Dyers Millennium Window

The Dyers Millennium windowThe symbolism of our Millennium Window is an excellent metaphor for the Company's affiliations and commitments at the start of the third Millennium.

The most obvious feature of the window is the broad sweep of dyed cloth emerging from the vats of dye in the lower part. The corded sacks are the traditional way of carting and storing the madder which is also a major feature of the Company's coat of arms. The process shows in the lowest vat the preparation of the red dye which comes from the madder plant. The vat above shows the cloth being paddled into the dye using long poles to ensure the material was thoroughly immersed and the dye fully distributed. The broad sweep of cloth shows the dyed material being hung out to dry. Above the drying cloth is the Company's shield from its coat of arms showing the three corded sacks of madder. This underlines the continuing involvement of the Company with the Craft and Science of Dyeing about which you can read elsewhere on this site.

Around this central theme, the artist has woven outlines of some of the Company's present military and educational affiliations and charitable commitments. For example, in the left hand middle pane is the outline of the Company's almshouses at Crawley whilst above it is the crest of the 4th (V) Battalion, the Parachute Regiment, surmounted by three parachutists by way of illustration. Above that is the crest of 617 Squadron RAF, the legendary 'Dambusters' squadron, who currently fly Tornado GR4 bombers from their base in Scotland. More of each of these connections can be read by clicking on the AFFILIATIONS button with your computer mouse.

The top right hand panes feature Swans which symbolise the Company's continuing involvement with the care of Swans on the river Thames whilst below these is the outline of Norwich Cathedral symbolising our connection with the Norwich School whose premises are in the Cathedral Close. Below this again is a chemist's retort - not a rude reply but a laboratory vessel - containing Perkin's mauve, the world's first synthetic aniline dye and underlining our close connections with the School of Colour Chemistry at Leeds University. More details are available elsewhere on this site.

The next pane down on the right hand side includes the forepart of an outline of a type 23 Frigate of the Royal Navy. This symbolizes our naval links which began with HMS Brilliant in 1987, continued with HMS Grafton when HMS Brilliant left the Navy in 1996 and moves forward with a new connection with HMS Vanguard now that HMS Grafton has also been decommissioned.

The bottom left pane features the battle flag of 30th Signals Regiment who complete our military affiliations. 30th Signallers pride themselves on their ability to serve anywhere and they have indeed been called upon to do just that, almost without a break since their formation in 1960!

This 'brief tour' of our Millennium Window serves to underline the variety of responsibilities and commitments that the modern-day Dyers Company recognises. In common with other Livery Companies we are jealous of the traditions and historical background from which we come but we enthusiastically welcome our role on the cusp of the future. We have done nothing less for centuries!

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