On Sunday, January 28th, a replacement curtain for the 1936 curtain was presented to the citizens of Chichester at the Grange Hall.
John West, past master of the Chichester Grange and life time resident of Chichester, reads from the Grange's recorded minutes referencing the first curtain's installation. With little fanfare or elaboration, the minutes simply state that the curtain arrived and was hung - amen.
Pam Smith, artist, explained the process in re-creating the original curtain. Much of the paint in the curtain's center was missing and Pam had to use an early photo's faint clues to reconstruct .
Before the actual painting, which was painted use a grid overlay, the curtain material and its preparation to accept paint needed careful attention. Even the paints were chosen to closely reconstruct the original work.
The scene depicted is located on Short Falls Road on the Blackman property and can still be seen today.
The original canvas has been taken down, wrapped and stored until a time when an adequate restoration can be performed.
This "new" curtain uses the same pulley system as the old but can be raised and lowered without damage.
To add to the celebration, Frank played the piano with pieces that might have been heard in the hall during the curtain's hey-day.
More than 90 locals attended the dedication on that Sunday afternoon and, from the sound of the chatter, most were having a great time.
What we need now is a good, one act play!