Andy has worked in the Jewellery Quarter in many guises over the last 20 years. Before partial retirement, he was Operations Director for the Jewellery Quarter Regeneration Partnership for ten years overseeing the regeneration of the area. He is currently a trustee at The Pen Museum and gives talks about Birmingham including the Jewellery Quarter and the Balti Triangle, which was the subject of his book ‘Going For A Balti’. We emailed him to ask what his first memories of visiting the cemeteries were:

‘Never having been to the JQ before starting work in 2000, I was fascinated by the leafy and peaceful seclusion of Key Hill surrounded as it is by buildings and industry, and the dark foreboding atmosphere of the Warstone Lane Catacombs. Also it may have been the time of year but the moss on Alfred Bird’s headstone had turned the colour of custard!’

We visited Alfred Bird’s grave this week to check – but despite the dry weather there was no custard coloured moss at the moment! You can learn more about Bird and his custard in this blog post.

Jewellery Quarter Cemeteries Project


On 25th November 2021, Olivia Swinscoe @oliviagracephoto ran a photography workshop for Year 10 pupils from City Academy @corecity_acad. The group were each given a disposable camera with 27 shots, to capture themes of life and death such as 'movement and stillness', 'light and shadow' and 'public cemetery, private grief' while exploring Key Hill and Warstone Lane Cemeteries.
This video contains just a selection of the best photos taken by Year 10.

Explore the Gothic side of the Jewellery Quarter with Tour Guide Ian Braisby before warming up at the Shakespeare Inn & rounding off the afternoon with a candlelit tour of @coffin_works museum.
A unique experience on Sun 5th Dec from 2pm-6pm. Tickets £20:

Is it too early to talk about Christmas?
We hope not because we're getting really excited about 'Christmas Classics at the Catacombs' with @voiceofthetown choir on 2nd December at 4.30pm
Free event - Christmas songs, project thank yous & festive raffle!

Explore the Jewellery Quarter Cemeteries & discover the stories which link the area to the world, through the history of the British Empire.

Carrying on the work begun during the #2Visions2Legacies project, we have a new tour exploring Colonial Connections in the Jewellery Quarter Cemeteries. Join us for FREE on the 27th or 28th November:

This project is possible because of funding from: