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St. Mary's C of E Parish Church

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Conservator Alex Carrington gets to work on the Royal Coat of Arms.  Pictures by PHIL BALDING.


The scaffolding which Alex had to climb to reach her work.

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Alex gets set for another busy day working on the Royal Coat of Arms.

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The tin patch which has been nailed to the Royal Coat of Arms is highlighted.

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What appears to be a white dog can be seen just above the lion's tail, pictured in close-up below.



Musket shot holes can be seen all over the Royal Coat of Arms.


Whiter patches are where Alex started restoring the piece.


Streaking which Alex thinks was caused by a bird.

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A sideways view of the piece. Note how it hangs at an angle.


Above: The Royal Coat of Arms just after Alex began work and below the finished piece.

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Now you see it... Conservator Alex Carrington prepares to wrap the piece in a protective plastic sheeting.


Above and Below: It's a wrap! The Royal Coat of Arms pictured after being restored and protected from dust.



Above and below: The view from the top of the scaffolding where the Royal Coat of Arms hang.


The high life for Alex! 

church logo newjpgsmallONE woman who has been given a taste of the high life while the £1.9m Re-ordering Project is going ahead in St Mary's Church, Melton Mowbray, is conservator Alex Carrington.

Alex was brought in to give the Royal Coat of Arms a new lease of life... and that meant for the past couple of weeks she faced the daily task of clambering up scaffolding to get to her work.

At first it was thought that the six oak panels in a frame, which date from 1682 and bear the cipher of King Charles II, would be taken down to be re-touched, have the old varnish cleaned off and to be re-varnished. However, Alex, who lives in Sproxton, decided that fixings were stable enough to leave the piece in situ and that she would work on it in the church.

She added that Royal Coat of Arms was in pretty good condition, the paint stable, but it was very dirty.

The old board was taken down in 1951 and sent to the College of Arms for restoration. Embedded in the woodwork were found many shot holes, and it was assumed that the board had been taken down during the Civil War and used as a target for musketry practice. 

Alex found some interesting details in the piece. A tin patch was nailed to it at some point when it has been restored and there appears to be what looks like a small white dog painted near the tail of the lion. There was some streaking on the work, which Alex thinks may have been caused by a bird nesting in the church. 

One other interesting point is that the Coat of Arms is hanging at an angle but it looks straight when you look up at it in the church. Alex finished work on the Royal Coat of Arms on Friday (August 25th). Plastic sheeting has now been put over the work to protect it from dust.

Alex trained as a sculptor and then went on to train in conservation at Weymouth College and took a scholarship to study in Italy. She is accredited to ICON (The Institute of Conservation) as a conservator. To find out more about her and her work go to her website by clicking here.

*The restoration work was kindly sponsored by Helen and Graham Bett. They explained: "We have often admired this important piece of Melton history and heritage so wished to see it preserved for future generations to enjoy."

Meanwhile, back on ground level our beautiful Grade I Listed building is a hive of activity as the skilled team of men from Midland Conservation Limited are busy working towards the November deadline to complete the task.

They are doing an amazing job of renovating our beautiful building as the pictures below, taken on Thursday (August 17th), show. Work is progressing well on the floor in both the North and South Aisles and joinery work is going well.












We have now raised £1,700,985.71p towards our target of £1.9m, meaning we have reached 89.5% of the total needed, leaving another £199,014.29p to find.

Everyone involved must be congratulated on the effort, hard work and commitment so far. But we still need to find the remaining cash required to complete the project.

And that's where YOU can help, if you haven't done so already. If you haven't sponsored anything yet there's still plenty of time to do so. Members of the Church family have already made donations on behalf of loved ones, and groups associated with the Church and the Town are also raising funds towards particular elements of the project. All donations are being recorded in a special book that will be on display in our re-ordered church. 

So how much do things cost?

church logo newjpgsmallINTERNAL PAVING – the natural paving stones are of varying size so difficult to price individually. However, if you include the work to raise the floor and install under-floor heating, you can sponsor a 1m2 area of floor for £100.

ORGAN – there will be over 2461 pipes in the refurbished organ; you can sponsor a single pipe for £20. 

PENDANT LAMPS – there will be 25 new fittings in the Nave, Transepts and Tower crossing; you can sponsor each lamp for £1,500.

FLEMISH PENDANT LAMPS – there will be 8 new fittings in the Chancel; you can sponsor each lamp for £3,000.

PORCH LOBBY – the draft lobby in the West Porch includes 19m2 of plain sheet glass; you can sponsor a 1m2 of glazing for £740.

SERVERY – the servery surround, fitments and storage facility will cost around £55,000. If you are interested in supporting part of this as a group fundraising challenge, please contact us as shown below.

TOILETS – the 2 new toilets in the church will cost £45,000 and will feature in a separate social fundraising event during 2017; however the team will welcome proposals from anyone wanting to sponsor all or part of them.

If you are able to Gift Aid your donation, this can add a further 25% to your gift, or if you want to spread your gift over a 12 month period then please contact us.
For example:
church logo newjpgsmall3m2 of INTERNAL PAVING: 12 monthly payments of £20/month (+ Gift Aid) = £300
5m2 of INTERNAL PAVING: 1-off payment of £400 (+ Gift Aid) = £500
9 pipes in the ORGAN: 12 monthly payments of £12/month (+ Gift Aid) = £180
10 pipes in the ORGAN: 1-off payment of £180 (+ Gift Aid) = £200
1 x PENDANT LAMP: 12 monthly payments of £100/month (+ Gift Aid) =£1,500
1 x FLEMISH PENDANT LAMP: 1-off payment of £2,400 (+ Gift Aid) = £3,000

To download leaflets explaining how you can sponsor an organ pipe, paving slab or pendant light in St Mary's Church click here or please pick up a leaflet from the Samworth Centre, fill in the details and return it to the Parish Office. If you have another idea to support the project financially, please contact Dina Neale on 01664 565798 or Mike McClure on 01664 482385.
*You can also donate £2, £5 or £10 by text to 70070. Text the word Mary46 followed by the amount you wish to donate.  

Phil Balding, 17/08/2017

Article printed from at 06:40 on 27 January 2020