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Tuesday 15th November 2022 18:00-21:30 STEAM Museum, Fire Fly Avenue, Swindon, SN2 2EY

Combine the smart and the sinister with our 1920/30's photography at the STEAM museum

Join us for an evening evoking the shadowy underworld of industrialized Birmingham around the start of the Twentieth Century when criminal gangs such as the Peaky Blinders were at large on the city’s streets


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About this event

One of the most successful crime drama series of recent years is the BBC series 'Peaky Blinders' which is set between the two World Wars in industrialised urban Birmingham. This TimeLine Event aims to recreate the tailored fashions of the 1920s as portrayed in the series against the fantastic period backdrop of the STEAM Museum in Swindon giving this fantastic theme a railway edge with engines that would have operated during the period. Expect the look, toughness and of course the guns and weapons that were all part of this notorious time withing the shadowy surroundings of great western engines and a railway platform.


We will have a host of around 10 re-enactors dressed appropriately to portray as accurately as possible this period, the men in sharp suits and the ladies in their flowing dresses. After dark our smoke machines and subtle and atmospheric lighting will bring to life a huge variety of photography opportunities. The nature of this event means we need to place our visit after the public have left allowing us far more scope than during the day, with the museum to ourselves. 

The Museum itself will be open all day before our shoot from 10.00 until 17.00. Car parking is available at the Designer Outlet's North Car Park.  The Museum cafe is open for refreshments until 20:30. Our evening is planned to start at 18.00 and will run until 21:30.

The shoot aims to capture the ambiance of the period including both male and female characters and their costumes. We will use smoke machines for atmosphere, decommissioned weapons for dramatic effect and subtle additional lighting, plus a few extra theatrical effects to add a further dimension to your photography. We will concentrate on the areas of the Museum that best suit the scenes we wish to recreate as we transport you back to some shadowy affairs on the railway.


The real Peaky Blinders were equally as unsavoury as their portrayal in the award-winning BBC television series. They were involved with protection rackets, bribery and robbery in the Small Heath and Bordesley areas of Birmingham from the 1890s through to the First World War and beyond, though with declining influence by the 1920s. They were, therefore, most dominant in a slightly earlier period than that portrayed by the TV series and though the Peaky Blinders continued to exist after World War I, by the 1930s they had been overtaken by larger, rival gangs including the Sabini Gang and the Birmingham Boys. They were not the sole criminal gang operating in Birmingham before the Great War, with others such as the Cheapside Sloggers being active at the same time and earlier. The TV series is set in the period between 1919 through until the sounding of the first air raid siren in the city in 1940 and will eventually run to seven series.


Though the term ‘Peaky Blinders’ is often claimed as being derived from razor blades sewn into the peaks of their caps for use as weapons, the name predates by many years the production of disposable razor blades in the United Kingdom. The word ‘blinder’ was and still is used as a local term in Birmingham to describe someone of very smart appearance, Peaky referring to their chosen headwear.


This should be an unusual event providing many atmospheric photographic opportunities. With places strictly limited, this is bound to be an impressive and popular event, and we hope you will wish to join us at the STEAM museum in Swindon for a great evening.

Images are for illustration purposes.

Event requirements


  • Spare batteries
  • Camera
  • Lense cloths
  • Filters
  • Lenses
  • Camera protection - rain covers etc

Other things you should bring

  • Snacks
  • Bottled water


  • All levels welcome


  • Low

Other essentials

  • Sturdy outdoor shoes
  • Torch
  • Warm clothing
  • Wet weather gear

Event location

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