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Peaky Blinders charity event to be hosted in Walsall

An Italian restaurant will be switching on the style and turning back the clock for a Peaky Blinders-themed evening.

Vicki Phipps, Giovanni Ranallo and, front, Ian Robbins, prepare for the Peaky Blinders event at Gio's Italian Restaurant in Walsall
Vicki Phipps, Giovanni Ranallo and, front, Ian Robbins, prepare for the Peaky Blinders event at Gio's Italian Restaurant in Walsall

Staff will be kitted out in wide trousers and waistcoats for the 1920s fashion extravaganza on April 8.

The TV series about the Birmingham-based gang quickly caught the public imagination after it was first broadcast in 2013 and next year will see the screening of the show's fifth series.

Giovanni Ranallo, who runs Gio's Italian in Walsall, will host the special evening, which has been organised by fellow traders Mindful Gifts in Darlaston, which specialises in gift ideas and activities for people with dementia.

The two businesses recently ran a successful Titanic-themed evening and are planning a programme of nostalgic-style events which will be rolled out over the next few months.

Hit show - Peaky Blinders

Mr Ranallo, 49, who was brought up in Walsall but lived in Italy for 25 years, opened his restaurant in New Forest Road three years ago.

He said: "We just want people to enjoy reminiscing and to have some fun. We're encouraging everyone to dress up, not just the staff."

The meals will be traditional, with dishes such as faggots and peas, liver and bacon and Birmingham pea stew on the menu.

Customers will eat off tin plates and drink out of enamel mugs. Around 40 places are available.

There will also be boxing activities and a screened horse-racing event. Giovanni is decorating the room with photographs and ornaments of the time to give the restaurant that authentic look.

Historian Carl Chinn's book on the Peaky Blinders gang will be there for reference.

Mr Ranallo helps vulnerable people back into employment by bringing them to work at the restaurant where they can learn new skills. He says he wants to organise more community events and plans to open a vintage tea room at the premises in the near future.

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