Piece of Birmingham retail history uncovered during Midland Metro tram works

Author: Stacey BarnfieldPublished:

A lost piece of Birmingham’s retail history has been uncovered during construction work by the Midland Metro Alliance to extend the tramway to the west of Birmingham.

Original Victorian roller shutters, which would have been used to provide security, have surfaced at a shop in Pinfold Street.

The shutters were previously hidden by the shop front of hair salon Supercuts, which was once home to 19th century piano manufacturers Dale, Forty & Co, among others, during that time.

Due to historical interest, the shutters will be preserved and enclosed with a new sign. They are unable to be left exposed as they currently extend under the shop front of an adjacent store. Based on the preservation rulings, the roller shutters do not need to be displayed.

Faded lettering on the Victorian shutter

Steve Grimes, the Midland Metro Alliance’s Project Director for the Birmingham Westside Extension, said: “There is always potential for items of historical importance to be uncovered during construction, and these roller shutters are a fascinating find that provide an interesting glimpse into the history of Birmingham city centre.

“We started construction on the first phase of the extension last year, and the shutters were uncovered during structural repairs to the building, which, due to its age, needed to be carried out prior to the main works. Due to their heritage, the shutters will be staying in place, but will be covered with new fascia.”

Strengthening works will form the next stage of construction in Pinfold Street, with works expected to be completed there in the summer. Supercuts will move back in following a full refurbishment.

Meanwhile, enabling works on phase two of the extension, connecting Centenary Square to Edgbaston, are continuing in Victoria Square and the lower end of Broad Street, where there are a number of traffic management changes to accommodate this.

Find out more about the Metro extension works here.