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Elliott Brown History & heritage
19 May 2021 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

The Pen Museum at The Argent Centre on Frederick Street

The Pen Museum is in The Argent Centre at 60 Frederick Street in the Jewellery Quarter. The museum focusses on the history of the 19th Century pen trade. Including feather quills and steel pen nibs. Located in a former pen factory built in 1863. The building was recently refurbished. The museum is a charity and it needs our support. Run by a knowledgeable group of volunteers.

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The Pen Museum at The Argent Centre on Frederick Street





The Pen Museum is in The Argent Centre at 60 Frederick Street in the Jewellery Quarter. The museum focusses on the history of the 19th Century pen trade. Including feather quills and steel pen nibs. Located in a former pen factory built in 1863. The building was recently refurbished. The museum is a charity and it needs our support. Run by a knowledgeable group of volunteers.


The Pen Museum is located on Frederick Street in the Jewellery Quarter. The building was originally built as the Argent Works of 1862-63 by JG Pollard. It was a pen manufactory for Q E Wiley. They also installed Turkish baths here! Built of red brick with stone and gault and buff brick dressings. Now known as The Argent Centre, the building runs to Legge Lane, which had a refurbishment (completed in 2020).

The Argent Centre, seen here in early April 2021, fully restored at the Legge Lane and Frederick Street corner. The Pen Museum is a short walk away. A Grade II* listed building, it was reopened earlier in 2021. And The Pen Museum is lucky to be in such a historic building.

dndimg alt="The Argent Centre" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/PM AC FS 03042021 (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Exterior of The Pen Museum

An early view of The Pen Museum, also called The Pen Room, in this view from Frederick Street during December 2012. I wouldn't go inside until the Birmingham Heritage Week visit of September 2016.

dndimg alt="The Pen Museum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Pen Museum (Dec 2012).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

In September 2016, the view of the archway of The Argent Centre. Entrance to The Pen Museum via a door to the right.

dndimg alt="The Pen Museum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Pen Museum (Sept 2016) (20).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

View of The Pen Museum during early April 2021. By now closed due to the lockdown. The gate and doors were closed. Getting closer to the 20th anniversary of the museum, which opened in late April 2001. They are not yet quite ready to reopen, that depends on the roadmap, as lockdown restrictions continue to be eased. At the time I was there to check out the restored Chamberlain Clock.

dndimg alt="The Pen Museum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/PM AC FS 03042021 (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

The middle of May 2021, and I saw a 101 NXWM Platinum bus (to Handsworth) waiting outside of The Pen Museum, as I walked up to the new Costa Coffee at 32 Frederick Street. The day before indoor dining, but they had an outdoor space at the back where I could have my coffee.

dndimg alt="The Pen Museum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/101 Pen Museum JQ (May 2021).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

The Birmingham Heritage Week visit to The Pen Museum, September 2016

That day, The Pen Museum was free to visit, but normally you would have to pay an entrance fee. The museum is based in a former pen factory in the heart of Birmingham's Jewellery Quarter. If you wanted to, you could make a pen nib or write your name in Braille. The museum opened in 2001. They also have early typewriters.


In the main room of The Pen Museum, you could see all the cabinets with all the pen nibs, bottles of ink and machinery used to make the pen nibs.

dndimg alt="The Pen Museum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Pen Museum (Sept 2016) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Bottles of ink for all kinds of fountain pens.

dndimg alt="The Pen Museum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Pen Museum (Sept 2016) (12).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Boxes of various different pens. Such as pencil pens, crown pen diamond brand, red ink pens, telephone pen, the swan pen and so on.

dndimg alt="The Pen Museum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Pen Museum (Sept 2016) (15).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Macniven & Camerons Pens "Pickwick". They used to cost 6d & 1'-per box.

dndimg alt="The Pen Museum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Pen Museum (Sept 2016) (18).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Portraits of the late Prince Albert (In Memoriam), Queen Victoria, King George V & Queen Mary. As well as King Edward VIII (later the Duke of Windsor), King George VI and Queen Elizabeth II.

dndimg alt="The Pen Museum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Pen Museum (Sept 2016) (19).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Joseph Gillott's Victoria Works

There was an exhibition of Joseph Gillott, who was a pen maker to the Queen (Victoria). A display of Gillott pen nibs.

dndimg alt="The Pen Museum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Pen Museum Joseph Gillott (1) .jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

They also had a display cabinet to look at from the Victoria Works (which is opposite the museum on the corner of Frederick Street and Graham Street).

dndimg alt="The Pen Museum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Pen Museum Joseph Gillott (2) .jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

This was a 1001 Spring Ground Mammoth Quill Circa 1845 - The Largest Pen Made. Made by Joseph Gillott of Birmingham.

dndimg alt="The Pen Museum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Pen Museum Joseph Gillott (3) .jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

More on Joseph Gillott here, plus women working in the factory.

dndimg alt="The Pen Museum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Pen Museum (Sept 2016) (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

For more on Joseph Gillott go to this post.

 

George W. Hughes

Steel pen nibs made by George W. Hughes in this cabinet display.

dndimg alt="The Pen Museum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Pen Museum (Sept 2016) (13).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

They were quite cheap to buy, a sample card for 1d, or sample boxes for only 6d.

dndimg alt="The Pen Museum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Pen Museum (Sept 2016) (14).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

William and John Mitchell

Display cabinetts of pens and steel pen nibs made by William Mitchell.

dndimg alt="The Pen Museum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Pen Museum (Sept 2016) (21).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

In the next cabinet is the steel pen nibs made by John Mitchell.

dndimg alt="The Pen Museum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Pen Museum (Sept 2016) (22).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Thessin & Co Magnetic Series of Pens

Cabinet displays here of pens and pencils. One of them was Thessin & Co Magnetic Series of Pens. Fountain pens made at various locations around Hockley in the 19th century (now the Jewellery Quarter).

dndimg alt="The Pen Museum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Pen Museum (Sept 2016) (16).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Here we see School Slates and Quill pens. Also various printed certificates.Also a set of Royal portable quills.

dndimg alt="The Pen Museum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Pen Museum (Sept 2016) (17).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

The Boons & Blessings

The Boons & Blessings - The Pickwick - The Owl - The Waverley.

dndimg alt="The Pen Museum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Pen Museum (Sept 2016) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

These cabinets all about the Waverley pen nib.

dndimg alt="The Pen Museum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Pen Museum (Sept 2016) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Another sign on The Pickwick, the Owl and the Waverley Pen. Also Brandauer.

dndimg alt="The Pen Museum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Pen Museum (Sept 2016) (10).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Presses

A press in the corner. Now it can only be operated by museum staff only.

dndimg alt="The Pen Museum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Pen Museum (Sept 2016) (5).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Close up to one of the presses near something about Workmen's Compensation Acts 1906 and 1923.

dndimg alt="The Pen Museum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Pen Museum (Sept 2016) (8).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

One of the presses near the window, looking out onto Frederick Street. Joseph Gillott's Victoria Works is opposite, it opened in 1840.

dndimg alt="The Pen Museum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Pen Museum (Sept 2016) (9).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The presses are only used to make hardened nibs which are to be slit. A delicate "push" is all that is required on the handle to achieve this.

dndimg alt="The Pen Museum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Pen Museum (Sept 2016) (11).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Childrens's Classroom

A children's classroom to the back of the museum.

dndimg alt="The Pen Museum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Pen Museum (Sept 2016) (6).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Portrait of Queen Victoria and certificates on the wall.

dndimg alt="The Pen Museum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Pen Museum (Sept 2016) (7).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Photos taken by Elliott Brown. Can be found on Twitter: ellrbrown

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70 passion points
Elliott Brown Civic pride
06 Apr 2021 - Elliott Brown
News & Updates

Return of the Chamberlain Clock to the Jewellery Quarter

Over the weekend of the 20th and 21st March 2021, the Chamberlain Clock was reinstalled at the island at Vyse Street, Warstone Lane and Frederick Street in the Jewellery Quarter. Once restrictions were changed to "Stay Local", I got the train up to the JQ, to start a walk around the City Centre. First target was the newly restored clock. Smith of Derby have done an amazing job.

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Return of the Chamberlain Clock to the Jewellery Quarter





Over the weekend of the 20th and 21st March 2021, the Chamberlain Clock was reinstalled at the island at Vyse Street, Warstone Lane and Frederick Street in the Jewellery Quarter. Once restrictions were changed to "Stay Local", I got the train up to the JQ, to start a walk around the City Centre. First target was the newly restored clock. Smith of Derby have done an amazing job.


The Jewellery Quarter Chamberlain Clock via the JQ BID.

 

Previous Chamberlain Clock posts here:

 

It was probably best that I was unable to travel up to the Jewellery Quarter over the weekend of the 20th and 21st March 2021. As at the time we were still under "Stay at Home" restrictions. This changed on Monday 29th March 2021 to "Stay Local". Working at home, I was unable to travel up to the Jewellery Quarter until the Easter Bank Holiday Weekend. So got the train to Jewellery Quarter Station on Saturday 3rd April 2021 in the morning. For the start of a walk around the City Centre (which would end at Selfridges and Birmingham Moor Street Station).

 

A new sign about The Chamberlain Memorial Clock was installed close to The Golden Square and Vyse Street (just behind the Rose Villa Tavern). It's mentions Joseph Chamberlain's roll in what is now called The South Africa War (formerly The Second Boer War of 1899 -- 1902). Chamberlain's tour of South Africa led to this clock being erected near here in 1903. QR code on the sign, leads to the Chamberlain Clock website (link at the top of this article).

dndimg alt="Chamberlain Clock" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/CCJQ 03042021 (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

First view of the newly restored Chamberlain Clock from Vyse Street, on the walk from Jewellery Quarter Station. The other clock to the far right is at Three Brindleyplace. Jurys Inn was also visible from here.

dndimg alt="Chamberlain Clock" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/CCJQ 03042021 (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

It was now possible from Vyse Street to see the restored Chamberlain Clock with The Mercian and The Bank Tower 2. As well as the clocktower of Three Brindleyplace behind it. The Bank Tower 1 and Eleven Brindleyplace visible to the right.

dndimg alt="Chamberlain Clock" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/The Mercian 03042021 (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

View of the Chamberlain Clock, now working from Vyse Street, with Warstone Lane to the left and right. Frederick Street is straight ahead.

dndimg alt="Chamberlain Clock" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/CCJQ 03042021 (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

The clock was previously restored during 1989 - 90 by Octo Welding. This time from 2020 - 21 by Smith of Derby. Greggs at the Chamberlain Building to the left.

dndimg alt="Chamberlain Clock" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/CCJQ 03042021 (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

As well as repairing the internal mechanisms, Smith of Derby also repainted the clock and the plaques from 1903 and 1990. This view to the HSBC UK bank.

dndimg alt="Chamberlain Clock" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/CCJQ 03042021 (5).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

A close up zoom in of the clock. It looks amazing now. Lets hope it lasts more than 30 years before they have to restore it again.

dndimg alt="Chamberlain Clock" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/CCJQ 03042021 (6).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Now looking from Frederick Street, with the Chamberlain Clock. Vyse Street is behind. Not far away is Warstone Lane Cemetery.

dndimg alt="Chamberlain Clock" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/CCJQ 03042021 (7).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Heading down Frederick Street towards Newhall Hill, one more view of the clock. Since this lockdown began, Costa Coffee opened up a new coffee shop at 32 Frederick Street. Somewhere to stop for coffee in the future (when we can sit inside again, and not just have a takeaway).

dndimg alt="Chamberlain Clock" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/CCJQ 03042021 (8).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Photos taken by Elliott Brown. Can be found on Twitter: ellrbrown

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Elliott Brown History & heritage
16 Mar 2021 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

The Museum of the Jewellery Quarter in the former Smith & Pepper jewellery manufactory

The Museum of the Jewellery Quarter is at 75-80 Vyse Street in the Jewellery Quarter (Hockley). It opened in 1992 in the former Smith & Pepper jewellery manufactory. When the factory closed for good in 1981, it left a time capsule, that the last owners would be unaware that it would be left for future generations to enjoy. Now part of the Birmingham Museums Trust.

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The Museum of the Jewellery Quarter in the former Smith & Pepper jewellery manufactory





The Museum of the Jewellery Quarter is at 75-80 Vyse Street in the Jewellery Quarter (Hockley). It opened in 1992 in the former Smith & Pepper jewellery manufactory. When the factory closed for good in 1981, it left a time capsule, that the last owners would be unaware that it would be left for future generations to enjoy. Now part of the Birmingham Museums Trust.


Museum of the Jewellery Quarter

Not far from Jewellery Quarter Station is the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter on Vyse Street. I think one of my schools took me there once, in the mid 1990s, and I've not been inside since, but have walked past it many times over the years. It's at 75 to 80 Vyse Street. No 76 on the corner of Branston Street is now The Whisky Club, but was previously used as an Events Space.

 

History of the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter

The museum occupies the former Smith & Pepper jewellery manufacturing firms premises which closed for good in 1981. They ceased trading, leaving the premises as a time capsule unaware that they would be leaving it for future generations. The museum opened here in 1992 and is a branch of the Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery. Smith & Pepper was founded by Charles Smith and his uncle Edwin Pepper in 1899 and specialised in gold bracelets and other jewellery until it closed down in 1981. When the company closed, all the tools, machinery and papers were left behind. Also the former butterfly wing jewellery specialists T.L. Mott Ltd, along with all it's contents, was added to the museum when it opened in 1992.

It is a Grade II listed building (from 2004). No 75 Vyse Street was built in 1909 by George E. Pepper for F. Moore.No 77 Vyse Street was built in 1914, also by Pepper. No 79 Vyse Street was rebuilt in 1990. The building had alterations during the 20th Century. Built of red brick and ashlar stone dressings. No's 77 and 78 was the former Smith and Pepper Works. The museum to the Birmingham Jewellery Quarter is located in two late 19th Century manufactories. The Birmingham Museums Trust took over the running of the museum from Birmingham City Council in 2012.

 

December 2012

My first views of the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter on Vyse Street, surrounded by all the other jewellery manufacturing workshops on that side of the road. The buildings from 75 to 80 Vyse Street are now part of the museum.

dndimg alt="Museum of the Jewellery Quarter" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Museum JQ (Dec 2012) (1).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

This is the main entrance to the museum. There is a gift shop at the front (and probably the ticket office).

dndimg alt="Museum of the Jewellery Quarter" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Museum JQ (Dec 2012) (2).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Information Centre

There used to be an Information Centre at the end of Vyse Street near The Big Peg. It was demolished in 2014 to make way for The Golden Square. It was also seen near the end of 2012.

dndimg alt="Jewellery Quarter Information" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/JQ Information (Dec 2012) (1).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

At the time, there was a sign here for The Jewellery Quarter Birmingham's Gem. Here it made reference to the Award winning Museum of the Jewellery Quarter. As well as The Pen Museum, Historic Buildings and Pavement Trails. Plus St Paul's Square, (Birmingham's last remaining Georgian Square). And the Historic Cemeteries of Key Hill and Warstone Lane.

dndimg alt="Jewellery Quarter Information" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/JQ Information (Dec 2012) (2).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

January 2013

A few days later, on New Years Day 2013, another walk past the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter on Vyse Street. The green painted doors at 76 Vyse Street. By 2015, this was used as Event Space at the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter. By 2019 it was The Whisky Club.

dndimg alt="Museum of the Jewellery Quarter" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Museum JQ (Jan 2013) (1).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

There is this green letter box, marked as H. Aston Ltd. It is at 76 Vyse Street, what is now The Whisky Club. It is at the corner of Vyse Street with Branston Street.

dndimg alt="Museum of the Jewellery Quarter" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/JQ letterbox Vyse St (Jan 2013).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

There is a plaque at the entrance to the museum, part of the Jewellery Quarter Discovery Trail. It was sponsored by the Birmingham City Action Team. It mentions Smith & Pepper jewellery works at this site. Plus the former premises of butterfly wing jewellery specialists T.L. Mott Ltd. Both of which were turned into the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter.

dndimg alt="Museum of the Jewellery Quarter" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Museum JQ (Jan 2013) (2).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

This sign with the opening times, Tuesday to Saturday, 10:30am to 4pm. Close on Sunday's and Monday's except for Bank Holiday Monday's. Wheelchair access available on Branston Street.

dndimg alt="Museum of the Jewellery Quarter" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Museum JQ (Jan 2013) (3).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

The museum received an Enjoy England Awards for Excellence 2010. And were a Gold Winner. Congratulations for winning it 11 years ago!

dndimg alt="Museum of the Jewellery Quarter" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Museum JQ (Jan 2013) (4).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

December 2019

My most recent photos taken a couple of years ago on Vyse Street. Saw the sign for the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter, next to a Christmas light of an anchor. Which is the symbol used by the Assay Office.

dndimg alt="Museum of the Jewellery Quarter" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Museum JQ (Dec 2019) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The main entrance door to the museum. Dogs on a lead were now allowed to enter the museum with their owners.

dndimg alt="Museum of the Jewellery Quarter" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Museum JQ (Dec 2019) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Took the plaque again, that I previously took years earlier (sometimes I forget what I've taken previously). Except I got it much closer up here, so you can read it.

dndimg alt="Museum of the Jewellery Quarter" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Museum JQ (Dec 2019) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

During the lockdowns the museum is temporarily closed. Hopefully they will be allowed to reopen later in the spring and summer of 2021.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown. Can be found on Twitter: ellrbrown

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80 passion points
Elliott Brown History & heritage
01 Mar 2021 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

Newman Brothers Coffin Works

Did you know that when Newman Brothers Coffin Furniture Factory closed down for good in 1998, they left all the tools and equipment as it was. The building now called the Coffin Works was opened as a museum in 2014 after a period of restoration work under taken by the Birmingham Conservation Trust. In the years since it opened, I've yet to pay a visit to go inside. Fleet Street in JQ.

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Newman Brothers Coffin Works





Did you know that when Newman Brothers Coffin Furniture Factory closed down for good in 1998, they left all the tools and equipment as it was. The building now called the Coffin Works was opened as a museum in 2014 after a period of restoration work under taken by the Birmingham Conservation Trust. In the years since it opened, I've yet to pay a visit to go inside. Fleet Street in JQ.


The Coffin Works

Located on Fleet Street in the Jewellery Quarter is this hiden gem. The Coffin Works is at 13-15 Fleet Street. Between Summer Row (at Parade) and Hotel ibis Styles (which is between Fleet Street and Lionel Street). Also near the head office of Mitchells & Butlers.

The Newman Brothers Coffin Furniture Factory is a part of the Jewellery Quarter conservation area. Founded by the brothers Alfred and Edwin Newman. They moved to this site in 1894 (the building was built from 1892 to 1894 and designed by Roger Harley in 1892). Their company began life as a brass foundry company, before they changed to making coffin furniture (the handles, nameplates etc, all which would get buried with the deceased in the coffin underground).

Edwin ceased to be involved in the company during 1895, leaving his brother Alfred as the sole trader of the business until his death in 1933. He was succeeded by his two sons George and Horace. They ran the company until George Newman passed away in 1944, and his brother Horace Newman passed away in 1952. After that there was a variety of owners of the company. Although their sister Nina continued to hold shares until 1980.

The business passed to the Doggart and Whittington families. The last owner was Joyce Green, who acquired the company following the death of the companies two managing directors in 1976. Green first joined the company as a secretary in 1949. She moved up through the ranks until she bought the company in 1989, and was the sole trader until the business closed for good in 1998.

 

Restoration

During the 1990s, Joyce Green fought for the building to be restored. The factory received a Grade II* listed status in the year 2000 by English Heritage. In 2001 the Birmingham Conservation Trust carried out a study on the building about the threat of redevelopment and the loss of the building. The factory was one of three candidates in the first series of the BBC's Restoration programme in 2003, although it didn't receive enough votes to reach the final.

But it got enough interest for restoration in the future. In 2006 / 2007 the Birmingham Conservation Trust got a grant of £1.5 million. The credit crunch in 2009 caused a minor setback when Advantage West Midlands collapsed. But Birmingham City Council was able to buy the building from AWM in 2010. Restoration finally took place during 2013 to 2014. The museum opened in October 2014. Joyce Green was involved in the project throughout until her death in 2009.

 

Fleet Street, 2014

In June 2014, I was walking up Fleet Street, when I took my first photo of the building. Viet Moon was a restaurant at 5-11 Fleet Street. While the Coffin Works next door was coming to it's conclusion in terms of it's restoration.

dndimg alt="Coffin Works" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Coffin Works (Jun 2014).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

By September 2014, the Coffin Works restoration project was complete. Heading down some steps between Lionel Street and Fleet Street in the Jewellery Quarter, saw these painted signs on the wall to the left "to the Coffin Works Visit Newman Bros.".

dndimg alt="Coffin Works" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Coffin Works (Sep 2014) (1).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

The side of the Coffin Works with at least three chimneys.

dndimg alt="Coffin Works" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Coffin Works (Sep 2014) (2).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

There was another painted sign further down the steps closer to Fleet Street.

dndimg alt="Coffin Works" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Coffin Works (Sep 2014) (3).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

Now a first proper look at Newman Brothers aka The Coffin Works. It would open as a museum in the following month.

dndimg alt="Coffin Works" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Coffin Works (Sep 2014) (4).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

A zoom in to the painted Newman Brothers sign looking as good as new!

dndimg alt="Coffin Works" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Coffin Works (Sep 2014) (5).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

This view below from the Birmingham & Fazeley Canal. This view towards Fleet Street from near the Cable-Stay Footbridge and Farmers Bridge Lock No 6. Behind me was the Newhall Square development.

dndimg alt="Coffin Works" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Coffin Works BF Canal (Sep 2014).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Fleet Street, 2018

By April 2018, I saw this plaque on the Coffin Works. From The Birmingham Civic Society, who presented the Renaiisance Award to the Birmingham Conservation Trust for the Newman Brothers Coffin Works in 2014.

dndimg alt="Coffin Works" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Coffin Works (Apr 2018) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

A full look at the building with the plaque. In all the years since it opened as a museum, I never once thought of buying tickets in advance to pop in and take photos.

dndimg alt="Coffin Works" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Coffin Works (Apr 2018) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Fleet Street, 2020

This was on the evening in December 2020, when I was walking towards Jewellery Quarter Station, to see the Christmas lights at St Paul's Square and The Golden Square, as well as surrounding streets. After passing the Library of Birmingham, via Parade, got onto Fleet Street, and saw the Newman Brothers sign lit up after dark! Bit hard to see in this photo.

dndimg alt="Coffin Works" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Coffin Works (Dec 2020).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Maybe once museums can open again, I may think of buying a ticket on their website and pay them a visit. But this will be when I can travel on buses and trains again. After lockdown restrictions get eased again (hopefully for good this time).

Photos taken by Elliott Brown. Can be found on Twitter: ellrbrown

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80 passion points
Elliott Brown History & heritage
11 Jan 2021 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

Old Victorian letterboxes around the Jewellery Quarter

There is quite a few unique letterboxes on the old buildings around the Jewellery Quarter. Mostly on buildings built in the Victorian period. Many are semi circles, with LETTERS written at the bottom. Most of these photos in the post below were taken by Elliott between 2009 and 2013, so nothing recent.

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Old Victorian letterboxes around the Jewellery Quarter





There is quite a few unique letterboxes on the old buildings around the Jewellery Quarter. Mostly on buildings built in the Victorian period. Many are semi circles, with LETTERS written at the bottom. Most of these photos in the post below were taken by Elliott between 2009 and 2013, so nothing recent.


 

Happy New Year 2021! 

Vittoria Street

A pair of letterboxes at 85, 87 and 87a Vittoria Street in the Jewellery Quarter. Seen in late November 2009.

This black one with LETTERS at the bottom is located to the right of the door at 85 and 87 Vittoria Street. It was a purpose built brickworks dating to 1870.

dndimg alt="Letterboxes Vittoria St" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/JQ letterbox Vittoria St (Nov 2009) (1).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

Further to the left is this rectangular letterbox with LETTERS written in the middle. I'd say that this is at 89 Vittoria Street.

dndimg alt="Letterboxes Vittoria St" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/JQ letterbox Vittoria St (Nov 2009) (2).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

The next one is at the Unity Works at 36 - 46 Vittoria Street. The letterbox was for Henry Jenkins & Sons Ltd (their registered offices). Also Masefield & Co and Beverley Hall Ltd. It was built in 1865 as a toolmaker works. The architect was J P Osborne for  Henry Jenkins and Son.

dndimg alt="Letterboxes Vittoria St" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/JQ letterbox Vittoria St (Nov 2009) (3).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Caroline Street

Seen on New Years Day, 1st January 2013 was this letterbox on Caroline Street at what was the Registered Offices of Pickering & Mayell Limited. At the Reliance Works at 42 Caroline Street. Was a Manufactory built in the early 19th Century. With workshops to the rear.

dndimg alt="JQ letterbox Caroline St" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/JQ letterbox Caroline St (Jan 2013).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

Vyse Street

This letterbox was originally for H. Aston Ltd, but this building on Vyse Street is now the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter. Formerly two jewellery manufactories. 75 Vyse Street was built in 1909 by George E. Pepper for F. Moore. While 77 Vyse Street was built in 1914, also by Pepper. 79 Vyse Street was replaced in 1990. The site was converted into a museum in 1999.

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Spencer Street

Three letterboxes on Spencer Street in the Jewellery Quarter. The first one was originally for T. Hirschfeld.

dndimg alt="JQ letterbox Spencer St" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/JQ letterbox Spencer St (Jan 2013) (1).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

The next blue one, the name had been painted over.

dndimg alt="JQ letterbox Spencer St" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/JQ letterbox Spencer St (Jan 2013) (2).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

One more painted in black. If it had a name at the top, it was painted over so was unreadable.

dndimg alt="JQ letterbox Spencer St" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/JQ letterbox Spencer St (Jan 2013) (3).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

Photos taken by Elliott Brown. Can be found on Twitter: ellrbrown

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