Search for artist behind Kirkcaldy hospital stained glass window

Iris and David at the window
Iris and David at the window

A charity which has raised over £600,000 for Victoria Hospital over the past 50 years has issued an appeal to the public to help it trace the artist responsible for a beautiful stained glass window.

The Friends of Victoria and Whyteman’s Brae Hospitals, which celebrates its golden anniversary in September, wants to track down the person or people who designed and made the decorative gift, which was presented to Victoria Hospital over 20 years ago.

Iris McNab, secretary of Friends of Victoria Hospital

Iris McNab, secretary of Friends of Victoria Hospital

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The window held pride of place at the entrance to the extension to the hospital’s old mortuary building for many years before being taken down and put into storage when the new phase three of the hospital was being built.

And it was only a chance discussion between a member of the Friends and a former pathology line manager who happened to mention the existence of the window a few years ago that it has been rescued. It has now been cleaned up and mounted in a specially made backlit frame and installed in the bereavement room of the new mortuary where relatives and friends can view their loved ones before they are taken for burial or cremation.

Iris McNab, secretary of the Friends of Victoria Hospital for the past 37 years, said most people had not known of its existence.

“When we heard about this gift we agreed to put forward funding to have it restored to its original glory and put up in the viewing room where it can be appreciated by relatives who come to pay their respects,” she explained.

And new information has just come to light from David Tindal, anatomical pathology technologist, who revealed this week that around eight years ago while he was working at the old mortuary, a woman had appeared at the door saying she had made the window but had never seen it in situ.

“She came into the building and looked at it and took some photographs for about ten minutes then left,” he said.

“I can’t remember if I asked her name at the time, but she seemed pleased to see it.”

Iris added: “With this year being our 50th anniversary, we are very keen to identify who it was who made this lovely window which is one of our more recent projects.

“Nobody we have spoken to can recall where it came from and, until I spoke to David, we believed that it had been made by a man, but now it seems it may have been a woman.

“If anyone could help us shed any more light on this mystery we would love to hear from them. It would be fantastic if we could find the artist in time for our anniversary.”

The golden anniversary celebrations will kick off with a reception at the hospital in September, followed by an exhibtion in the main atrium and a dinner and concert at the Strathearn Hotel.