03 March 2007
Historic medals go on display
A remarkable exhibition of nearly 100 years worth of locally produced sporting memorabilia has gone on public display at a Birmingham hotel today, to coincide with the 29th European Athletics Indoor Championships at the nearby NIA.
All produced in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter, dozens of medals and trophies dating back as far as 1908 will be on show at the free event in the lobby of the Hyatt International Hotel.
Memorabilia featured will include commemorative medals from the 1908 London Olympics, Fifpro World and PFA Player of the Year trophies, Football League, Worthington Cup, PGA golf, ice hockey and RBS Six Nations medals.
All the memorabilia was originally produced by historic Jewellery Quarter companies WH Darby Sporting Medals and BDG Sporting Trophies, both of who will also be providing experts to talk about the products at the event.
Leader of Birmingham City Council, Mike Whitby, said: “This exhibition provides a true celebration of Birmingham’s manufacturing heritage, clearly positioning local craftsmen at the very peak of their industry. Thanks to their stunning work, both past and present, the city’s name remains very much at the forefront of jewellery and precious metal manufacturing worldwide.”
“The athletes that excel at the games will take home medals that will be a lasting reminder of their time in Birmingham. It’s very important to the City that these have been made locally, using the skills and talents of craftsmen in the Jewellery Quarter.
As well as displaying past creations Vaughtons, a subsidiary of WH Darby which dates back to 1819, was also asked to produce the medals for the current championships. Designed at the famous School of Jewellery (UCE Birmingham) the medals feature an engraved section of track and dynamic curve symbolic of throwing and jumping disciplines, as well as the bridges on Birmingham’s historic canal network.
Other memorabilia manufactured in the Jewellery Quarter for the event include a unique silver baton, designed by local school children and a vase-like silver sculpture commissioned by the Birmingham Assay Office, both of which are set to be presented to Lord Sebastian Coe, Chairman of the London 2012 Games Organising Committee.