Jewellery Quarter Cemeteries Memories Campaign

Key Hill Cemetery c. 1960 donated to project by Peter Vickers

By Josie Wall

NOTE: EVENT IS NOW POSTPONED

A chance to share your memories of the historic Jewellery Quarter cemeteries or make new ones at an upcoming event on 25th April 2020 from 1pm to 3pm in Warstone Lane Cemetery.

Key Hill and Warstone Lane cemeteries have been part of people’s lives in the Jewellery Quarter for generations, and lots of people have memories to share. The Jewellery Quarter Cemeteries Project is calling out for people who have a connection to the cemeteries to share their personal recollections which will form part of an exciting event.

From residents and people who work or study in the Quarter, to others who have simply visited for a stroll, event, or tour; the project is on the lookout for anyone that has a special connection to these unique spaces.

You may think that your memory of the cemeteries isn’t unusual, but every recollection is important because it adds to the picture of what Key Hill and Warstone Lane mean to the community. So far the project has heard from relatives who visit to bring flowers, local workers who nip in to eat their lunch on sunny days, volunteers and council staff with many tales to tell; and even an author who used names from the gravestones as inspirations for characters in a novel.

The project is gathering recollections, stories, and images of the cemeteries online over the coming months in the run up to the event and hope to learn many more on the day.

They want to know why these historic cemeteries are special to you, what your memories of them are and how you hope they will be used in the future. If you would like to share a memory or photo of the cemetery, please email josie.wall@jqdt.org, use the hashtag #JQCemeteryMemories on social media or come along on the day.

The event itself, will be a celebration of all the stories and historic images that have been gathered throughout the campaign. In the setting of Warstone Lane Cemetery, you’ll hear these stories and have the chance to make new ones by getting creative and adding a memory on to the ‘Tree of Life’.

The Friends of Key Hill Cemetery and Warstone Lane Cemetery will be in attendance with a stall, and there will be a display about Jewellery Quarter Research Trust. Birmingham and Black Country Wildlife Trust will also be running events as part of the global City Nature Challenge campaign.

The collective memories gathered throughout the campaign and the event will then be used to inspire a new piece of poetry by Birmingham Poet Laureate Richard O’Brien. The poem will be unveiled at the end of the restoration work, due to be completed in Summer 2020.
To keep up to date with the #JQCemeteryMemories campaign, follow the Jewellery Quarter Cemeteries Project on twitter and Instagram @JQCemeteries.

About the Jewellery Quarter Cemeteries Project:
A £2.3 million restoration to Key Hill and Warstone Lane cemeteries funded through a partnership between Birmingham City Council, The National Lottery Heritage Fund, and the Jewellery Quarter Development Trust. This project aims to restore the cemeteries to their former glory and protect them for future generations. Alongside the restoration work, there will also be an extensive programme of events celebrating their heritage, natural environment, and community value.

Further information:
T: 0121 233 2814
W: www.jewelleryquarter.net/about/jewellery-quarter-cemeteries-project

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