Let us transport you back in time and take a glimpse of the police force of yesteryear. Discover what the ‘real peaky blinders’ had to contend with in the form of the West Midlands constabulary.
Housed in the back of Sparkhill police station in Birmingham you will discover artefacts, police reports, memorabilia and over 5000 photographs that span the history of the police force within the surrounding area. This includes weapons confiscated from criminals, uniforms and machines or processes since long dated – such as the drug testing kits once used.
The real peaky blinders
The era of the peaky blinders, as featured on the BBC drama series of the same name, is recorded and documented in the Museum. Our records of crime in Birmingham actually date back to the 1840’s! For those that are inclined to learn more about the gang we have records of gang members and associates as featured in the show, including the infamous Billy Kimber.
The gang ran the areas of Bordesley and Small Heath during the 1880’s and into the 1900’s. Easily identified by their distinctive ‘donkey’ fringes, steel capped boots and peaked caps the gang graduated from low-level violence and assaults to taking aim at the organised betting rings of the countries race courses.
Of course highly fictionalised we do however, hold records of police arrests and mugshots of gang members including George Hickling who was charged with a minor crime at the time. The actual name of the peaky blinders was more likely aligned with the ‘peakies’ and ‘slogging gangs’ that were prevalent in the press at that time.
Open days and guided tours
- Education programme. The museum is available for school groups and has a small classroom complete with old wooden desks. Please contact the Museum to arrange appointments for teacher and class visits.
- 1+ hours; longer for educational visits if required
Originally set-up in order to train new recruits, showing them exactly what they would be coming up against, the Museum is now open to the public on specific open days or by pre-arranged appointment.