The sun shone as we stepped off the coach into the delightful Georgian Square of St Paul’s, the church of the Jewellery Quarter. The sunlight reflected off the gems we saw in a myriad jewellery shops along our heritage trail. We visited the School of Jewellery, where we were guided round the final degree show exhibition by the students who were on a range of courses including the BA Honour Degree, HND 2 year courses, or Jewellery for Industry courses. We viewed some traditional jewellery and also some very modern, challenging pieces as well.
At the Pen Museum, dedicated to the pen nib manufacturing trade and all manner of different forms of communication, we used the fly presses to make a nib. We heard that women in the mid 1800’s could be doing up to 50,000 reps a day on the blanking process, and this was for 10 hours a day, 5 days a week. Birmingham once supplied over seventy five percent of all the world’s nibs from this small area in Hockley. We had a very special experience when Paul Nicholls who is registered blind, gave the girls a fascinating insight into the world of Braille. At the Pen Museum, Mr. Hands received a compliment from some of the visitors there, on the conduct and courtesy of our girls. We hope that it was a truly enriching experience for the girls.