Most stained glass windows are about remembrance. Today’s story concerns a detail of the magnificent four light chancel window, the gift of Lawrence Pullar in 1911, in the historic Lecropt Kirk, Bridge of Allan.
The subject is taken from Psalm 150, ‘Praise God in his sanctuary…..Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet…the psaltery and harp…..upon the high sounding cymbals’. The stained glass artist, Alf Webster, was an outstanding designer, an exceptional portrait artist and had mastery of the control of colour, texture and transparency in his medium which made him the leading practitioner of his generation. He took over the older stained glass studio of Stephen Adam in Glasgow, and brought to it new techniques of abrading, plating and faceting the glass. The Lecropt Chancel window is one of his masterpieces. The child depicted with the cymbals is his baby son, Gordon Webster (1908-1987) who himself later became a prolific stained glass artist.
Alf Webster’s success in stained glass was short lived. He died from his wounds at Ypres in 1915, at the age of thirty, when his son was seven years old. His loss to European culture is one of the tragedies of the Great War. The Lecropt window should remind us of the loss sustained by the untimely death of so many of Europe’s great artists.