Birmingham jewellers celebrates 125 years

Founded by Arthur Alabaster and Thomas Wilson on Vyse Street in 1887, the company moved to 9-11 Legge Lane three years later – where it has remained ever since.

Since 1983 the jewellery firm has been run by Arthur’s great-grandsons, Paul and Stephen, and great-granddaughter, Wendy.

Over its 125-year history, Alabaster & Wilson has manufactured products for many of the UK’s leading jewellers and for exports across Europe, USA and Australia. The firm has also supplied exclusive pieces for the British Royal Family, Sultan of Brunei, Eric Clapton, Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button and many others.

Today the firm employs 11 people, many of whom have been with the company for their whole careers, and many of the products are made at its on-site factory.

“We’re really proud to be celebrating this special anniversary and it is fitting that the landmark has fallen in the year of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the Olympic Games [have] returned to England,” said Stephen Alabaster.

He continued: “We’ve created a selection of specially designed jewellery to commemorate the events of our anniversary year, including a range of Diamond Jubilee inspired brooches and pendants, and a flame for the 2012 range of enamelled cufflinks.

“The last three years have probably been the hardest since World War Two, when my grandfather ran the company and nearly all the workforce was called up for service.

“We are still very much here though, in the heart of the jewellery quarter, continuing to work with some of the world’s leading jewellers.

“The method of production may have altered slightly over the years, but we pride ourselves on the hand craftsmanship which goes into each and every piece we make on site.

“We’re in the process of growing our business, which will include the launch of a new website very soon. The support and advice from Chantrey Vellacott DFK during this process, and throughout our illustrious history, is extremely valued.”

Chantrey Vellacott DFK is an accountancy firm that has represented Alabaster & Wilson for the duration of its history. Partner at Chantrey Vellacott DFK Paul Fenner said: “We’re pleased to have worked with the Alabaster family for so long, and to be continuing our support as the company moves into different markets, while maintaining its position as one of England’s most well respected suppliers to the fine jewellery trade.”

Image: (L-R) Stephen and Paul Alabaster with Paul Fenner.

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