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Jewellery Quarter Research Trust


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Our Trustees

Doug Wilks Trustee and Chair

Doug, who is married to Pauline, worked for many years as a design engineer, studied music and was a church musician before entering the ministry in 1982. Ordained in 1988 he served both as a local church Minister and as a Chaplain to a number of nursing and residential homes. In 2003 he took up his current position as Chaplain with the Community Churches Alliance. He is very interested in local history, heritage and family history.

Louise Deakin Trustee and Media Director

Louise Deakin worked for 9 years in Bookselling until taking up a position at Soho House Museum in 2014. Louise has volunteered at several local historic buildings including Winterbourne House, Birmingham Back to Backs and carried out research for Newman Brothers Coffin Works. She has also worked on behalf of Heritage Lottery and Birmingham City Council on the Stirchley Baths project. She is co-founder of Stirchley Hour on twitter and Waterstones Tales from History season.   

Sue Chilton Trustee and Treasurer

Born 1952 in Loveday Street, with the exception of 4 years in Herefordshire I have always lived in Birmingham,  educated in Harborne and Edgbaston. Over the years I have been treasurer of several charitable organisations - it seems to go with the territory of being a Chartered Accountant - also have an accountancy practice in the Jewellery Quarter. Now that my four children are fledged I can spend more time indulging my interests including social, natural and local history, and the WI.

The Jewellery Quarter Research Trust was established in 2010 by Dick Empson and Doug Wilks following their resignation from the Friends. It was decided that membership should be free and the resources should be available to members and non-members without charge. Dick organised most of the research and researchers but sadly died in 2013 so that task has for now passed to Doug Wilks.

The Jewellery Quarter Research Trust [JQRT] is a not for profit trust whose aim is to research the history and times of people and places in and around Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter particularly the two historic cemeteries at Key Hill and Warstone Lane.

The Grade II* and Grade II cemeteries are an important part of Birmingham's history and heritage but more than that they are a valuable lesson to teach and inspire young and old of the skills and opportunities that still exist in this great city.

The JQRT already provides families, researchers, academics and students with searchable databases, biographical and cultural information and is part of a Heritage Lottery Fund bid to develop and widen its activities.

The cemeteries are the last resting place of eight of Birmingham mayors, of alderman, councillors, M.P.s, industrialists, ministers, politicians, a holder of the Victoria Cross and many hero's of war and of reform, a British royal ancestor and the son of an aboriginal king, and of tens of thousands of people who, by their skills and determination helped make Birmingham the great city it is today.


The JQRT works with many other organisations including other trusts, councils, universities, libraries and museums. The JQRT has already created a new database of listed build and is in the process of adding information about Jewellery Quarters churches.

About The JQRT

Russ Mulholland Trustee and Research Director

Russ has a degree in History and English from the University of Birmingham and worked for nearly thirty years in Mental Health services. Since retirement he has pursued his interest in history. Russ has a passionate interest in the history of Birmingham particularly of its working people and their lives. His role for the JQRT is to facilitate research in the unique Jewellery Quarter and its Cemeteries - a role which Russ finds challenging and fascinating work!