Peaky Blinders - Ossett firm helped recreate 1919 Birmingham for new BBC gangster drama

Peaky Blinders set construction
Peaky Blinders set construction

An Ossett moulding company has made part of the set for a gangster drama series which premiered on BBC 2 this week.

Ossett Mouldings Ltd was invited to help produce a set for the six-part series Peaky Blinders, which was filmed largely in Yorkshire.

The company was asked to recreate a street from Toxteth, in Liverpool, which the producers wanted to look like a scene from just after the First World War.

Managing director John Clayton said: “They moved people out of these three streets and painted it up to look like an excellent 1919 Birmingham.

“But there was a railway at one end of the street and modern cars at the other, so to obscure traffic at both ends we built matching houses and it all went really well.”

Mr Clayton said his team took about three-and-a-half months to build the set for Peaky Blinders, and suffered a setback when some of their work blew down.

He said the company works on 12 to 15 film or television productions each year.

He said: “They have a habit of changing the names of some the programmes. So when I watched Last Tango in Halifax all the way through I managed not to notice my own work.

“In Shameless, the pub wore out so we had to build a new pub. But we’re well-established in film and television and we’re used to doing this kind of thing. They give us a set of drawings and we have to produce what’s in those drawings.”

Mr Clayton said most of the work was done in plaster, unless it was flooring in which ase they used cement.

He said: “With film and television is doesn’t have to be very enduring or lifelong. We normally use plaster because it only has to last a week or two in many cases.”

Peaky Blinders is set in the lawless slum neighbourhoods of post-war Birmingham, where Thomas Shelby’s family lead a powerful local gang, the Peaky Blinders.

It was filmed mainly in Leeds, but also in Liverpool and Birmingham itself.

Frith Tiplady, executive producer of Tiger Aspect Productions, who produced the series with Screen Yorkshire, Caryn Mandabach Productions and the BBC, said: “The Birmingham we needed to recreate, due to a combination of the war and town planners, doesn’t exist anymore.

“We decided that Yorkshire was the best place to base the drama. It had a combination of fantastic period locations, great crew and support from Screen Yorkshire and the local council. Most of our filming was in Leeds and supplemented by shooting a couple of key locations in Liverpool and Birmingham.”