One part of Birmingham that is not featured on the walking tour is the famous Jewellery Quarter, but not because there is nothing to see there. In all honesty I’ve considered extending the tour to take in a few Jewellery Quarter locations but they are a little too far away from the highlights of the main tour route to cover them in the same day without doubling the length and duration of the tour.
I’ve been tweeted twice today about possible filming sightings in the Jewellery Quarter so I’ve decided to create a section on this site to cover the main locations and the shows that used them.
UPDATE: Quarter Life Magazine, Volume 3 features some of the locations listed below and gives this site and me a lovely contributor credit too.
I’ll list the shows in order and the locations they used (to my knowledge anyway) to give you an idea of how popular a location the Jewellery Quarter is with TV and film makers.
Gangsters (BBC) – 1976
After a successful outing in the Play for Today series in 1975 Gangsters was commissioned for a six part series by the BBC.
The opening scene of Incident One (they didn’t use the term episodes) starts with Khan (Ahmed Khalil) racing into New Spring Street and chasing the lead character John Kline (Maurice Colbourne) across Icknield Street where he seeks refuge in the gentlemen’s toilet block at the junction of Warstone Lane and Carver Street. Khan enters the Ladies toilet while Kline makes his escape on a number 90 bus.
A large amount of the BBC Pebble Mill series was shot on Broad Street and the Gas Street areas of the city and the opening credits show John Kline running through a section of the then new Queensway tunnel. The cliffhanger ending of Incident Two, filmed at the old Snow Hill Station, features at the start of the walking tour.
Survivors (BBC) – 2010
After a successful first series filmed in Manchester, series two of Survivors relocated to Birmingham and the majority of first two episodes were filmed in the city centre.
There was a scene in episode two where an ambush took place underneath a railway bridge. It was filmed under the railway bridge where Henrietta Street crosses Livery Street with the main view looking down towards St Paul’s Square.
The major scene in Birmingham was shot during a Sunday morning around the Edmund Street and Newhall Street area, where tonnes of ‘clean’ litter was scattered on the streets where Tom (Max Beesley) lead the search for Abby (Julie Graham). Also seen on screen were Baskerville House, the former Birmingham Municipal Bank and the former ATV/Central TV Studios, all located in the Broad Street area of the city.
WPC 56 (BBC) – 2013
Set in the 1956 this daytime drama from the same BBC Drama Village team that produce Doctors tells the story of WPC Gina Dawson (Jennie Jacques) and her struggles in being the first female police officer in the fictional Brinford suburb of Birmingham. Series one aired in March 2013 and series two, completed in late 2013, is due on screen in February 2014.
The Jewellery Quarter lends itself well to period drama and the programme makers used a number of locations in the area for the first series.
- In episode one Gina goes off in search of a missing dog and finds him in the ‘Raven Arms’ pub. The Raven Arms is a fictional pub located in the Alabaster & Wilson building at 9-11 Legge Lane.
- The interior scenes of Brinford Police Station were filming at 55-57 Vittoria Street. The production also returned to this location for series two.
- In episode four Gina and Sgt Fenton (Charles De’Ath) seek a Teddy Boy at Salvatore Gentlemen’s Hairdressing. The location of the barber shop is on the corner of Vittoria Street and Regent Place.
The series also filmed at The Electric Cinema in Station Street and the Victoria Law Courts on Corporation Street. The Birmingham & Midland Institute on Margaret Street provided the location for the exterior of Brinford station.
Line of Duty (BBC) – 2012
A five part BBC2 series featuring the investigations into the TO-20 squad, led by Tony Gates (Lennie James) by AC-12, a police anti-corruption unit. The series was set in an unnamed British city and was careful not to implicate any particular police force due to the police corruption storyline. The characters of Steve Arnott (Martin Compston), Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure) and Superintendent Ted Hastings (Adrian Dunbar) have returned for series two, which is due to air in January 2014, however they have not returned to Birmingham for their locations, choosing Belfast instead.
The AC-12 and TO-20 choice of drinking establishment for series one was the Queens Arms on Newhall Street with many scenes being set in the bar.
In episode two a daring stunt was filmed in the Jewellery Quarter. A wanted man is seen escaping from the police by leaping from the fifth floor of an apartment block on Fleet Street onto the Birmingham & Fazeley canal towpath. You could even catch a brief sight of the spire of St Paul’s church as the man prepared to jump.
There were also brief scenes filmed on Ludgate Hill, Lionel Street and Newhall Street all within the Jewellery Quarter.
The offices of AC-12 were filmed at Millennium Point and the TO-12 base was created at the former Birmingham Municipal Bank on Broad Street. The producers also made use of the old fire station at Lancaster Circus for one of the key scenes from the series, where DS Arnott was tortured, a scene which attracted the attention of Ofcom following a viewer complaint about the use of a 13 year old actor in a scene featuring such violence and sexually explicit language.
By Any Means (BBC) – 2013
A new BBC series from Hustle creator Tony Jordan follows a gang, pulled together by Helen Barlow (Gina McKee), who exist in the shadows between law and justice. The gang is led by Jack Quinn (Warren Brown) and each episode sees the team take on a new target in an attempt to finally bring them to justice.
Throughout the series the gang are seen entering a ‘secret’ den location where they have access to a wide range of facilities to assist with their operation. The interior of the ‘office’ was filmed at The Bond, Fazeley St, Digbeth but the exterior scenes were filmed right on the edge of the Jewellery Quarter. The gang were seen entering the base via one of two entrances;
- Underneath the railway arch of the Birmingham & Fazeley canal on Livery Street, near Water Street
- Beneath the railway bridge over Water Street
In episode two Jack gets his ‘mission’ instructions from Helen in the churchyard of St Paul’s Church in the heart of the Jewellery Quarter.
In episode six the gang tackle Jamie Caine (Nick Moran) a vicious criminal who handily has an apartment base right opposite their base (although I don’t think we were supposed to notice that).
The production also used Apsley House on Waterloo Street as a double for the exterior of the Columbian Embassy and the churchyard of St Philips Cathedral on Colmore Row for another exchange of target information between Jack and Helen.
There was hope that By Any Means would return for a second series but recent reports suggest that may now be unlikely, which is a shame.
Hustle (BBC) – 2010 to 2012
By the time Hustle moved it’s production to Birmingham they already had created five series and 30 episodes of the adventures of the team of confidence tricksters lead by Mickey Bricks (Adrian Lester) but they went on to make a further three series in Birmingham before they finally closed the show.
Hustle filmed in a large number of city centre and outlying locations over their three years in the city, below are a selection of the locations used in the Jewellery Quarter.
Series Six (2010)
Episode Two – Water Street – A flashback scene where Ash (Robert Glenister) recalled his first meeting with Liability Finch (Mark Benton)
Episode Six – Ludgate Hill – Sean (Matt Di Angelo) collects a fake ID from an address next to the Actress & Bishop
Series Seven (2011)
Episode One – St Paul’s Square – Emma (Kelly Adams) emerges from an entrance next to the Rectory Bar wearing a stunning red dress
Episode Four – Holland Street – The gang’s mark visits the Silver Street Gym
Episode Six – St Paul’s Square – Albert (Robert Vaughn) and his ex-wife Susan (Hannah Gordon) catch up on old times in the churchyard
Series Eight (2012)
The Jewellery Quarter was used extensively in Series Eight probably due to the Eddie’s bar set being in the same area. The final ever Hustle scene was also shot in the area.
- Newhall Hill – Dexter Gold (Paterson Joseph) meets his gang at The Vaults.
- Frederick Street – Office Space above Ladbrokes was the set for the offices of Gold Hard Cash. Also the car park behind Lois Jewellery was used in this episode for an exchange of cash.
- St Paul’s Square – Sean (Matt Di Angelo) shares a bench with the assistant of Mr Gold for lunch in the churchyard. A cameo appearance from former Liverpool and Wales striker Ian Rush was also filmed in the churchyard.
- Mary Ann Street – The Brook Welding Company stood in for the Gold Bar Forgers Factory.
- Warstone Lane – The art studio of forger Dolly (Sheila Hancock) was situated behind Stirlings on Warstone Lane.
- Livery Street – Subway City was the location for the opening club scene where Mickey as Le Jean (Adrian Lester) was the big name DJ.
- Number 39, Henrietta Street is where Ash (Robert Glenister) and Mickey (Adrian Lester) go to meet Freddy the Face.
- Offices of Deliqua Dining and Act Management Solutions, 67-71 Northwood Street, Birmingham is where Mickey meets the slimming pill makers the Devilles (John Barrowman & Raquel Cassidy)
- Urban Coffee Company, The Big Peg, Warstone Lane – Sean (Matt Di Angelo) obtains the receipt he’ll later drop in the gallery.
- St Paul’s Place, St Paul’s Square – Emma (Kelly Adams) enters the building using the stolen ID,
- Camden Street – Location of the Stock Exchange cable hack for the con on Madani Wasem (Abhin Galeya),
- A E Harris Factory, Northwood Street – The final ever Hustle scene is shot in the yard of the A E Harris Factory, Northwood Street, as the reunited ‘Magnificent Seven’ drive away in a convertible.
There are two series that are yet to air that were filmed in Birmingham last 2013. The second series of WPC 56 has already been mentioned above, but also look out for a 1970s spy drama from the BBC called The Game. I’m not sure if they filmed in the Jewellery Quarter but I’d be very surprised if they didn’t take advantage of the older architecture for this period drama.
I’ve also created a Google Map with all the locations on so you can view them at a glance.