New project to discover Jewellery Quarter memories

A £2 million project to collect people’s memories of working in Birmingham’s historic Jewellery Quarter is hosting its first events this week.

The three-year initiative, called the Jewellery Quarter Townscape Heritage (JQTH) project, is backed by the Heritage Lottery Funded and is calling for people to share their memories of living and working in the area.

As part of the activity programme, the project wants to document a community that has evolved over generations in order to build what it is calling the Jewellery Quarter People’s Archive.

Officially launching next year, the digital archive will preserve and make accessible personal experiences and historical materials related to the quarter.

The Argent Centre is one of the Jewellery Quarter’s many striking landmarks

A series of events will launch on Saturday where members of the project team will be on hand to discuss it in more detail along with a photographer to capture portraits of participants and the photographs, letters and objects they take along.

Activities manager Kate O’Connor 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.”

As part of the wider initiative, the heritage project is also aiming to bring a series of historic buildings back into use by offering restoration grants to local property owners.

These will focus on the part of the Jewellery Quarter known as the Industrial Middle including roads such as Vittoria Street, Frederick Street and Legge Lane.

The first two drop-in events are on Saturday September 8, from 11am to 3pm and Wednesday September 12 from 2pm to 7pm.

Both are at The Big Peg, in Vyse Street.

Further events will be held on October 6, 7 and 10 at a venue to be announced.


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