Jewellery Quarter Heritage was officially launched on 6th September 2012, to help preserve the many stories of the history of the Jewellery Quarter in The Hockley Flyer and in a series of publications More about that later. Professor Carl Chinn has been our patron for the first 5 years and is keen to continue.
Our regular historical items are covered in The Hockley Flyer in the Heritage section every month since April 2013 (issue 334). Strangely enough The Hockley Flyer is something of a historical item itself, having been published monthly for over 33 years. We also published a couple of books on the Quarter, The Jewellery Quarter History and Guide 2nd edition (1st edition we recently found some in a box and are on sale on this site.
There have been many changes over the 5 years since launching JQ Heritage but sadly the website etc was rather neglected, but we have dusted off the cobwebs and given it a fresh new look. (We became disenchanted years ago after being turned down for a Heritage Lottery Fund grant, reason being that we did not want to ‘play’ with heritage as we are serious about it! Although the website was neglected, we have been remarkably busy by fighting inappropriate developments, especially in the Industrial Middle and Golden Triangle of the Jewellery Quarter, at our own expense. Also, in the background we have also been adding to our database of historical items and cataloguing them ready for publication forthcoming publications.
There is still a need for affordable workshops in the Jewellery Quarter despite what many developers might say, although in English Heritage’s own words “It’s not only the buildings that are at risk, but the way the Jewellers work.” The way jewellers work has mostly changed with technology, though. We were involved with a scheme for a number of affordable workshops, but the scheme fell through when the building was sold after the owner sadly died. Now the trend is a need for slightly larger premises for the new breed of tech companies requiring around 10,000sq ft or more.
The main people behind Jewellery Quarter Heritage are Marie and Mark Haddleton who have worked in the Jewellery Quarter for over a quarter of a century (Marie served on the Birmingham Conservation Advisory Committee for many years, representing the Jewellery Quarter), and they are occasionally sought out to help with pre-planning guidance, to guide architects and developers through the complicated Jewellery Quarter Conservation and Management Plan and Design Guide. In fact, we have produced many heritage reports for presentation to the Conservation Advisory Committee to accompany planning applications.
Other things we would like to do include restoring the original JQ plaques on important buildings fixed by URBED some thirty years ago, have gone missing, although one was recently restored on the Cemetery Lodge and it would be nice to see the others restored.
There is a noticeable lack of blue plaques; there are around 200 listed buildings and very few blue plaques in the area, (and even less now as some buildings have been demolished and the plaques appear to have gone missing).
The Future for JQ Heritage
Other books/booklets and magazines planned include a new Guide for the area, and some other specialist guides but cannot release details just yet. We are working on all these projects right now, along with The Hockley Flyer with an increase in heritage news every month being our top priority of course!