By Tony Chesters, research volunteer

43 Warstone lane is part of a terrace of four two-storey rendered brick houses built 1845-55. The Piggot-Smith map of c.1855 shows them with small rear yards and domestic outbuildings. They might have been built as domestic dewellings, but by 1887 they all had workshops in the back yards. 43-44 have had inserted continuous windows.  [1]

From 1866 the principle occupant appears to be Thomas Bloor who also stood for Birmingham Council and was a Councillor for the parish of St. Paul’s and a member of the Board of Guardians. Thomas was born in 1824 and moved to Birmingham from Derby in around 1850, he died in 1887 and is buried in Key Hill cemetery and left £575 (about £75,000 today) to his daughter in his will.

In the 1851 census he, wife and child were living at 319 New John Street West. In the 1861 census he, wife and child were living at 43 Augusta Street and employing men and boys.  In the 1881 census he is listed as a widower and spectacle maker at 43 Warstone Lane, employing 6 men and 2 boys. No. 43 is also occupied by his daughter Mary, her husband George Norton (Jeweller) and their 8 children and a 15 yr old servant, Alice Wright.

Kelly’s Trade directory listings for 43 Warstone Lane:

1866 Thomas Bloor – Eye Glass Maker – “home” listing in 1868 electoral role

1867 Thomas Bloor (P.O. directory)

1873 – 1941 Thomas Bloor – Gold Spectacles Maker then Jeweller business continued after Thomas’s death by his son in law George Henry Norton and later his grandchildren Thomas and Harry Norton.

There is a family plot in Key Hill Cemetery (for further information see JQRT website)

Died 1872    Mary BLOOR

Died 1887    Thomas BLOOR

Died 1913    Mary NORTON (daughter of Thomas)

1919    George Henry NORTON (husband of Mary)


Building timeline


John Russell, Silversmith

1866- 1941

Thomas Bloor, Gold Spectacle maker

1872 - 1912

George Henry Norton, Jeweller (son in law of Thomas Bloor)

1896 - 1905

George Harvey, Wholesale Jeweller

1899 - 1900

James Henry Silvers, Wholesale Jeweller

1903 - 04

Bernard Albert Peddlingham, Gem Setter

1908 - 12

Henry Duckworth, Engraver (shop)

1906 - 32

William Joseph Timmins Goldsmith Factor \ wholesale jeweller


Auther Enward Smith, Gem Setter


Miriam Whyatt, Purse Lining Manufacture

1932 - 41

Charles Frederick Smith, Gem Setter - 1st floor workshop

1938 - 40

Edward Samuel Harris, Gem Setter

1940 - 45

Benjamin A Clay, Gem cutter/polisher -basement and 1st floor


Mrs Lucy M Bray, (New Owner) Ground floor - Watchmakers

1941 - 45

Harry & Thomas Norton 1st floor - Sons of George Norton


John T. Abbott
Thomas Bray


Prima Casting Co, Manufacturing Jewellers


Jamie Harrison & Sons, Polishing & Finishing
D Rubin, Wholesale Jeweller

pre 1960

J Morgan & S Shaw then Shaw Bros. (B'ham) Ltd

2005 -

Diamond Dealer Direct Ltd.