The Wrought Iron Screens

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Reference WMO/266256


St Aidan's Church & Community Centre

Grimsby Road


DN35 7RR


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Status: On original site
Type: Freestanding
Location: Internal
Setting: Inside a building - public/private
Description: Screen
  • Metal Iron
  • First World War (1914-1918)
About the memorial: History of the memorial On Tuesday 22nd April, 1919, according to article in the Grimsby News published on Friday 25th April, 1919, the vicar of St. Aidan’s, the Rev. W. Piggott Smith made a number of announcements as he addressed the vestry meeting for that year. He supposed that that although they did not have peace as yet, that they would have in due course. He was an optimist, but did not believe that the League of Nations would end war altogether. He paid tribute to a late Alderman who had kept the accounts in good shape and looked forward to electric light being installed in the church in the near future. He hoped that he would not have to pay the curacy fund himself as parsons were badly off already without having to pay each other! The war memorial scheme, consisting of a chancel screen, including a gate to contain figures of a soldier, sailor, airman and fisherman would cost close to £300, and £150 had already been raised. They hoped more money would be raised in the future. The school was not yet available for Sunday scholars, but it would be soon and 500 would be on the roll. They hoped to have 800 to 900 on the role by next year. The number of communicants had increased. The same newspaper in a later edition, in fact on Friday 16th May, 1919, reported the following “When the architect, Mr. Hodgson Fowler of Newcastle who designed the church, also included in his plans a wrought iron chancel screen, but this was not placed in the church at the time of its construction. After the war, the Rev. J. Piggott Smith, called a meeting of the relatives and friends of the men who had gone from St. Aidans’s to serve their country, to decide the form that a memorial should take. Various ideas were mooted, but the meeting decided to complete the work of the original plans and insert a screen as the memorial to the fallen. The main screen, across the chancel is 22feet high and 24 feet wide. There are side screens to fill the archways leading to the side chapel and organ chamber and two wings to be set at right angles. The main portion was estimated to cost about £200, with £150 for the two side wings (£75 each). The work was to be carried out by Messrs’ Coldron of Brant Broughton, near Newark, and delivery was expected within a few weeks. Qualified artists would be on hand to paint the figures. The present wooden shrine that was outside the church was to be transferred to the interior, and is to contain the names of all the men who had gone from the parish together with a short statement explaining that the screens had been erected in their memory. It was estimated that the scheme still required some £250, which would be expected to have come from the congregation” The same article also included a photograph of the plans of the screen, which I have endeavoured to copy from the original article and produce below. I have been unable to discover exactly when the screens were installed in the church. Currently, 2004, the two side screens are in position, but the central screen has been removed, and it would appear that part of it has been re-erected in the Lady Chapel, to close it off from the north aisle, containing the font. The screen across the chancel was removed sometime after 1979, and its current whereabouts is unknown. The wooden shrine is in position containing the names of the fallen of the parish of St Aidan’s, together with the statement about the screens. There is a photograph showing the screen as it was when fully erected in the church. This photograph is on wall of the Lady Chapel of the church, and shows the screen looking from the chancel into the nave. The current screens are all in good condition and are the property of St. Aidan’s Church. I have used the Grimsby News and Evening Telegraph Newspapers available on microfilm at Grimsby Central Library. The photographs were taken at the church with permission of the vicar Captain Paul Fitzpatrick.
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