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Posts from 2015-02-26

Behind the scenes of Peaky Blinders

Peaky_Blinders_titlecardA fascinating peek behind the scenes of television series Peaky Blinders will be taking place at Dudley borough archives centre. 

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. 



•	Sandwell Council leader Councillor Darren Cooper and Eddie Fisher who looks after the clock Clock enthusiasts will be turning back time when they descend on a Smethwick landmark after discovering a rare timepiece in the town.


Around 20 members of The Turret Clock Group of the Antiquarian Horological Society are planning a trip to study a rare clock in Smethwick Council House.   


The group say the clock is regarded as an important piece of history and are keen to investigate it further.


Group member Jonathan Ansell, from Market Drayton, in Shropshire, says the group believes the clock to be a three-train Smith of Derby flat-bed with gravity escapement.


They say it was probably installed when the building had just been erected, and are hopeful it remains more or less as it was when first installed making it a rare survivor.


Mr Ansell says great majority of similar clocks have been converted to electric drive or otherwise emasculated.


The group will be visiting Smethwick as part of a spring meeting which also takes in Birmingham’s Jewellery quarter on March 21.


Council leader Councillor Darren Cooper said: “I was really impressed to go into the council house to see the wonderful workings of the clock which has been part of Smethwick’s life for more than 100 years.

“It is really interesting that this group are showing such an interest in the clock and I am proud that council workers down the years have been dedicated to the task of ensuring that the clock remains in full working order after all this time.”   

Community health champions celebrate success

Three community health champions from Dudley borough will be recognised at a special reception for ‘unsung  heroes’ in Westminster.

They are all volunteers at Halesowen Asian Elderly Association and since 2011 have also been community health champions working closely with Dudley Council’s office of public health.

Mr Deen, Mr Ali and Mr Mahmood have most recently worked with taxi drivers in the borough talking to owners, operators and drivers about health and wellbeing.

They continue to raise awareness about healthy lifestyles and signpost people to support available within the borough.

The champions will attend the House of Commons at a reception hosted by Under Secretary of State for Public Health Jane Ellison MP, on Tuesday 3 March after being selected as ‘unsung heroes’ following a recommendation from the office of public health.

Councillor Rachel Harris, cabinet member for health, said:

“The work of these volunteers is remarkable. It’s people like them that really give our communities a sense of pride and support the council’s ambition to be a community council.

“These community health champions have taken their local knowledge, credibility and cultural understanding to get good health information to their local community.

“I’d like to personally thank them for loving their community and hope they enjoy well deserved recognition at this event.”

Forums spiced up at curry house

dudley-council-curry-forum-webResidents across Dudley borough are being invited to Korma-long and air their views at the country’s first ever council meeting held in a curry house.

Dudley Council already has a recipe for success with its online community forums, but is now extending to include a ‘curry forum’.

East2West Fusion in Brettell Lane, Amblecote, will be hosting the inaugural meeting on March 10, from 7-8pm.

People will be able to enjoy a sit down, three-course meal, and quiz the leader of the council at the same time, on issues affecting their communities or the whole of the borough. Discussions at the restaurant will also be posted onto the Dudley borough Facebook page and @Dudleymbc Twitter feed. People will also be able to ask the council leader questions via both social media channels from anywhere in the borough during the hour.

Councillor Pete Lowe, leader of the council, said:

“As far as we know we are the first council in the country to hold a public meeting as part of a curry night. This is a genuine move to get more people involved in local democracy.

“As a community council we are committed to listening to and working with communities to make improvements and deliver services. But best of all, people can just come along and enjoy some great food at a fantastic venue.”

Hero Haque, owner of East2West Fusion, added:

“I’m really pleased to be able to support the very first ever curry forum. As a local business we want to work with the council and this is a great way of doing that.

“I hope people will come along to speak to Councillor Lowe and enjoy a good meal out too.”

It follows the national acclaim for the online community forums which has seen thousands of people log onto the council’s Facebook and Twitter feeds to quiz council bosses on a range of issues.

Bosses at the five-star hygiene rated restaurant have stepped forward to support the council’s curry forum by offering a meal deal for just £9.95. People can choose from a mouth-watering menu over three courses and also buy drinks from the bar.

Booking is essential for the event on 01384 377600 quoting reference ‘curry forum’.