institute and Local History Societies. He gave illustrated lectures on various topics, including the Lindisfarne Gospels, the life and work of Thomas Bewick, glass making and glass engraving (he had become an expert on the latter himself) and Church Architecture.

The East Window was restored in 2007, with much of the stonework renewed, by Abbey Glass and Classic Masonary.

The restoration of the window was made possible by donations from  Northumberland County Council, Alcan Primary Metal - Europe fund, and a grant of £10,000 from The Sita Trust 'Enhancing Communities' project, which makes awards through the Landfill Communities fund. Sita Trust provides funding to improve community life around landfill sites owned by the waste management company, Sita UK.


The Memorial Window

On Sunday December 9th we held a service of thanksgiving for the restoration of the East Window and dedication of the new Memorial Window. We were very fortunate that the Archdeacon of Lindisfarne, Ven. Bob Langley was able to join us on the eve of his retirement to preach and to dedicate the new window to the memory of those we will always love and miss.  Our Archdeacon has been a good friend to this parish during his tenure of office, both as Archdeacon and as Mentor of our Local Ministry Group.

It was a moving and memorable event, well attended by many of those who had given donations to make possible the opening of this beautiful new window, including representatives of Wansbeck District Council.

Open to the sea and sky, and crowned with a soaring dove, symbol of the Holy Spirit, it is a fitting memorial to the lives of many former parishioners, and restores the light to the heart of the building.


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St Bartholomew's Church, Newbiggin by the Sea, Northumberland
Revd Peter Sinclair, The Vicarage, Front Street, Newbiggin by the Sea UK
Telephone: 01670 817220