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  • The Real Peaky Blinders

  • real peaky blinders

    Let the Terror Begin

    The real Peaky Blinder gang name originated from the fashion of wearing flat caps which started to take over amongst the youth in Birmingham and Manchester. Before these flat caps, older working-class men used to wear bigger bob hats or bowler hats. The flat caps had short peaks hence the name ‘peaky’. That is intriguing, isn’t it?

    According to the Chair of Birmingham’s Community History, Professor Carl Chinn, the name Peaky Blinders first came to light in the early part of 1890. An innocent young man got picked on by a gang and was violently assaulted with belt buckles. He was so terribly injured that he had to be operated on his head in hospital. The incident was reported locally, but there was no news of the gang.

    A few days later, a number of publications including one in London reported that letter was sent to the Birmingham press. The letter mentioned that the attack was executed by the Peaky Blinders from Small Heath district, Birmingham.

    There Choice Of Weaponry!

    You’ll be stunned by the modified items they fought with. They used fire irons, knives metal-tip boots, belt buckles, wrapped up handkerchieves filled with stones. Their brutality and torturous nature only resulted in dreadful fear among the civilians. If you read the accounts of what they did to people, your stomach will stir.

    It was believed that the members of the gang sewed sharp razors onto the front part of their flat caps and used them to slash their victims’ faces. The blood from the cuts would then flow and blind their victims. This, however, is considered a myth since blades were just beginning to penetrate the market in the 1890s.

    They enjoyed causing mayhem in so many places and targeted innocent people. They roughed up women too. These were people who were looked down upon and resented by society for their barbaric acts. Some of the famous gang members were Harry Fowler, Ernest Bayles, Stephen McHickie, and Thomas Gilbert among others. They were also dubbed The Hooligans of Birmingham.

    BBC has an award-winning television series, “Peaky Blinders” that portrays a vivid image of the gang and how the gang orchestrated fear. The producers have also done a marvelous job at re-creating the actual environment and depicting the gang’s horrendous acts on the streets of Birmingham.

    What Led to Their Downfall?

    A northern Irishman, Charles Haughton Rafter from Belfast took policing quite seriously and was appointed the Chief Constable of the Birmingham City Police in 1899, Many people believe that he was given this post to deal specifically with the Peaky Blinders.

    More and more young people had subscribed to the Peaky Blinders club. This made the group more pronounce and dangerous. Charles Rafter introduced and implemented stronger sentences and penalties for charges associated with theft and violence.

    Harry Fowler and Ernest Bayles, both members of the Peaky Blinders were arrested at the age 19 for stealing a bicycle that was left unattended outside a factory. The number of rehabilitating youth clubs and schools also played a key role in instilling discipline among the young people. Sporting activities especially boxing also significantly decreased gang-related crimes in the area.

    By the early 20th century, the Peaker Blinders had disappeared. The way they treated the innocent is still remembered today as cold and cruel. Their reign remains in Birmingham’s history books.

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