Friday, 4 December 2015

Priory Provides Stained Glass Security At Ely Cathedral

The Priory Shutter & Door Co. Ltd – the West Midlands-based roller door specialist – recently came to the aid of the UK’s only dedicated stained glass museum.

The Stained Glass Museum in Ely – housed in the grade 1 listed medieval building of Ely Cathedral – features a large collection of historically important stained glass. The collection was originally founded by salvaging stained glass windows from redundant buildings prior to demolition or conversion, and is both highly valuable and of global significance. 

Shelving racks
The museum has two separate collections, the main gallery and the reserve collection. The glass in the main gallery is on show in the magnificent setting of the Cathedral’s south triforium, but the reserve collection is held further inside the building. 

This features over 250 items of stained glass, which are all stored on flat inert polycarbonate sheets in custom-built shelving racks. This enables all the items in store to be viewed safely without unnecessary handling of the glass.

However, concern was mounting as the racks were sectioned off behind domestic roller blinds, which offered only very minimal protection from dust, dirt and falling debris. Also, the valuable collection is stored in an area that doubles up as an educational and learning sector, for use during visits by school groups and adult workshops, making security an additional concern.

The Museum's roller blinds protective solution

The museum called in a local shutter installer for help. In turn, the installer looked to Priory to supply products that would meet all the specifications. 

Priory has been manufacturing roller shutters for over half a century and is one of the largest trade suppliers in the UK. The company’s product portfolio ranges from bespoke roller shutters for agricultural and industrial applications, through to domestic roller garage doors and continental style window shutters. 

Priory’s most recent product addition, a range of certificated fire shutters, serves to enhance its reputation as a one stop shop for all roller shutter requirements.

Priory solved the museum’s problem by supplying electrically operated aluminium shutters with small perforations, which act as ventilation holes to allow airflow around the panels. The addition of the shutters will aid long-term preventative conservation at the museum by reducing the amount of dust and debris permitted to gather on the stored stained glass panels, and thus reduce specialist conservation and cleaning costs in the long term. 

The shutters have the added benefit of making the museum’s collection more secure as they benefit from a mechanised anti-lift locking system.
Priory Callisto electrically operated perforated aluminium shutters

“At Priory, we pride ourselves on rising to a challenge,” says Simon Perks, General Manager at The Priory Shutter & Door Co. “So, when asked by the installer to provide a solution to the museum’s requirements, we were delighted to help. 

“We used our knowledge and expertise to design and manufacture roller shutters that ticked all the boxes for both the museum and the installer. Our Callisto aluminium shutters are both aesthetically pleasing, which was a necessity given the prestigious setting, and very compact, ensuring maximum exposure to the articles on display when the shutters are open. 

“The perforated slats of the curtain add to the overall appearance, whilst allowing airflow around the stained glass panels. It’s very satisfying to know that we have helped to ensure the security and preservation of these historical artefacts for many more years to come.”

For more information on Priory Shutters call Simon Perks on 0121 558 6406 .

Stained glass windows image © ellenamani / Dollar Photo Club

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