by Marie Haddleton
In 1998 Brian Jones visited The Hockley Flyer offices to tell us about his idea to open a Pen Museum to display the artefacts he had collected over many years and to inform the world of the wonderful heritage of manufacturing pens and pen nibs as part of the story of The Jewellery Quarter, and of course Birmingham, and to set this museum in an original pen/pen nib factory. (The Argent Centre).
We were of course excited about this idea and Brian soon collected many followers and volunteers. The Museum earned Brian an MBE, and has won many awards.
The Pen Room is a Registered Charity and its President is Professor Carl Chinn MBE, Vice Presidents are Sir Adrian Cadbury, Professor Sir David Cannadine and Dr Malcolm Dick.
All the information collected by Brian needed recording and he started work on his book, which was finally published in January 2014. Many events were planned to launch the book and when Brian died suddenly just a couple of weeks before these could take place, it was decided to still carry on as a memorial to his wonderful work.
(Brian quoted: ‘I am so pleased to be able, at last, to write and give you the good news that the book is now available. It has been a long process from researching and writing to publication but now we have an excellent result, the journey has been worthwhile’).
- 11 February 2014, Tuesday – launch at the Pen Museum 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Presentation on the Book and a talk by John Berkeley former Chairman of Brandauer, one of the 12 former major pen companies followed by a tour of the Pen Museum.
- Talk by Professor Carl Chinn in the Studio Theatre, New Library of Birmingham (date to be arranged)
- 1 March 2014, Saturday – Book Launch and sale at Library of Birmingham – Spotlight Area in the foyer, including Braille and Calligraphy workshop 11 a.m – 4 p.m.
- 21 June 2014 Presentation at University of Birmingham, Arts Building, History Day 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. (usual charge by University for this event).
Comments Received to date at The Hockley Flyer:
‘How sad – please pass on the Leader’s condolences to the family.’
Email from Cllr Sir Albert Bore’s office, Leader, Birmingham City Council.
‘I am shocked and deeply saddened by this most unhappy news. I admired Brian as a fellow historian and for his determination, dedication, perseverance and talent; but I also held him as a dear friend, whose friendship I valued. I know how much his loss will be felt by all of you and as his close friends I send you my deepest and heartfelt sympathy. Please pass on my condolences on to Edna and her family.
God Bless Professor Carl Chinn’
‘ It is with great regret that we have to tell you that, after leaving the Pen Museum yesterday evening, Brian Jones collapsed and died unexpectedly.
Our thoughts are with Edna and their family at this time’.
Larry Hanks (Chair)
‘ Brian was one of the nicest blokes that I have ever met and will be a sad loss to the Jewellery Quarter’.
‘That is sad indeed, I met Brian a couple of times; he was always charming and passionate about the Pen Room, which will be the poorer without him. He will no doubt be welcome as a scribe ‘upstairs’.
‘People, Pens and Production – in the Birmingham Steel Pen Trade. by Brian Jones MBE.
- 368 pages – 272 illustrations.
- Available from The Pen Room, Amazon and at book stores.
- Price: £14.95.
- Contact: 0121 236 9834.
- Website: www.penroom.co.uk.