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College Joinery team creates bespoke frames for precious Barnsley WW1 relics

Barnsley College Joinery Lecturers have unveiled frames made with the help of students to house two recently restored Barnsley Pals flags.

The flags are believed to have been stored in St Mary’s Church on Church Street in the town centre for more than 100 years and had deteriorated to the point of falling to pieces.

The restoration project was funded overall by a grant from South Yorkshire’s Community Foundation (SYCF), who advised Father Stephen Race at St Mary’s to get College involved by creating the stands.

Joinery Lecturers Stephen Seymour and Dom Horn, along with Rick Wills, Joinery Technician, Robert Moorhouse, a Level 3 Diploma student and Charlie Anson, a Level 2 Diploma student, worked together to create the stands.

The stands, which the College team fabricated out of Ash wood, have been introduced in a special year for the Church as it celebrates the bicentenary of its rebuild in 1822.

Textile conservators from the People’s History Museum in Manchester spent a week carefully laying out the remaining fragments of each colour to be placed in the bespoke frames, and the fragments are still visible in the displays.

Lecturer Stephen estimated that around two to three weeks in total were spent across the latter half of the last academic year working on the frames and said:

“We were honoured to assist in manufacturing the display frames for the Barnsley Pals regimental colours.

“It was an opportunity for the staff and students to showcase a range of traditional skillsets, while giving something back to the local community. Especially when we consider that some of our students’ forefathers will have sacrificed so much for King and country.

“It was also a chance to bring some positivity back into the region, especially after the instability of the pandemic.”

Father Stephen Race added: “This has been a wonderful project which was unfortunately held up for some time because of the pandemic.

“It has been really great to have involved the skills of College staff, and to have added to the learning of the students involved.”

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