Did the Michelin stained glass end up in Oz?
Michelin’s missing one-of-a-kind stained glass windows may have end up in Oz. The focus of Michelin's window hunt has moved to Australia following tip-offs that the glassware featuring the Michelin man Bibendum could have been shipped down under. The antipodean link has emerged out of information submitted to Michelin through its stained glass amnesty, issued over four months ago. Michelin set up a confidential hotline and amnesty web page to allow people to leave their clues anonymously in the search for the original stained glass windows that once adorned the Michelin House building in London.
The hotline and web page have been rife with rumour, with over 300 visits a day to the website since the amnesty was announced and an array of explanations put forward as to the windows’ whereabouts. Sifting through the clues and tip-offs, Michelin investigators report that they have now narrowed down the possible location of the windows to either Australia or a Stoke-on-Trent refuse site.
Numerous snippets of information generated through the amnesty have suggested a coincidental disappearance of the stained glass windows at the same time as many from the Potteries – including some ex-Michelin employees – moved to Australia. Many of the tip-offs received have put forward the same name and theory for the ‘Australian Connection’ – with some respondents suggesting the windows may have ended up adorning an Outback bar or business establishment.
Peter Snelling, Michelin’s UK Head of Communications, said: “The amount of information we have received by different people suggesting the ‘Australian Connection’ has moved this scenario into the top two of probable outcomes. We will be liaising with our Michelin colleagues in Australia to carry out further investigations to see if there is any more substance to these theories. In the meantime we will also be looking at the possibilities raised in Stoke-on-Trent as to the location of the windows.”
The suggestions for Stoke-on-Trent, centre on the stained glass windows being accidentally discarded during their time in storage at a Michelin warehouse unit in Hanford. A number of respondents have suggested the windows may have ended up on a refuse tip in Stoke-on-Trent but no conclusive evidence so far has been unearthed to confirm this.
The original stained glass windows were removed from the Michelin House building for safe keeping following the outbreak of World War II in 1939 and were transported to Stoke-on-Trent to be stored safely until the war finished. A post-war audit at Michelin’s Stoke-on-Trent site found the windows to be AWOL and despite rumours of sightings in the 1960s, they remain missing to this day.
The special confidential amnesty tip-off page has been set up on the Michelin House 100 year anniversary website at www.michelin.co.uk/amnesty. Information relating to the missing windows can be left anonymously by the user – contact numbers or e-mail addresses can be left if the user wishes to do so – which will then be forwarded to Michelin’s Missing Stained Glass Windows Investigations Team.