Web
Analytics
Report - - The Gothic Works Jewellers / Marmoset Nightclub Birmingham, | Industrial Sites | Page 2 | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - The Gothic Works Jewellers / Marmoset Nightclub Birmingham,


Tiffie

28DL Member
28DL Member
As I'm sure many of you are aware Birmingham was the hub of the Jewellery trade in Britain for many years. Most of the city's factories were in what is now known as the "Jewellery Quarter" which is an area peppered with small independent workshops making everything from watch cases to earrings, trophies and fine tableware.

I've struggled to find out much about the buildings early history. Most of the buildings around this area of Birmingham were built in the 1860's, and were designed to have a shop at ground level with workshops above. This building seems to have been laid out in such a fashion. Particularly lavish for a workshop, the building boasts some very nice plasterwork and carpentry on it's staircases. Originally my best guess is most of the upstairs was workshops, with a trade counter at the top floor, served by a hatch in a door. Here original racking and safes can still be seen, along with a dispenser for wrapping paper.

In about 1963 the first floor was occupied by the 'marmoset nightclub', which was an executive club for "the discerning". The ripped up photos of scantily clad dolly birds may add an insight as to the kind of club the marmoset was. My guess is it closed some time in the late 60's and other than the shop below being used as a cafe and a couple of floors above being used as offices the greater part of the building has been disused ever since.

The floor above, which was the original office to the jewellers had been used as the clubs office. This whole floor had been plaster boarded off some time in the early 70's and only a tiny hole allowed access... the whole place was a time capsule, kind of like if you dropped an imperial tonne of pigeon crap on the black country museum.

I worked at the Marmoset. Just 18 and at college I got a job as a weekend barmaid. The year is 1965. I recall in those days the bar area, which is shown in the images, having lots of ornaments on glass shelves, which the staff cleaned and polished before the rush. And, rush it was when the club got busy (11.00 p.m. ish). It was owned/run by two middle-aged gentlemen, Wilf Bennett and Henry Bloomfield (Bloomfelt?). Wilf was separated from his wife, but Henry had a live in girlfriend, Jean, , as well a second lady who worked at the club, Jackie/Jacquie, who was determined to rid herself of an unsightful tatoo on her forearm. As has been rightly said, the upper floor was used as an office, I have no recollection as the usage of the ground floor. It was the days of mini-skirts, so I think the phrase scantilly clad is a misnomer. It was evening dress mid-sixties.
The club was named after Wilf's Marmoset pet monkeys. I saw them once,- cruel really, they were kept in a small cage at his hairdresser's shop on Newtown Row and only let out now and again. because they pee'd /defecated everywhere and could not be house trained.
All types frequented the club. I recall celebrities (in their day), such as Simon Smith and Jimmy Hill, as well as 'professional' ladies. There may have been more, but in particular I recall a slender girl, Margaret, who was later found dead in an alleyway, (don't think her murder was ever solved) and Brenda, the daughter of a bookmaker who would appear whenever certain gentlemen were in town. Bert in particular (from Slough). I think they were perhaps friends of Wilf.
CID were frequent visitors. Don't think they were party to any misdemenours. The only unlawful activity as far as I can recall was Wilf doing time for non payment of alimony to his ex. wife. Don't know what happened to Henry.
One thing I do recall is the mass exodus to a neighbouring pub where they were putting on an 'Adult Show'. When the customers returned, we struggled to cope.! Didn't know what went on. Still don't. Although fair to say I have a rough idea. Still, fond memories though Marmoset 1965.

ny further information.
 

jimmyray

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Absolutely love this and amazing post from Tiffie there.
I bet if someone took the time to dig through the pigeon (and other) crap, there would be a few interesting finds.
I guess it will sadly all end up in a skip though
 

Bikin Glynn

28DL Regular User
Regular User
Absolutely love this and amazing post from Tiffie there.
I bet if someone took the time to dig through the pigeon (and other) crap, there would be a few interesting finds.
I guess it will sadly all end up in a skip though
As the post is from 2014 I'm guessing it already has
 

Rosary_Boy

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
As I'm sure many of you are aware Birmingham was the hub of the Jewellery trade in Britain for many years. Most of the city's factories were in what is now known as the "Jewellery Quarter" which is an area peppered with small independent workshops making everything from watch cases to earrings, trophies and fine tableware.

I've struggled to find out much about the buildings early history. Most of the buildings around this area of Birmingham were built in the 1860's, and were designed to have a shop at ground level with workshops above. This building seems to have been laid out in such a fashion. Particularly lavish for a workshop, the building boasts some very nice plasterwork and carpentry on it's staircases. Originally my best guess is most of the upstairs was workshops, with a trade counter at the top floor, served by a hatch in a door. Here original racking and safes can still be seen, along with a dispenser for wrapping paper.

In about 1963 the first floor was occupied by the 'marmoset nightclub', which was an executive club for "the discerning". The ripped up photos of scantily clad dolly birds may add an insight as to the kind of club the marmoset was. My guess is it closed some time in the late 60's and other than the shop below being used as a cafe and a couple of floors above being used as offices the greater part of the building has been disused ever since.

The floor above, which was the original office to the jewellers had been used as the clubs office. This whole floor had been plaster boarded off some time in the early 70's and only a tiny hole allowed access... the whole place was a time capsule, kind of like if you dropped an imperial tonne of pigeon crap on the black country museum.

great pictures some bird shit in that one room tho lol
 

westernsultan

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Found this from Sandra Yorke within the site Birmingham Nightclubs of the past - memories "Henry Bloomfield was my husband died 1979. He was diabetic with complications, susceptible to infections these were not miner but major,I nursed him for 5 yrs ,he was a great tailor and business man,. Henry came from London Jewish family very affluent,Russian & Polish immigrants. We lived Bristol Rd, Edgbaston"
 

jimmyray

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Found this from Sandra Yorke within the site Birmingham Nightclubs of the past - memories "Henry Bloomfield was my husband died 1979. He was diabetic with complications, susceptible to infections these were not miner but major,I nursed him for 5 yrs ,he was a great tailor and business man,. Henry came from London Jewish family very affluent,Russian & Polish immigrants. We lived Bristol Rd, Edgbaston"
As the post is from 2014 I'm guessing it already has
Ha! Didn't even notice!
I guess it's a coffee shop or similar now then
 

Similar threads


Top