Kerr's Corner

Kerr's Corner is a regular feature in East Antrim and Newtownabbey editions of The Wizard. David Kerr would like to hear your memories of life in your own area. Maybe you'll trigger some thoughts for a future column. kerrscorner@ulsteronline.org.uk

Monday, November 21, 2005

Notes In The Margin

SOME TIME AGO, Norman from the Shore Road asked me about enamel badges. He wanted to know how they were made. He recalled that Birmingham in the West Midlands used to be the badge capital of the world and wondered if thie was still the case?
Thanks to Mark from the West Midlands who saw Norman's query on the Kerr's Corner Blog site - www.kerrscorner.blogspot.com - for the following information.
Mark tells me that years ago, the Hockley jewellery quarted in Birmingham was the place to go to get enamel badges made. Sadly, there's only about five badge firms left in the area and all now import their badges from China.
He also informed me that under European standards, enamel (cloisonne) is now illegal as it contains lead. Cloisonne badges can be imported from China but they are very costly. Most badges these days are made from soft enamel, or du enamel, which is a synthetic material noted for its really smooth finish.
Mark's brief information is fascinating. I would like to know a bit more about it. Does anyone else out there know anything more about the production of enamel badges? If you do, just e-mail me as usual on: kerrscorner@ulsteronline.org.uk

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