Local company create stained glass memorial

In CWS Design are Colin Suckling, studio director, with Russell Caughey, stained glass artist. INUS4513-WINDOW1
In CWS Design are Colin Suckling, studio director, with Russell Caughey, stained glass artist. INUS4513-WINDOW1

A Lisburn company, CWS Design, has helped the Harbour Commission in Belfast celebrate its 400th anniversary.

The company, which is based at Knockmore Hill in the city, was asked to work with artist Ann Smith, to create the 3.6m stained glass work of art which has just been installed at the Harbour Commission in Belfast.

The new window illustrates the work of the Harbour Commission and the local company were delighted to be involved in the painstaking work.

The piece took seven months to create, using handcrafted, antique English, French and German glass.

“It’s been a pleasure to create a new stained glass window for one of Belfast’s most iconic organisations which has played such a pivotal role in the development of the city,” said Ann.

“The work draws upon some features already incorporated in the rest of the Harbour Office, such as a flax flower motif which represents the linen industry. However, I also wanted to bring to life significant achievements such as the launch of RMS Oceanic in 1870 which helped transform passenger liner design, land reclamation which created the 2,000 acre Harbour Estate and, through the depiction of broken chains, the proud fact that Belfast, unlike other major ports, refused to support the slave trade.”

The window also includes images of Belfast dockers, references to Belfast’s role during WWII, the Tall Ship visits of 1991 and 2009 and more modern developments such as the emergence of the offshore wind energy industry and Titanic Belfast.

The stained glass window forms part of a permanent exhibition at the Harbour Commission entitled ‘A Port that Built A City’. As well as the window, there are interactive displays examining the Harbour Office and its unique art collection, the ‘Titanic table’ and artefacts from the Harbour’s past.

Len O’Hagan, Belfast Harbour’s Chairman said: “Through the centuries Belfast and its Harbour have been intimately linked, it’s impossible to think of one without the other. The new exhibition will be a permanent showcase of that history and a reminder that this is a maritime city whose future prosperity rests in its tenacious zeal to explore and develop overseas markets.”