Peaky Blinders finally returns to television tonight after a nearly three-year hiatus – and people across the country can’t wait to immerse themselves in the life of the Shelby family again.
The new season will be the show’s finale, with Tommy set to go up against fascist politician Sir Oswald Mosley once more before uncovering the fate of what’s left of the Shelby family.
However, that doesn’t mean the Peaky Blinders story is over. In fact, here at Liverpool we have the perfect way to keep Shelby’s history alive.
READ MORE: Peaky Blinders filming locations you can visit in Merseyside
Many will know that Peaky Blinders has been filmed in Liverpool over the years, with some iconic spots having been used to set the scene for the popular Birmingham-based show.
Fans of the show can visit these places – and many more you wouldn’t even know about – with Gary Friday, who serves as a guide through Merseyside for Peaky Blinders fans.
Gary, who has an almost encyclopedic knowledge of the show, even dresses in his best Peaky Blinders clothes to take fans to the various filming locations around town.
He describes becoming a Peaky Blinders tour guide as “fortuitous”, having discovered the vocation by accident when he missed the Mersey Ferry almost five years ago.
Gary, from South Liverpool, is a licensed executive legal barrister by trade, but finds his weekend joy giving tours across the city on everything from Peaky Blinders to Beatles and Liverpool pubs.
He said: “I love touring, jumping around at work. I was waiting for the ferry one day in February about five years ago and had nothing to do, so I was just looking.
“While I was waiting I saw a yellow bus and walked over, ended up talking to boss Lee Jones. He asked me lots of questions, even if I was red or blue and I must have passed the test.
“It was like serendipity. I almost immediately started a course for new guides and ended up doing guided tours in the open-top bus.
“From there I did Beatles tours, pub crawls, cruise ships. I now work with Liverpool Tour Company and Brit Movie Tours.
“I had just watched the whole series, which had just finished season four, when I was asked to work on a Peaky Blinders tour. It’s serendipity, it really is.
“Since then it has gone from strength to strength.”
On each tour, Gary and his small team take a coach-full of people on a tour of Peaky Blinders filming locations around Merseyside, complete with quizzes, giveaways, dress-ups and more.
Gary added: “We have a ball, people dress up in their best Tommy outfits – one man even brought a fake gun with him once because he was so obsessed with Tommy.
“We love touring, but it’s also good for Liverpool to present it as a filming city.
“I think the tours help dispel a lot of the myths that people think of Liverpool before their first visit. We put people at ease and show that we are a beautiful city.
“I try to learn everyone’s names at the end of the tours, sometimes it’s 40 or 50 people, but I’ve made some great friends from touring over the years, I’ve even been invited the weddings of people who went on the tours and everything.
“Every tour I try to give a hat, everyone loves it. We laugh and people fall in love with Liverpool.
Gary designs the tours himself, plans the locations, and brings all of his Peaky Blinders knowledge with him for the ride.
Some of the places visited by Merseyside tours include St George’s Hall, Seacombe Ferry Terminal, Liverpool Town Hall and the Old Tobacco Warehouse in the city centre. Sometimes the tour even goes as far as Port Sunlight in Ellesmere Port.
Gary said: “The tour is as much about celebrating Liverpool history as it is about Peaky Blinders.
“We always start at St George’s Hall before heading to places like Seacombe Ferry Terminal and Port Sunlight where we stop for tea and cake then have a quiz before heading back to St George’s Hall , but most of us end up in the Peaky Blinders bar in town.
“It’s more than a tour because people get to know each other, they make friends. I’ve had people come from as far away as Arizona in the US, New Zealand, Japan just to find out more about the show and Liverpool.
Gary redesigns his Peaky Blinders tour for each season, trying to encompass everything important while retaining old favorites.
In recent years, the Old Tobacco Warehouse in Liverpool has been transformed into The Garrison, the Shelby’s local pub.
Cains Brewery Village, Falkner Square, Huskisson Street, The Adelphi and Punch Tarmeys bar are also recent filming locations.
New for season six, Peaky Blinders filmed inside Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral – but for what scene, we’ve yet to find out.
Gary says there’s a special secret to spotting Liverpool filming locations in Peaky Blinders, aside from the obvious exterior shots.
According to Gary, you should keep your eyes peeled for the floors if you hope to spot Liverpool.
He said: “Just look at the ground, most of the time they can’t change that and you might spot something that gives it away.
“Liverpool Town Hall has been used a few times and you can clearly see the Liver Bird design on the floor.”
According to Gary, there is one place that very few people could guess was actually in Liverpool – The Isla Gladstone.
The iconic conservatory doubled as Epsom Racecourse in series two, where fans will remember Aunt Polly killing Major Campbell in the telephone box.
Gary said: “The Isla Gladstone is the one people never believe. I didn’t even know, I had to learn for the tour”.
Gary is currently running a number of Peaky Blinders tours, which you can book online here or message Gary at [email protected]
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