South Shields stained glass tribute to women of war

Sue Delbridge, Diane Gray, from CAP NE, and Michael Barrass, from the Cultural Spring in front of the windows
Sue Delbridge, Diane Gray, from CAP NE, and Michael Barrass, from the Cultural Spring in front of the windows

A lasting remembrance of South Tyneside women’s role in the First World War has been created in a beautiful trio of glass windows.

The three stained glass windows are now on display at South Shields Museum and Art Gallery.

Mary Lyons, front centre, with her team

Mary Lyons, front centre, with her team

WHIST - Women’s Health in South Tyneside - a South Shields-based charity, worked with glass artist Sue Delbridge to design and complete a series of stained glass panels depicting and celebrating the life and work of women during the war, using the central character of Mary Lyons.

Mary was born in Jarrow and worked during the war as a munitionette. She was also a footballer and became the youngest player to score a goal at Wembley.

Sue Delbridge said: “The WHIST group had been researching the roles of women in World War One for the last three and a half years, and they were extremely passionate about the subject.

“Therefore it felt very important for me as an artist to work very closely with the group during the design process, allowing them to lead the way on the subject matter.

One of the stained glass windows

One of the stained glass windows

“The women involved in making the artwork are now part of that legacy, as the stained glass panels will remain as a reminder of that period of local history.”

Sue also worked with Community Arts Project North East (CAP NE), with additional funding from the Cultural Spring on the project.

Diane Gray, director at CAP NE, said: “The groups proposed creating a stained glass window to tell the stories, and with the help of the University of Sunderland we introduced them to Sue Delbridge.

“There was some funding for community groups to create artwork, but not enough to create the stained glass panels, so we applied to the Cultural Spring through their Your Art fund.”

The artwork forms part of a larger First World War exhibition currently on display in the museum and art gallery.