Made in the Jewellery Quarter: people, place and things

Posted on Monday 7th October 2013

A report on the June 2013 Day School by Sally Hoban.
This year’s joint Birmingham Assay Office and University of Birmingham Day School took place on Saturday 15th June. It was aimed at anyone who wanted to learn more about the diverse and fascinating history of Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter and its surrounding area.

Made in the Jewellery Quarter: People, Place and Things featured talks from six speakers drawn from the featured talks from six speakers drawn from the Assay Office, the University of Birmingham, local heritage organisations and local industry. Delegates described the event as hugely successful and the speakers as outstanding. Sally Hoban provided an update on education and training from the Birmingham Assay Office, Dr Sue Tungate spoke about Matthew Boulton’s Soho Mint and Sue Thomas discussed the making of the Jewellery Quarter as a dissenting community in the early 19th Century. The Director of the Birmingham Conservation Trust, Simon Buteux, talked about the importance of heritage in the Quarter, including an update on the Newman Brothers Coffin Fitting Works. Finally, John Berkeley OBE, former Chairman of Brandauer Holdings (a long-established precision engineering firm on the edge of the Jewellery Quarter), discussed the Birmingham Pen Trade.

Sally Hoban explained: ‘The Birmingham Assay Office has played an integral role in the history of the Jewellery Quarter and actively supports the University’s history teaching and research through joint public engagement activities such as this Day School. The Assay Office also collaborates regularly with local heritage organisations to help tell the on-going history of Birmingham’s industrial heritage.’

Dr Malcolm Dick, Director of the Centre of West Midlands History at The University of Birmingham said: ‘I am delighted to be working with the Birmingham Assay Office on high profile history events such as this Day School and I look forward to developing this relationship further in the future.’