In Birmingham's Jewellery Quarter is a building full of fantastic historical features, not least the ghost signs painted along its front and side facades. Pickering and Mayell Ltd was founded in 1913, not as a jeweller but rather to make the packaging in which other firms' jewellery was supplied. Twenty years ago, it merged with the Pickering Group and it still supplies its products to clients ranging from Argos to luxury brands.
Their original premises began life in the early nineteenth century as a pair of homes. The style of the building, and features such as the doorframe, are continuing evidence of those beginnings. To its rear are purpose-built workshops.
The building is Grade II listed; and included in the listing text is its wonderful window panel bearing the company name and street number.
Another distinctive feature is the cast-iron letterbox with its unusual semi-circular shape. This design is characteristic of the Jewellery Quarter, with a number of surviving examples to be found.
Inevitably, my favourite feature is the street sign! Not only the name, but also the cast iron sign itself, are fantastic. The crescent heads on the cast-iron railings are another local style.
Pickering and Mayell are no longer at these premises, however. They have moved into the building of the Talbot Group a little way down the road.
This building is a wonderful piece of the Jewellery Quarter's past. Let's hope it has a happy future.