Portsmouth war museum benefits from GLASSOLUTIONS’ expertise
GLASSOLUTIONS has helped the D-Day Story in Portsmouth protect one its most popular and valuable exhibits during a £5m refurbishment that included a complete overhaul of the museum’s displays.
In particular, the D-Day Story’s 83m-long Overlord Embroidery has benefited from GLASSOLUTIONS’ expertise, after the team were tasked with providing glass to protect the exhibit from potential damage from handling, sunlight, and atmosphere.
Commissioned in 1968 by Lord Dulverton, the Overlord Embroidery’s 34 panels depict the Battle of Normandy through the medium of needlework. The tapestry was designed by British artist Sandra Lawrence, who researched the subject from hundreds of wartime photographs. A team at the Royal School of Needlework in London then spent five years hand stitching the piece using more than 50 different materials, including actual uniforms, finally completing the piece in January 1974.
The glass cabinets supplied and installed around the Overlord Embroidery by GLASSOLUTIONS were made of 6mm polished glass from Saint-Gobain Glass. The pieces were made and processed just five miles away from the museum, at GLASSOLUTIONS’ Portsmouth factory.
Following over a year of refurbishments totalling £5m, £4m of which was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the D-Day Story was reopened in April with three new exhibition galleries, a café and a shop. On hand to conduct the reopening was Princess Anne, who conducted the original opening back in 1984.
GLASSOLUTIONS’ Martin Sears, the project manager for the design and installation of the glass, was in attendance at the reopening, and had the chance to meet Princess Anne in person. He said: “It was a great honour to meet the Princess and have the chance to be one of the first people to see the fantastic work that has gone into making the D-Day Story such a one-of-kind experience.
The Overlord Embroidery is such a unique piece of the country’s history and we’re very glad to have been involved in providing protection so that it may be enjoyed for many years to come. It was a privilege to represent the GLASSOLUTIONS team at the event.”
Formerly the D-Day Museum, Portsmouth’s D-Day Story tells the story of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy using the personal possessions and words of the people who took part.