The Real “Peaky Blinders” Brum Tours with Carl Chinn

Professor Carl Chinn, “Our Carl” as he was and still is known to the local historians and people of Birmingham and the West Midlands, was a permanent presence on radio and the media. Sadly, he was taken off the air after hosting a very successful and extremely useful radio programme for many years. Carl was our champion of local news and events, books and in fact everything concerned with the people of Birmingham and about.

Well now he has a new venture and thanks to my daughter’s present for Father’s day I have experienced this venture. Now I would like to tell you about it and if you are a fan of the programme, Birmingham or Carl thoroughly recommend it to you.

Crime-ridden streets, gangland warfare, poverty, desperation and murder. Are we talking about New York or Chicago in the 1920s?
No, we're talking about the dark past of Birmingham in the 1880s and early 1900s when gangs roamed the streets and ruled not with an iron fist, but supposedly with razor blades sewn into their caps! Vividly brought to life in the highly successful BBC Drama 'Peaky Blinders' you can now experience the sights and sounds of the REAL 'Peaky Blinders' on a walking tour of the actual places they used to roam and cause mayhem.

Centred around the Digbeth area of Birmingham where the real 'Peaky Blinders' used to ply their shadowy trade; the architecture, atmosphere and ambience of the city streets still remains and with the expertise of Professor Carl Chinn, our historian guide, you will see the streets and houses where they used to reside and hear the stories that inspired the BBC series.

The tour begins at the Old Crown on Deritend High Street. On arrival, you are welcome to have a drink and relax in an area set aside exclusively for Peaky Tours.

Prof. Carl Chinn MBE will talk you through a brief history of Birmingham and its growth into one of the world’s greatest cities. With the use of images dating back to Victorian times, you will be able to see for yourself how the Real Peaky Blinders lived, worked and plied their trade!

From there, you will begin the walking tour where you will see the sights and transported to Victorian Britain where you will hear the rise and demise of the Real Peaky Blinders.

The Rainbow in 1958 on the corner of
High Street and Adderley Street


The walking element of the tour lasts around 45 minutes. We walk to the Rainbow Pub back down Lower Trinity Street and Heath Mill Lane.

Heath Mill Lane in the 1930s



From here we go up Deritend High Street to the Big Bull’s Head, across Digbeth Bridge and finish off in the Anchor on the corner of Rea Street and Bradford Street where faggots and peas are served with a drink of your choice. After that Carl will conclude the Real Peaky Blinders story followed by questions and answers.

You will also get the chance to buy Carl’s new book “The Real Peaky Blinders” (Costing £12.95), which he will also sign for you.

The tour is superb, Carl, as usual, is infectious with his knowledge and enthusiasm, the cost is for a corporate tour including food and drinks is £39.95, but another tour is available at £29.95 go to website for details www.peakytours.com



Winson Green Road in the early part of twentieth century



Visible part of Birmingham’s River Rea



Veterans from the First World War gather outside the
Big Bulls Head in Milk Street c. 1935


Front Cover of the new book


My personal thanks to Carl for allowing me to reproduce some of the photographs from the book, website material

Well Done Mate! A Bostin’ Night Out!!!

Click here to go back to the Oracle page.