One of the Jewellery Quarter’s hidden treasures has been awarded a grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund to encourage more people to visit it – and we want you to be involved. The workshops of the JW Evans Silver Factory are crammed with intricate tools and presses, preserved as though the workers have just clocked off for the day. It’s a rare survivor from an era when master craftsmen at small specialist family firms produced a vast amount of fine jewellery, silverware and metalwork. At one time, 70,000 people were employed in the trade in Birmingham, and the city was known as ‘the workshop of the world’.
The factory closed in 2008 and English Heritage has cared for the factory since 2010. Now, with help from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, we’re exploring how we can open it up to more people than ever before. James brings to life through a talk and exhibition, the significance of Victorian photography. Detectives have used secret cameras as long as the technology has been available. But it wouldn’t have been as simple as connecting you camera to a computer and uploading footage. Harold Evans, son of JW Evans was a keen photographer, and we get an idea of the way the he would have to take pictures with equipment which is very different to our modern technologies. You will also get to see some vintage photographic equipment, and an exhibition about the subjects James talks to us about.
Please note, we are offering these free events as part of an exciting feasibility study for JW Evans, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund. Thanks to this funding, we can carry out extensive and wide-reaching consultation and a comprehensive feasibility study to explore the variety of ways in which this important site of industrial heritage could be both enjoyed by a wider range of people and also used to benefit the local community. We will be evaluating the events we are providing, and as such attendees will be photographed, filmed and asked to help us evaluate the event they have attended. Booking onto this event confirms you are happy for this to happen, and you understand that the nature of this factory site means uneven floor surfaces and unregulated temperatures.