Legend has it that the Peaky Blinders were a gang of well-heeled, rich gentlemen who were, in fact, just gangsters who ruled the streets and slums of Birmingham right after the turn of the 20th century.
They have been popularised in recent years by the hit TV series of the same name, which has been nominated for and won many awards. The fourth series is about to hit our screens in late 2017, but what do we know about the gang?
History of the Peaky Blinders
According to the BBC, the name Peaky Blinders came about because gang members kept razor blades sewn into the peak of their caps so they had a weapon on hand whenever they needed it.
From the late 1800s, Birmingham became a vastly overcrowded city with slums springing up everywhere. These squalid conditions led to the crime being rife as each man, woman, and child fought to survive. Gangs formed as there appeared to be more safety in numbers; murder and robberies were common and the police were often overwhelmed as riots broke out.
The Peaky Blinders sought to differentiate themselves from other gangs by adding an element of style to their garb with silk handkerchiefs and smart clothes. Their girlfriends had a more sophisticated style but were often subject to violence themselves if they didn’t toe the line. Many young men from other gangs aspired to join this elite group.
Planning a stay in Birmingham
Birmingham is a city that is rightly proud of its history, and you can find out more about the Peaky Blinders on a guided walking tour or by visiting some of the sites on your own.
If you’re planning a stay in the city and prefer to be able to come and go as you please and have the flexibility of having two bedrooms, why not consider Birmingham serviced apartments rather than a hotel? Places like no. 8 Waterloo Street apartments offer centrally located accommodation in a stunning Art Deco building.
Birmingham has a rich cultural history along with great shopping and theatre venues that are well worth delving into with a visit to the city. The Bullring is one of the most well-known shopping venues, or try the Hippodrome if you want to see a musical, ballet or pantomime.