On Sunday Eizabeth Holford (of Elizabreth Holford and Associates) visited St John’s to carry out a couple of Stencilling Workshops and to talk aboutthe work carrie out to restore the decoration on Betty’s wooden and zinc display pipes. Initially, during the Sunday morning service, she joined the BLAST children (aged 8 to 13 years) to show them how to make pictures using stencils which Elizabeth Holford had made from the stencilled images found on Betty’s zinc display pipes. The group leader also talked to the children about organs and showed them images of different pipe decoration. At the same time the younger Kids’ Club groups (Pebbles, Sand and Gravel) also did stencilling relating it to the story of the day.
After the morning service Elizabeth Holford gave a presentation on the work done to restore Betty’s pipes. She explained how they had experimented with different solvents, in attempts to remove the varnish which had been applied in the mid-twentieth century. After experimenting it had been determined the only way to remove the varnish would be by scalpel. This took over 3,000 hours and required the pipes to be soaked with wet paper towel, which caused the dirt underneath to expand and become more flexible, allowing the varnish to be pealed off. Once the varnish was removed, the pipes could be cleaned, touched up and polished.
After the talk was finished 10 new students (and one of the children from the earlier session) came through to the hall where they were able to put their hand to some stencilling on painted cards, using the patterns which adorn Betty’s Zinc pipes.