Your memories wanted for Jewellery Quarter ‘People’s Archive’.

A three-year £2million Heritage Lottery Funded (HLF) project is searching for people to share their memories of living and working in the Jewellery Quarter.

Commencing earlier this year, the Jewellery Quarter Townscape Heritage (JQTH) project began raising awareness of an area within the Jewellery Quarter’s ‘Industrial Middle’*. Historically a mixed industrial and residential area, many of the buildings remain today, housing traditional manufacturing alongside new enterprises.

As part of the activity programme, the JQTH wants to document a community that has evolved over generations. Individuals are needed for their contributions to build the Jewellery Quarter People’s Archive. Officially launching next year, the digital archive will preserve and make accessible personal experiences and historical materials relating to the area.

Local people are invited to attend drop-in events to share their stories and photographs. Members of the JQTH team will be on hand to discuss the project in more detail along with photographer Inès Elsa Dalal who will capture portraits of participants and the photographs, letters or objects they bring along.

Coinciding with a full-day of activities as part of Birmingham Heritage Week, the first drop-in event is being held on Saturday 8 September between 11am and 3pm at The Big Peg building in the Jewellery Quarter with a second drop-in on Wednesday 12 September between 2pm and 7pm. This will be followed by two events in October (Saturday 6 October – Sunday 7 October) and Wednesday 10 October.

Kate O’Connor, JQTH Activities Manager, said: “The Jewellery Quarter played an instrumental role in the lives of many generations. We are looking for personal stories from people with a deep connection to the area. Whether you visited as child, worked as an apprentice or lived here before the slums were cleared, we want as many people as possible to come forward. By documenting these memories, we want to develop a digital archive that will be accessible for current and future generations. Visit us at our drop-in events and bring your photographs and other personal items.” 

Complementing the activity programme, the JQTH project also aims to bring a series of shortlisted historic buildings back into use through offering restoration grants to local property owners.

Managed by the Jewellery Quarter Development Trust (JQDT), the JQTH aims to regenerate the area, to halt and reverse the decline of the historic townscape by creating attractive, vibrant and interesting places where in the future people will want to live, work and invest.

Philip Davis, JQDT Chairman, commented: “As part of the Jewellery Quarter Townscape Heritage programme there are many exciting activities taking place alongside the restoration of the shortlisted buildings. These will inspire communities to learn more about their local heritage, attract new visitors and build awareness of conservation issues ensuring that the great legacy of the Jewellery Quarter and its unique history lives on.”

For further information on the events in October, please contact JQTH Activities Manager, Kate O’Connor 0121 233 2814 or email jqstories@jqdt.org

*The area covers Vittoria Street, Regent Street, Albion Street, Frederick Street, Regent Place and Legge Lane.

Join the JQTH at one of their events during Birmingham Heritage Week – visit the Eventbrite page to book now.