THE ceiling of the choir at Glasgow’s medieval Cathedral had been installed at the beginning of the 20th century. It had not been cleaned since, which meant that there was a lot of soot and grime to be tackled when, in early 1965, workmen erected 100ft of scaffolding and began work.

“For three weeks,” said the Glasgow Herald of February 12, “a team of workmen have been scraping, brushing, and washing the fine oak ceiling.” The work was being carried out by six men from the ancient monuments’ preservation of the then Ministry of Works, including two stonemasons. Other cleaners and sub-contractors were also involved.

The team also set about cleaning the numerous wooden carvings high up on the walls and on the ceiling itself. These included the miracles and the work of Christ, carvings of the Bishops of Glasgow, and the coats of arms of Scotland’s monarchs.

“The cleaning,”added the Herald, “is revealing the bright colourings of the wooden figures. It has also revealed a few patches of woodworm. This is being treated and is not causing great concern.”

Projects such as this seemed to be part of larger programme. As the House of Lords was told just a couple of years later, in April 1967, a “very considerable” amount of money had been spent in providing the Cathedral with new windows and improving its exterior in the two decades since the war.