Barley Studios to feature on Made in Britain showing how it created stained glass window to honour D-Day landings

A Yorkshire business which made a special stained glass window to mark the Normandy D-Day landings is to feature on Made in Britain tonight (Apr 15).

Barley Studios, based in Dunnington, near York, is owned by founder Keith Barley and will appear in itv4’s Made in Britain

The show will see creative director Helen Whittaker, going through the process of making a window to commemorate the D-Day landings which was commissioned by the York Normandy Veterans during lockdown.

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The show, made by Leeds-based Daisybeck Studios, filmed as Helen worked on the project for the window for St Lawrence’s Church in York.

Pictured at Barley Studio’s are from left; Douglas Petty, Sid Metcalfe, Ken Cooke and window designer Helen Whittaker. (Credit: David Harrison)
Pictured at Barley Studio’s are from left; Douglas Petty, Sid Metcalfe, Ken Cooke and window designer Helen Whittaker. (Credit: David Harrison)

Made in Britain, which goes behind the scenes and celebrates British manufacturing, saw each step that the project followed right through to the emotional unveiling.

Helen, who also designed the window, said: “It was quite unusual as usually the people that it is made to remember are not usually around to be involved but for the veterans to still alive and also involved on the process was both unique and very special. There is a sense of responsibility and you want to do right by them.

“They shared their moving stories with me and their sacrifice was evident so it was so important to get this right."

The design was inspired by the memories and recollections of the surviving veterans and it pays tribute to the inspiring spirit of comradeship, irrespective of rank or position.

The window is divided horizontally into three tiers: land, sea and sky, representing respectively the British Army, the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force.

In the centre of the window, two men are seen waiting inside a landing craft at the moment when the armoured doors open and the ramp is lowered.

Their backpacks bear the badge of the City of York Normandy Veterans, in the distance we can see the smoke of battle over the sea and the Normandy shore. The men are both excited and terrified but determined. One of the men turns back, gesturing to his comrade in support and offering strength and trust, so they can face the coming assault together.

Beyond them, many other comrades can be seen wading through the water and running up the beach amid the distinctive ‘hedgehog’ defences and other obstacles.

In the sky, a Halifax bomber pays tribute to the contribution of RAF Bomber Command in the aerial bombardment, while at the bottom, the roofs and smoking chimneys of the homes are the soldiers are defending are pictured.

Beneath the men’s feet are the words taken from the hymn Judge Eternal, Throned in Splendour and the homestead and the woodlands plead in silence for their peace.

When it came to unveil the window Helen said: “It’s a big moment. The veterans were really moved by the window when they saw it.”

As well as Barley Studio - the other firms appearing in Made in Britain tomorrow are RotoSpa from Birmingham, Romney’s Kendal Mint Cake and KG Bows archery firm from Nottingham.

Made in Britain is on itv4 at 8pm on April 15 and available on ITV Player shortly after.