Covid vaccine site opens up on Peaky Blinders set

People have started getting coronavirus vaccinations a the Black Country Living Museum – also known as part of the set of Peaky Blinders.

The museum, which is currently closed, is usually a place for people to experience life in the past in the West Midlands.

There are dozens of shops, houses and industrial areas made to look as they would have done 100 years ago.

Council and museum staff at the attraction in Dudley cleared away snow to allow the 26-acre site to open as planned today.

Conference and exhibition space at the site is being used to provide reception, waiting and vaccination areas.

Museum Chief Operating Officer Natasha Eden said: ‘Our remit is to be here for our community and for the area of the Black Country. We can’t do that as much as we’d like to at the moment – with the museum being shut.

‘This really give us an opportunity to be here for our community in these extraordinary times – and for people to come somewhere they’re familiar with and where they feel comfortable.

‘When we got the approach from the NHS we were really glad that they had thought about us and that they wanted us to be involved.’

The museum’s COO added: ‘We took that as a massive compliment – that an organisation that’s well-known for welcoming people for great days out and to learn about the Black Country can actually turn its hand to supporting this as well.

‘Everyone has come together as much as they can to make sure that this can be a great success.’

The new vaccine centre, confirmed last week by the NHS’s Black Country and West Birmingham clinical commissioning groups, has been described as a ‘game-changer’ for Dudley and the surrounding area.

It is offering invite-only vaccines, with patients receiving letters to attend appointments, prioritising jabs for people most at risk of complications from Covid-19.

People are being urged not to call or contact the museum directly, but wait to be written to by the NHS.

Pharmacists Davinder Manku and Josh Athwal were among the first people to receive an injection of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine at the museum.

Among the Peaky Blinders scenes filmed at the museum – where a canalside area is transformed into Charlie Strong’s Yard – was the show’s infamous tea party scene.

Attractions at the open-air museum, which has organised Peaky Blinders Nights allowing fans to walk in the footsteps of their favourite characters, include a chain-making shop, a 1920s cinema and an 18th century pub which was moved brick-by-brick to the site.

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