Two new stained glass windows at Banbury Town Hall will commemorate the past and look forward to the future.
The new windows were suggested by town mayor Nicholas Turner, who has received the backing of Banbury MP Sir Tony Baldry and Deputy Lieutenant of Oxfordshire Brigadier Ian Inshaw for the project.
One window will look back 100 years and commemorate the start of the First World War in 1914 while the other will celebrate the birth of Prince George, the future king of England.
The cost of the scheme – £16,000 – will be met by public donations and will not come from council funds.
Mr Turner said: “The town hall is an iconic building and is part of Banbury’s heritage. We are working with Nicola Kantorowicz who designed the windows for the prayer room at Katharine House Hospice to produce something special for one of Banbury’s most important buildings.
“The new windows will be an attractive addition and will feature two events that are of national importance and have local significance. The existing ‘rose’ windows – at both ends of the main hall – are plain glass at the moment, and stained glass will, we think, improve their appearance.”
Sir Tony said: “I think this is an excellent initiative by the mayor and I am certainly willing to pledge financial support.
“Over recent years, Banbury Town Council has done much to refurbish the town hall for much wider community use.
“These two windows are at present somewhat stark and the idea of having modern stained glass in one to commemorate the men of Banbury who fought and gave their lives in the First World War is an opportunity for our generation to give thanks for that particular sacrifice.
“Marking the birth of Prince George is an excellent way for a town with an ancient RoyalCharter to show its appreciation of the royal family.” The proposal is that the First World War window would have a poppy theme and the Prince George window would be designed around an oak leaf to symbolise England, growth and strength.
Donations can be made by cheques made payable to ‘The Town Mayor’s Fund Raising Account’.
Cheques can be sent or delivered to Banbury Town Council.
Contributions can also be made in person at the town hall, either by card or cash.