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Bbc 'gangsters' 1976

Barr_Beacon

The Prodigal Brummie
I couldn't find this on the site but I think it's worth a mention (apologies if it is listed elsewhere).


For me the television drama works on many levels; it has an interesting storyline (feel free to disregard the music but I still quite like it) and it gives an amazing account of what Birmingham used to look like. Series one was filmed in 1976 in the sizzling summer that year and in one brief shot you can see the grass in front of the Council House where people sun bathed in their lunch breaks. The nine minute Youtube film shows an amazing amount in such a short space of time from driving a car down Colmore Row before turning onto New Street, to how Broad Street appeared before the radical changes took place. I loved the little things included like riding on the top deck of the bus to standing outside Boot's the Chemist on New Street. There's so much to see on the DVD of the series, if you take the trouble.
I definitely think 'Gangsters' should be a worthy inclusion in any social history / geographical resource about Birmingham in the mid-seventies.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Gangsters-...&qid=1518605128&sr=1-1&keywords=gangsters+dvd
 

Astoness

TRUE BRUMMIE MODERATOR
Staff member
i agree with you BB the opening has shots of icknield st and the old toilets which are still there and other places around birmingham..a mate of mine has the series on dvd

lyn
 
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Phil

Retired Layabout
Back in the 70's the private club I used Rolf Day the comedian that appeared in about six of the episodes and can also be heard on the opening credits was also a member of the club. Although a nice enough bloke I don't think his brand of humour would get him very far today. Though thinking about the series I suppose he was chosen for the material that he used. Mind you he did organise a very good stag night for the members of the club along with some of the market lads and members of the police force at the Grapes pub in town which was well attended.
 

Astoness

TRUE BRUMMIE MODERATOR
Staff member
phil just as a matter of interest and to test my memory where was the grapes and is it still there

lyn
 

Phil

Retired Layabout
Lyn

The Grapes was in Hurst Street, but sorry in my alcoholic haze I got my pubs mixed up. It was in fact the upstairs function room in the Victoria on the corner of Station Street and John Bright Street.
 

Phil

Retired Layabout
Lyn,

well there I go again it was Hill Street not Hurst Street and Navigation Street is off Hill Street. I tell you my brain must still be pickled from back then.
 

Astoness

TRUE BRUMMIE MODERATOR
Staff member
well i am just glad to know my memory is not that bad after all phil...if i am right sadly the pub has now gone....no surprises there...thanks phil

lyn
 

Barr_Beacon

The Prodigal Brummie
I'm pretty certain it's Highgate Park in Balsall Heath. If you look carefully at the segment filmed in the park you can see the one of the green copper turrets of The Rowton Hotel on Alcester Street to the right of the screen.
 

Phil

Retired Layabout
I've just taken a look at the clip, yes it is Highgate park and the are sitting at the top of the playground are looking down toward Alcester Street roughly in front of the steps down the bit of a ramp possibly on the road that runs through the park from Salop Street to Moseley Road (with gates at each end) there used to be benches all along there as I remember it or perhaps they had been moved a little further down at sometime because it does look like they are further down than I remember.
 

DavidGrain

master brummie
I have a box set of the complete two series. At least I own it. I am waiting for it to come back from loan. I thought the second series was poor compared with the first series. I actually know the two little Sikh girls who acted as the children of an illegal immigrant now they are grown up. It was quite a shock to them when I showed them a screen shot. They told me they never saw the finished films as their parents would not allow them to stay up that late. I am surprised that the BBC released it on DVD as it would never be shown again on TV in these more political correctness days.
 

Williamstreeter

master brummie
i agree with you BB the opening has shots of icknield st and the old toilets which are still there and other places around birmingham..a mate of mine has the series on dvd

lyn
Lyn if my memory is right , it moves from Icknield St to the multi storey car park on the corner of Cambridge St and Summer Row opposite The Shakespeare cnr Lionel St. My Brother in law worked on the erection of that u shaped car park it was only supposed to be temporary it must have been up 30 years , anyway when Mr Kline (Maurice Colbourne) was chased around that car park not many people got much sleep in Cambridge Tower , as I've said before my Mother lived on the 14th floor of that block, she could hear every skid, screech of the tyres while they were filming
 

Williamstreeter

master brummie
I couldn't find this on the site but I think it's worth a mention (apologies if it is listed elsewhere).


For me the television drama works on many levels; it has an interesting storyline (feel free to disregard the music but I still quite like it) and it gives an amazing account of what Birmingham used to look like. Series one was filmed in 1976 in the sizzling summer that year and in one brief shot you can see the grass in front of the Council House where people sun bathed in their lunch breaks. The nine minute Youtube film shows an amazing amount in such a short space of time from driving a car down Colmore Row before turning onto New Street, to how Broad Street appeared before the radical changes took place. I loved the little things included like riding on the top deck of the bus to standing outside Boot's the Chemist on New Street. There's so much to see on the DVD of the series, if you take the trouble.
I definitely think 'Gangsters' should be a worthy inclusion in any social history / geographical resource about Birmingham in the mid-seventies.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Gangsters-...&qid=1518605128&sr=1-1&keywords=gangsters+dvd
Yes I'd agree with the social history aspect , possibly along with The Peaky Blinders
 

Astoness

TRUE BRUMMIE MODERATOR
Staff member
Lyn if my memory is right , it moves from Icknield St to the multi storey car park on the corner of Cambridge St and Summer Row opposite The Shakespeare cnr Lionel St. My Brother in law worked on the erection of that u shaped car park it was only supposed to be temporary it must have been up 30 years , anyway when Mr Kline (Maurice Colbourne) was chased around that car park not many people got much sleep in Cambridge Tower , as I've said before my Mother lived on the 14th floor of that block, she could hear every skid, screech of the tyres while they were filming
thanks williamstreeter i must try and watch some more of that series may spot some more places of interest...

lyn
 
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