Heath Old Boys Association


Pulpit restoration 2016

These photos illustrate the restoration of the pulpit, the accompanying chairs and some interesting details.

View of the interior of the pulpit before restoration showing dirty surfaces View of the interior of the pulpit after restoration showing polished surfaces
The interior of the pulpit before and after restoration
View of the exterior of the pulpit after restoration Detail of the front of the pulpit showing the date 1951
The restored pulpit and a detail of the front
A carving of a face whose eyes have their eyelids closed A carving of a face whose eyes are open A carving of a laughing face whose eyes are wide open
Three carved faces on the pulpit with their eyes, respectively, closed, open and laughing
One of three carved chairs with arms One of three carved chairs with arms One of three carved chairs with arms
Three carved wooden chairs which used to accompany the pulpit

With thanks to Jim Farrell.

P.G. Smith [1946–1951] writes:

One day in 1951, on arriving at school, I noticed that the stage in the Hall displayed the lectern and three chairs, all obviously bespoke not ‘Utility.’

Not being aware of the reason for such extravagance, I enquired and was informed that the three chairs were designed to be occupied, as to the most ornate one, by the Headmaster, and the other two by the Deputy Head and the prefect who was to read the day’s lesson in Assembly, and they were constructed from wood forming part of the original school building.

I enquired who was the unfortunate prefect shown on the rota for that day and was told that it was me. I must admit readily that, although I have not lost my memory with increasing age, often it is difficult to find it and I advise taking the statement in italics with a pinch of salt until corroborative evidence is uncovered.

I truly believe that the words were said and further that the said wood had been stored in the School’s cellar but I have no recollection who said all this nor any opinion how authentic the information was. My guess is that it is true and. if so, the furniture assumes great importance which should not be forgotten.

Mike Warrington [1967–1974] wrtes:

I was interested to see the pictures of the restored pulpit and chairs on the Heath Old Boys website. When I saw the close up of the date carved on the front (1951), it set me wondering as to who had made them. The date is shortly after Harry Lee’s arrival at the school (1949), and I am curious as to whether these were the result of some lunchtime activity of his. He was certainly skillful enough to have done the job.

Incidentally, the pulpit appears to have lost its lectern. After years of being abandoned, maybe this isn’t too surprising.