Aylestone & District Working Men's Club and Institute
At the May 2017, meeting of the Leicester branch of the Western Front Association, Denis Kenyon was alerted to the fact that a stained glass war memorial was listed in an auction to be held in just four days time in south Leicestershire. There was no time to lose: Denis and Chris Stephens were able to arrange a meeting at the auction house on the Thursday before the auction which was scheduled for the following day. They explained who they were and their concerns to the auctioneer who was completely understanding. Later that evening the auctioneer rang Denis to say that the vendor had withdrawn it from the auction sale and a deal was struck there and then for the memorial to be acquired.
The memorial in question is the magnificent World War II window from the now closed Aylestone and District Working Men’s Club on Saffron Lane, Leicester. It is the largest memorial in the Project's collection measuring 10ft 8ins tall by 5ft 2ins wide (3.25m x 1.57m) and its sturdy frame makes it extremely heavy.
It says a huge amount about the pride of the Club members in their wartime service that they commissioned such a fine memorial to their dead comrades. The wording on the dedication scroll is most moving – not only remembering them but also giving thanks for the safe return of others.
Transporting the memorial to our base at All Saints' church was a tremendous task kindly undertaken for us by the auction house.
Since its arrival into our collection the memorial has undergone some light cleaning and now benefits from LED backlighting to highlight the colours in the stained glass.
An added bonus is an album of the other stained glass windows from the club depicting various City and County landmarks. The colours shine like jewels.