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The  repair and decoration work at the Bank's Head Office does not appear to have been finally completed until late in 1949, as indicated by the following summary of Correspondence relating to the replacement of the decorative glass windows.

 
BMB in World War II
 

February 13th 1948: John Hardman's Studios to T Cecil Howitt

The Municipal Bank, Broad Street, Birmingham.

With reference to our Mr Feeny's discussion on the site, with your Mr Woolley this afternoon, in connection with the restoration of the stained glass panels at the above, which were damaged by enemy action.

 

There are four rectangular panels and we estimate that to remove, pack and return these to our Studios, temporarily filling the opening with plain glass; to strip them completely, repaint and repair where necessary, reload, re-cement, return to the site and refix in place complete, will cost Two Hundred and Twenty Five Pounds (225).

 

This estimate does not include for any work to the metal frames - which we understand is being carried out by Messrs Henry Hope and Sons Ltd, with whom we should thereafter collaborate during the progress of the work.

 

Awaiting the favour of your further instructions.

 

The above estimate was based on pencil notes (presumably made by Mr Feeny) which was calculated on the proportion of damage to each of the four windows, ie 50%; 50%; 70%; and 90%.

On February 21st 1948, Cecil Howitt & Partners acknowledged this estimate and stated that they were "considering this in detail and will write to you further at a later date."

 

Consideration of the matter seems to have taken some considerable time, but presumably included liaison with Messrs W J Whittall & Son Ltd (the firm that originally built the Broad Street premises); Henry Hope & Sons (a firm based in Smethwick that specialised in metal windows); and Alf Maggs, the Bank's engineer. Cecil Howitt & Partners wrote to the John Hardman Studios on December 22nd 1948 to say that they had "instructed Messrs W J Whittall & Son Ltd of Lancaster Street, Birmingham 1, to place their order with you for this work at a total cost of 225. It should be noted that Messrs Hope Bros are now removing the frame, for the purpose of straightening the bronze sections and making the necessary repairs to the casements. We confirm Mr Maggs' instructions that you should carry out the necessary removal of the windows and delivery to your works for the purpose of putting in hand the necessary repairs."

 

A hand drawn diagram (drawn by A S Langford, probably an employee of Henry Hope) gives the measurements of the window frames.
On December 29th 1948, Whittall's sent an official order to the John Hardman Studios:

An accompanying letter stated that the "repair work and reinstatement of four rectangular stained glass panels" is to be within "the terms and conditions of the Main Contract, which is the 1939 RIBA Form of Contract, as amended by the Joint Contracts Tribunal, 1945."

 

A letter from Cecil Howitt & Partners, dated October 18th 1949, to the John Hardman Studios stated that "we are now nearing the completion of the contract for the maintenance and repair of war damage .... and apart from certain amounts of making good to the granite to the exterior, the rest of the builders' work has been completed. We are therefore anxious before leaving the site to have the window re-instated and would like you to let us have a programme of the possible dates when you will be able to complete the windows." This letter was followed up by a letter dated November 8th 1949 confirming that a Mr Hyde (of Cecil Howitt & Partners) would visit the John Hardman's Studios on Saturday, November 12th. This visit may have led to the work being expedited as a letter from Cecil Howitt & Partners to the Studios, dated November 23rd 1949, states that they will "get in touch by telephone with a view to meeting you and inspecting the stained glass windows."

The Second World War - Bomb Damage at Head Office
 
(continued)
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