Shipton & Co in Spencer Street

Bert Shipton.

My sister-in-law recently bought a copy of ‘The Jewellery Quarter’ it has brought back many memories for me.

This book, also your ‘The Chamberlain Clock’ and ‘The Hockley Flyer’ reminds me of my time in The Jewellery Quarter and the College of Arts & Crafts in ‘town’ which I attended, after leaving school and first started making jewellery under Mr Cuthbertson (1944), an excellent teacher.

At this time my mother had found me employment at Shipton & Co in Spencer Street, a jewellery producing firm and gem stone dealers, so I moved to the Vittoria Jewellery School.

Here I attended jewellery as well as watch repairing classes as at Shiptons watch cases often needed repairs.

Also at the Jewellery School I took the Gemmology Course held by Mr Norman Harper and qualified as Gemmologist F.G.A, also during a holiday in Germany I passed the German Gemmology Exam. and later studied in Switzerland.

Altogether I was only 8 years at Shiptons (with a 2 year break for military service – Berlin Airlift). Shiptons was a good schooling for me for the mounting, setting and polishing of the items I made which I handled from start to finish.

Robin Wacker at Shiptons (1952).

At Shiptons we celebrated the return of ‘Con’ Shipton from the forces, also the firm organised bus trips to Blackpool for the employees, not forgetting the activities at Christmas in the building itself!

Shiptons was run by Mr ‘Bert’ Shipton (a good employer), his father and until his untimely death, Mr ‘Con’ Shipton.

I am including some photos which may be of interest to you for your studies of ‘past times’. I am still interested in Jewellery and Gemmology and I still have my tools which I used in those days for I always used my own, mainly bought at Suttons.

This letter is a result from reading your book about the Jewellery Quarter and the memories it brings back even after 60 odd years. I’m now 81 years old.

I moved to Germany in 1963 with my wife who was the German O’pair in the house next to me in Edgbaston and was 31 years in the Pathological Institute in Wungburg.

Robin Wacker, Guntersleben, Germany.

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