Editorial February 2020

By the time You read this, the Spring Fair will be over (what no snow!), the birds are starting to sing, first buds appearing on shrubs and trees and bulbs are shoving their way up through the rather soggy soil. and of course, we have St Valentine’s Day when love is in the air. We have a wedding in our family in a few weeks’ time down in Cornwall – my granddaughter – but sadly, because of my disability, I cannot get there – but – thanks to magic of the internet – I will be able to follow everything from up here in Birmingham.

Our Museums, (the Jewellery Quarter Museum, The Pen Room; The Coffin Works, J.W. Evans Silver Works, and now The Hive (in the Old Standard Works) are all ticking along nicely and of course, the cemeteries are being renovated – we mustn’t forget the Clock being refurbished as well plus, of course, many more restaurants opening up.

It is exciting to see the clock being restored again – it isn’t long since the last time – and towers are being fixed to the Argent Centre. We also have the Birmingham Fun Run in the late spring – hope all our ‘works’ will be completed in time!

There are near enough 200 Grade 2 Listed buildings within the Jewellery Quarter but very few blue or even brown plaques – amazing really and we do need more green spaces – would be great to get the Crimean Gardens restored at Summerhill Crescent. I tried a few years ago but one department of the Council made it impossible at the time – at least there could be a commemorative plaque put there and some better planting? Quite recently, a man was stopped from digging up one of the cemetery’s interpretation plates – what’s the matter with these people?

Still no real news about the AE Harris site – I feel really sad for the employees of Baker & Finnemore who may be forced to either move to Yorkshire or lose their jobs. Wouldn’t it have been lovely for the A E Harris site (or the Mr Tyre site) to have become our very own JQ Park?

There are many thousands of residents three schools and a University here and the only ‘open’ areas are a graveyard and two listed cemeteries.
We have some very interesting features lined up for our Heritage pages in 2020, and it seems that every story I uncover leads to the discovery of more unrecorded firms, although they were well-known in their time but now in danger of being forgotten forever if they are not recorded soon, or of course run the risk of being recorded unprofessionally or even inaccurately by well-intentioned volunteers!

Our database has many, many stories of businesses and individuals and all events over the past 30 years are recorded in the Hockley Flyer magazines, including all the many Regeneration projects, Grants, Planning/Conservation, Charters, Festivals, Setting up of Museums, galleries, etc.

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