All set for 300 years

09 June 2009

by Margaret Duggan

WHEN John Busby, a joiner from Lambourn, in Oxford diocese, lost his wife three years ago, he wanted to use his skills to make something beautiful and lasting in her memory.

The doors of his parish church, St Michael and All Angels, were falling apart, and it would have been a huge project to replace them without help; but his employers, Edmont Joinery, in Swindon, who regularly work on the restoration of old buildings with all the traditional skills, showed themselves more than understanding.

They provided the oak, and allowed Mr Busby to work on the doors in their workshop in Stratton St Margaret during his breaks and lunch-hours. “It was a wonderful project, and we were delighted to be involved,” Les Clark, the chairman says. “The doors are very large, and something that John couldn’t make in his garage at home.”

Some of his colleagues helped him, but it still took two-and-a-half years to make and install the doors that, under ordinary circumstances, would have cost about £3000 for the oak and the labour.

Now they are in place, and, Mr Clark says, “they are so well made that they are likely to be in use for the next 300 years” (above).

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