Dr Chris Upton, Senior Lecturer in history at Newman University, Birmingham, specialises in the history of the West Midlands. He worked as historical advisor on the popular BBC flagship period TV drama, Peaky Blinders, which was set in Birmingham in the early 1920s.
Dr Upton will visit Dudley borough archives, taking people on a journey behind the scenes of the show. He will be talking about his work with the production team, writers and actors to ensure the drama was as historically accurate as possible for a fictional series.
Dr Upton provided information on a range of issues; with typical queries including identifying the correct colour for a goal keeper’s jersey in that era, to providing information on the back-to-back houses that form the backdrop of much of the action.
The talk will also look at the history of Birmingham gangs in the city, from the eighteenth century through the years.
Dr Upton said:
"It was a real honour to work on the series. Period dramas, such as Peaky Blinders, entertain and inform members of public, shining a light on periods of history that may have been forgotten.
"While the series itself isn’t based on a true story, the types of events, times and environment in which the drama takes place are real so we wanted to portray these aspects as accurately as possible. I was particularly keen to ensure that the actors’ accents were as accurate as possible and not confused with Black Country accents.”
The talk will be hosted by the Friends of Dudley archives and local history service who work to support Dudley borough archives service in a voluntary capacity and hold regular talks and events at the centre.
Councillor Hilary Bills, cabinet member for archives, said:
“There are some really interesting and entertaining local history events and talks planned for the coming months and they provide a great opportunity to understand more about the history of our surrounding areas. The history talks are also a great way to get acquainted with the services that our new archives centre offers and find out about local and family history.”
The talk is taking place at 7.30pm on Thursday 5 March and admission is free for members of the group, or £2 for non members. The archives centre is on Tipton Road, Dudley, DY1 4SQ, next to the Black Country Living Museum. Tickets will need to be pre – ordered by calling 01902 827236.