My name is Adam, and I volunteer at the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter as a Heritage Interpreter. I am studying Palaeontology at the University of Birmingham, and I wanted to get some experience in working in museums, so I applied and started volunteering in October 2019.
The Museum of the Jewellery Quarter was originally a jewellery workshop owned by the Smith & Pepper manufacturing firm from 1899 to 1981. When the owners retired, they locked the doors and walked away, leaving everything behind exactly where it had been when it was still in business. This time capsule was then turned into a museum, opening in 1992.
My main role as a Heritage Interpreter at the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter is to give tours of the former office and workshop, explaining each room and describing what happened there in a fun and engaging way. I also get to demonstrate some of the techniques that were used by the jewellers who worked there, such as the Birmingham sidelight or the fly press. I love doing these tours; it has improved my ability and confidence in being an engaging public speaker. It has been really fun to learn about an area of history I knew nothing about and being able to meet and talk to new people who enjoy it as much as I do.
Volunteering at the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter is now one of the highlights of my week, and I always feel supported and encouraged by the amazing team of staff there. I am looking forward to continuing to volunteer and to develop as an engaging tour guide.
If you are interested in volunteering for Birmingham Museums then take a look at the current volunteering opportunities we have available across all our sites.