Funding secured to restore the Roxy Cafe’s etched windows

March 30, 2011

The Gwydir Shire Council has been successful in securing a significant grant to undertake the conservation of the etched glass that adorns the facade of The Roxy Café.

Peters milk bar sign revealedPictured left: Doug Dunlop of Domenico Blu Building revealing the etched glass in May 2010.

The grant has been provided by the Heritage Branch of the Department of Planning of NSW.  The Council will be the recipient of $30,000 to complete the work.  

The etched glass is an important component of the story of The Roxy Café.  It demonstrates how the cafe advertised in the 1930s through the colours, patterns and lettering on the glass which are excellent examples of Art Deco design.

“The restoration of The Roxy Café and the etched glass provides a unique example of the creative integration of a dynamic contemporary usage within a building of significant heritage value,” said Sandy McNaughton, Manager of The Roxy.

There are very few companies left in Australia that carry out this type of specialised restoration work.  Michael Harrington is the Managing Director of Harradence Glass Decorators based in Sydney.

Peters Milk Bar signThe etched glass window is a rare example and its restoration is of great importance to the Roxy Cafe.

When contacted about The Roxy, Mr Harrington stated that in his twenty-five years experience with this type of glass work. “The Roxy Café comprises one of the most significant examples of its kind that I have seen.  There are very few examples of this type of etched glass left in Australia” Mr Harrington said.  

“Reproduction of this work will require craftsmanship at a level that is very rare in what has become a digital age.  Our company has all of the required skills to restore much of the degraded glass work to its former glory.  We will be utilizing all of the original techniques that were in use in 1936.”

Peters Mil Bar etching“Work undertaken in the restoration will include incorporating the screen printing of the original graphic with line work, etching, sand blasting, mirroring and silver gilding the masking, colourbacking and acid etching required.  Personally, I am excited about a project incorporating such beautiful art deco style,”  Mr Harrington said.

Sandy McNaughton adds that “From the moment the original etched glass was uncovered during the restoration of the Café, it was apparent that funding should be sought to restore this unique feature.” 

“Since contacting Mr Harrington, it is evident that we have underestimated the significance of the etched glass.  I have been informed that it is an incredibly rare example” said Sandy.

“We are thrilled to have received this funding from the NSW Heritage Branch.  The Roxy serves to remind us that we are part of a cultural continuum.  It is through its ability to provide an historic cultural experience in a contemporary context that it reinforces our appreciation of, and responsibility to, preserve and protect our past, as well as to recognise the changing cultural landscape it represents.”

It is timely that the grant has been received before the planned celebrations for the 75th Anniversary of The Roxy to be held on the weekend of April 9 and 10.

“The official launch of the Café and the Greek Gala Ball is generating huge excitement within the Kytherian and wider Greek community.  We are gearing up for a truly memorable weekend,” said Sandy.

Tickets for the Gala Ball are available at the Bingara Tourist Information Centre or  telephone:  67 24 0066.