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From the evidence available, trace the development of the Jewellery Quarter in the city of Birmingham. In what way is it unique?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

From the evidence available, trace the development of the Jewellery Quarter in the city of Birmingham. In what way is it unique? The Jewellery Quarter is one of the most famous places in Birmingham and is well-known all over the country. Many people choose to have their jewellery made there rather than in any other place. Princess Diana's wedding ring was even made there. The Jewellery Quarter did not just develop overnight however. It took many years to get the Jewellery Quarter to the place where it is now. In the Jewellery Quarter, many items are produced, including chains, bracelets, lockets and rings made out of gold, silver or platinum. Jewellery was also repaired and valued there. (See source 2 - Adverts found in the Jewellery Quarter). The Jewellery Quarter is situated in the area of Hockley in Birmingham, north-west of the city centre. Some of the streets in the Jewellery Quarter are Carver Street, Ludgate Hill, Charlotte Street, Caroline Street and George Street. The land where the Jewellery Quarter is now situated was originally owned by the Colmore family who were from Tournai in France. The father was called William Colmore, and he worked as a cloth merchant, selling and buying cloth. The family, however, made most of their money through astute speculations in land over two centuries. Anne Colmore, who was a member of the Colmore family, obtained a private Act of Parliament in 1746 which allowed her to carve up the land, separating plots in the entire Newhall estate, and grant building leases. After this, brass founders, buckle-makers, button manufacturers, gunsmiths, jewellers and many toy makers moved into the area. According to Bradford's map, 1750, the area of the Jewellery Quarter was very sparsely populated. The area was quite rural, with few roads and the land was divided into plots. This was nothing like the rest of Birmingham, which was densely populated and had many roads (See source 3, Bradford's map, 1750). ...read more.

Middle

In the Jewellery Quarter, people would set up workshops in their homes, and as people worked and lived in the cellars, we can regard this source as useful when looking at the living conditions in the Jewellery Quarter. However, this source can also be seen as not very useful. If we look at the source, it shows Newhall Street and St. Paul's Square which are both places in the Jewellery Quarter, but the source states that these were areas in which the wealthy lived. Therefore, it can be said that this source is not really very useful when looking at living conditions in the Jewellery Quarter as it only looks at the living conditions of wealthy people in the Jewellery Quarter and not the living conditions of the poor people, and for all we know, this could have been a large portion of people living in the Jewellery Quarter. It can also be seen as not very useful as it looks at workshops in the cellars of the Bull Ring and not workshops in the Jewellery Quarter. As we already know, in the Jewellery Quarter, people set up workshops in the rooms of their houses and they didn't usually rent cellars in which to set up their workshops. This means that we can not assume that workshops in the Jewellery Quarter will have these same conditions; therefore it can be seen as not useful. In 1844, the Colmore family's ninety nine year lease ran out. When this happened, the Colmore family knocked down the slum housing and built new houses in its place, therefore renewing the area of the Jewellery Quarter. Therefore, it is likely that the living conditions after this were better than in most of Birmingham, but we do not know for sure. It could have been the case that the rest of Birmingham had similar conditions or that it was even better. ...read more.

Conclusion

Another example of an area with a wide socio-economic diversity is Small Heath in Birmingham, where wealthy people and poorer people mingle and live side by side. In the Jewellery Quarter today, the same tools are still being used, as were being used in the 18th Century. Jewellers in the Jewellery Quarter still use bow drills, hacksaws, anvils and punches, and many similar old tools, whereas all the other companies are now using machinery, computers and robots. We came across Turley's Jewellery Repair Shop at site 14, and we noticed that the exact same tools were used as shown in Source (?) - an 18th Century jeweller at his workbench. The same style curved bench was used and the same tools were used. This makes the Jewellery Quarter unique, as no one else still uses the same tools that were used 200 years ago. All other companies use machinery. The Jewellery Quarter is unique in many ways. The Jewellery Quarter has not really changed, and looks almost the same as it did 200 years ago. The jewellers still work in small workshops, do not produce jewellery on a large scale, and use the same tools that were used over two hundred years ago. No other companies do this, as thy have all upgraded to machinery. During the Recession in 1920, people could not afford to buy jewellery anymore, meaning business slowed incredibly. As business slowed, jewellers moved out and closed down their shops. However, this picked back up again and the Jewellery Quarter is now doing very well. New roads have been built and some of the old buildings are being turned into apartments, but very little has changed. The Jewellery Quarter is a living museum. The Jewellery Quarter is like a step into the past. The tools have not changed, the methods of making Jewellery have not changed, and the aims have not changed. The most unique factor of the Jewellery Quarter however, is that it is the only place where the whole community is geared towards the production of Jewellery. ?? ?? ?? ?? Iram Naaz Qureshi 10.1.1/10JCH Mr Hemphill 1 ...read more.

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