On Monday I managed to have a look inside the Excelda Works on Rookery Rd which has been empty for years. As part of the neighbourhood management programme I have been working with residents and local partners to map out empty spaces/buildings and what we call “grot spots”. These are areas where we get a high number of complaints mainly due to environmental issues e.g. dumped rubbish.
Several months ago Deborah Parsons, Environmental Warden requested some help to clean up the outside of the building where litter from the street had built up and help cut back the overgrown shurbs. This work was done by are wonderful FJF trainees who left the building looking much cleaner from the front.
Excelda Works was I think built around the 1930s and has been used for various manufacturing industries since it opened? The frontage of the entrance to the building really stands out on Rookery Rd amongst what is now becoming quite a modern and busy shopping area.
The building isn’t listed currently? It is also quite hard to find any information about it’s history.
Can you Help
It would be great to hear from any one with any old photos or stories to share?
Do you know someone that worked at Excelda?
To see more of the images from our site visit follow the link to flickr by clicking here
Don James worked there for 6 months in 1965. he doesn’t have a computer but says you can phone him for a chat 0121 551 3348 – evenings only.
Many Thanks Sue I will get in touch with him next week Tracey
This was the works of W.H.Collins Silverware.Mostly small items such as spoons,rattles,teething rings.
I have just bought a thimble on e-bay and believe it is by joseph thomas collins and william henry collins.Just looked them up and it says excelda works handsworth 1856.This is for Tracey.
March 27th, 2011. I have a reprinted extract from ‘Goldsmiths Journal’, March 1927, a feature was written on the history of W H Collins & Co, Excelda Works, Rookery Road, Handsworth. It says the business was started about 60 years previously by Walter Collins. The feature shows a picture of my great grandfather, Edward Marston,aged 75, at work, apparently the boss would send his driver to collect him to help with seasonal demands. My grandfather is stated as a ‘jeweller’ or gold cutter’ on all census’ from 1871 to 1911. I have the engagement and wedding rings of my grandmother, made by my great grandfather.
Hi Lisa thanks for the message that sounds really interesting it is good to get some more information about the building which has been forgotten. We have a local community magazine for Handsworth I was wondereing if we could put a story together and get it published in one of the forthcoming editions. Is so maybe we could meet up email me on firstname.lastname@example.org
Hello Lisa I believe that we may be cousin as i also have a greatgrandfather call Edward charles Marston that is photographed in the Goldsmiths Journal I have done part of our Family tree and was wondering what you maiden name is. It would be nice to make contact with yourself.
I have a gold tie pin made by W.H.C. which has the Birmingham hallmark for 1908. It has a sapphire and diamonds. It also has an engraved serial number and some other marks that could be the jeweller who made it. Did Edward Marston sign his jewelry?
I have recently been given, (as an item for a Tombola Stall) an unused Rolled Gold Propelling Pencil still in it’s box and complete with instructions. These show that the pencil was manufactured by:-
W.H. Collins & Co Ltd.,
As i feel that this is too valuable for a tombola stall, I started looking on the Internet, starting with Excelda Works and immediately came to the Hands on Handsworth page. Hope you find this helpful.
19th March 2018. I have been looking through my wife’s late mothers jewellery and I found a 9ct gold blouse brooch with the W.H.C stamp and a chester mark of B for 1902! This would make it out of sink with the dates given above and wonder if they were in business before. The brooch came from Scotland. From the info that they dealt in silver and were into small childrens things. I don’t know if this site is dead, but wait to see if anyone responds.
I have a Life-Long rolled gold propelling pencil, inscribed with the date 22.6.63, which was given to my late husband by a work colleague and have the leaflet giving ‘Directions for Use’which states that it was made in England and manufactured by W.H. Collins & Co. Ltd., Excelda Works, Rookery Road, Birmingham 21. Unfortunately, many years ago I borrowed the pencil and dropped it which broke off half of the clip. My husband was not very happy but merely said “What a pity, that has rather spoilt it”. Unfortunately the lower half of the broken clip was lost so the pencil is a permanent reminder of my sin!
You could try contacting Mr Michael Collins at 56 Farquhar Road Edgbaston B15?His grandfather was W H Collins who I think set up the jewellery factory
Leave a comment