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Remote country churches attract weather, spiders, dust and dirt.

Even with the most dedicated of cleaning teams, cobwebs mount up in high and inaccessible areas. Constant battering from wet, wild weather leaves its mark on windows in particular.

Hog & Fitch were brought in to clean the insides of the high, fragile windows in a small and well-used country church. Access was awkward, so it was easy to see why this could not be a regular task for the congregation’s cleaning volunteers.

A good dose of the trademark Hog & Fitch creativity was required, as we problem-solved to access high level and awkward areas safely so we could clean stubborn deposits effectively but with the fragile nature of the glass always uppermost in our minds.

The webs really had accumulated at high level – and there were also some rather large spiders living in the warm conditions under the windowsills. The festoons near the tops of the windows had collected dust and dirt and really let down an otherwise beautifully cared-for interior. While of course spiders do play a role in keeping down populations of insect pests, deposits of insect carcasses can also attract other pests – so they do need clearing up.

We re-housed the 8-legged occupants using our very long pole and cleaned up the webs to reveal crisp edges and some beautiful stained glass. The magnificent view of the surrounding countryside started to emerge, making this one of our more rewarding and uplifting projects.

Listening to the grass rustling outside and watched over by a curious herd of cows as we ate our lunch, we knew that the peace and calm of this this historic location would remain with us, long after the work was completed to everyone’s satisfaction.

IMAGES AND ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

All images by Hog & Fitch, reproduced with permission of the Church

From top: webs and obstinate dirt and mould on one of the high level windows; coaxing spiders into a new home using our very long pole; dirt and webs at high level, obscuring the beauty of the glass (2 images); window during and after cleaning (2 images); careful cleaning, pane by pane, using distilled water and cotton wool; assessing the best method of dealing with a high level problem; it was important to look at the windows in different light conditions, as sometimes an apparently clean window can still look smeary as light changes (3 images); a clean window in summer evening light; lunchtime view; lunchtime companions