The Peaky Blinders

England has a long history and it would take me a while to even scratch the surface. I have been talking about this week’s blog post to many of my friends and family, but I got the same confused looks.

What I’m going to unveil is the Peaky Blinders.

The History

Before I can explain, a little background is needed. According to Fashion, England by the 1920s through the 1940s was a confusing time. World War I ended two years before, but there was still the fear of war in the air.

Young men came back after the horror of trench warfare and women that were nurses saw terrible injuries and mental break downs. The idea that most people lived by was that life is too short and it was time to enjoy it.

In the small Heath/Bordesley Green area of Birmingham, England, there was an extreme level of poverty and overcrowded slums, which brought a lot of crime into the streets.

That attracted gangs, like the Peaky Blinders.

Peaky Blinders

For 30 years, a ruthless group of youths armed with knives, razor blades and hammers ruled the Birmingham streets. According to BBC’s article, John Adrian and his lieutenant James Grinrod started the regime in 1870.

Though, by the 1920s, the leader of the notorious gang was Billy Kimber.

The Peaky Blinders might have got its name because they wore peaked caps. Also, as legend processes, the caps had razor blades sewn into them.

Aviary Photo_130991229509377285

Well, according to most of the articles that I did my research from, the legend was never true. The real meaning of why the gang was called Peaky Blinders is lost in translation.

 To Identify a Peaky Blinder (from The Telegraph):

  • Donkey haircuts
  • Donkey Jackets
  • Silk Scarves
  • Bell-bottom trousers
  • Steel-capped boots
  • Flat caps


The way the Peaky Blinders made money was from illegal betting, protection rackets and the black market for Birmingham. Their attacks on the street consist of robbing people, rivals being attacked and assault on the police.

The Peaky Blinders was one of the biggest gangs in Birmingham’s history. For 30 years, the town was being ruled by their violent ways, but that is what makes them neat.

For a time, they were unstoppable.


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