In it’s early history, No.35 Warstone Lane was a home and then had mixed uses as a home and business. The first business uses were not connected with the Jewellery trade, with the building occupied by a Draper and then a Painter and Grainer, but since 1873 it has been occupied by a succession of jewellery- related businesses. For much of it’s time it has been typical of many properties in the area with a shop frontage and offices\workshops on the upper floors in multiple occupancy.
William Arthur Tongue, who was born in Birmingham in 1857, was a long term tenant at No. 35; trade directories and rate books place him there from at least 1888 to 1921. He had a workshop on the 1st floor from where he traded as a gem setter.
Tongue married a woman called Alice and had 5 children. They lived in a rented house in Erdington (Doris House, 174 Reservoir Road). His only son, Horace Charles, was also a gem setter and was living at home in Erdington aged 29 in 1911, along with four daughters, (manager, teacher, typist and clerk) aged 26,24,18 and 15.
Horace was still living at home in Erdington in 1920, aged 38, but has gone by 1925. William continued to live there until his death in 1926, leaving an estate worth £125 12s to his son Horace.
Tongue was a common name in the area, with 81 burials recorded in Warstone Lane and Key Hill, including William and his wife Alice , in Warstone Lane Cemetery, plot A445.
Building occupied by Aleck Mackie, a draper
Building occupied William Simkin, a painter & grainer
Building occupied by Samuel Dudley, a chaser & embosser, and also served as a family home
Building occupied by Thomas Hilton, a spectacles maker
Building occupied by Alfred Peel, a silver locket manufacturer
First floor office occupied by William Arthur Tongue, a gem setter
Ground floor occupied by Martin Cunningham, who ran a retail shop
First floor office occupied by Leonard Joseph Taylor, a silversmith
Building occupied by Patrick Quinn, who used it as refreshment rooms
Building occupied by Harry Candelent, who was an engraver
Ground floor occupied by Patrick Zuinn, who ran a shop
Richard Ward had an office on the second floor
Harold C Hutchinson had an office on the second floor
William Arthur Wolley had an office on the second floor
Building occupied by William Gross, who was a silversmith
Building occupied by Thomas Newby, who was an engraver
Building occupied by an electroplating business owned by Earnest Edward Whiston
Building occupied by Joseph Whitlock
Building occupied by Myer Jays, a silversmith
First floor occupied by Earnest George Ford
First floor occupied by Charles Uling Sorby
Ground floor occupied by Sutherland Metal Co Ltd
Building occupied by Joseph I Hazeldine
Ground floor occupied by Henry Radcliffe & Co Ltd
First and second floor occupied by S H Shipway & Doble
Building occupied by Warstone Mint
Building occupied by Aspire Diamonds, diamond ring specialists
Birmingham Evening Mail advert, December 1990