1920s Peaky Blinders Inspired Edible Gifts

In this 5 minute read, I’ll explain not only why I was inspired to make a confectionery collection back in 2018 after watching this award winning television show but why I spent so long researching 1920 sweets and chocolates in order for the products I made to be as authentic to the time period as possible.

Deluxe size 1920s themed sweet bouquet created by Bloomin' Sweet Delights

12th April 2023 – Leanne Nuttall

How Did A TV Show Inspire Confectionery Products?

My family and friends are used to me getting a little obsessed with TV shows, movies and actors on occasion. As my maternal side of the family hail from the Midlands and grew up alongside the Warwick Racecourse, Peaky Blinders felt familiar and reminiscent of our family history somewhat. The only other fictitious screen work I relate to (based on familiar locations) is the TV show Keeping Up Appearances which was filmed in Coventry, Northampton and Leamington (where I attended college); and the film Killer Elite which travels to Oman (where I spent a large portion of my childhood).

The reason I am choosing to post about my Peaky Blinders inspired edible gifts now, in April 2023, is because it has been a year since the BBC aired the last episode of this iconic show with Cillian Murphy and the cast saying ‘tararabit’. To say I was devastated to learn the series was ending at Season 6 and not the purported 7 or 8 with the sound of the World War 2 air raid sirens as writer Steven Knight envisaged, is an understatement. I fully understand the constraints the cast and crew must have faced with the unprecedented pandemic and tragic loss of Helen McCrory and commend their efforts for producing one of the most intense, white knuckling, bated breath seasons of all! I’m anticipating good things for the film because I am fully invested and intrigued over the outcome for the Shelby family. I even made Peaky Blinders baubles one year and have attended a couple of immersive style events dressed up in 1920’s fashion.

Silhouette Thomas Shelby handmade Christmas baubles
1920s Peaky Blinders inspired outfits

I digress, although my enthusiasm/obsession for Peaky Blinders must be apparent by now; I am meant to be blogging about my edible gifts. Back in 2018 (in between seasons 4 & 5) it became apparent that viewers never see Tommy Shelby’s character eat. We had seen Aunt Polly make some doorstop sandwiches for her son Michael, tables laden with dishes at Tommy’s wedding to Grace and at the dinner with the Russians for example. We had even heard Luca Changretta and his men complain about the English food.

Which got me thinking, what sweets were available in that era?

Nostalgic Sweets as a Reminiscence Therapy Tool

Another reason for designing a nostalgic collection was because I had read an article which discussed how elderly dementia sufferers had improved quality of life when given items from their childhood/younger years, known as Reminiscence Therapy – I hoped these products (if bought for elderly family members) not only encourage nostalgia but could genuinely assist someone with dementia and improve their well being.

Researching Sweets Available in the UK in the 1920s

I already had some personal knowledge built up of brand names originating in the UK such as Cadbury (1824 Birmingham), Rowntrees (1862 York), Fry’s (1761 Bristol), Swizzels (1928 Peak District), and Bassett’s (1842 Sheffield). As a child my maternal Grandad would often visit with a small paper bag full of penny sweets, then later when we moved to the Middle East getting hold of familiar brands was often impossible so British delights became a luxury to enjoy on visits back to the island. I came to learn when I was in my late teens that my paternal Grandfather actually spent some of his youth in Ireland where his father ran a sweet shop and tobacconist, which in hindsight makes for a lovely connection to what I do now with Bloomin Sweet Delights.
1920s themed sweet selection box inspired by Peaky Blinders TV show
During the research for what confectionery to include in my edible 1920 products it became apparent that there was a clear divide between the chocolate varieties and sweets available. Chocolates were sold either as a selection box or small individually wrapped bar. The sweets were almost always supplied as a loose weight. This got me thinking about which styles of product to offer and the option of a ‘sweet selection box’ became obvious, alongside one of my traditional bouquets – but how I was going to offer loose sweets was a conundrum.
I settled on using food approved packaging for including loose sweet varieties in the bouquets. You will find some supplied in cone shapes, tubes and also pillow boxes. These designs showcase a special selection of confectionery that was available in England during the 1920s decade, with decor to compliment the era. For the Deluxe bouquet I included 23 varieties of chocolates and sweets with double portions of some varieties. The Large bouquets came in two options – Cadbury Milk Tray box or Fruit & Nut bar 21 varieties of chocolates and sweets. The Sweet Selection Box contains just under half a kilo of sweets in over a dozen varieties.
Large size 1920s themed sweet bouquets created by Bloomin' Sweet Delights

The Final Content Choice for the 1920s Peaky Blinders Inspired Products

From Jelly Babies (brought out after WWI) to the launch of Cadbury at the end of the decade, there’s truly something for everyone in these Delights!
Images of sweets that would have been available in the UK in the 1920s (credit images found on google)
  • Pear Drops
  • Cough Candy
  • Rhubarb & Custards
  • Aniseed Twists
  • Lemon Sherbets
  • Fruit Pastilles
  • Fruit Gums
  • Candy Floss
  • Marshmallows
  • Liquorice Allsorts
  • Wine Gums
  • Cadbury Dairy Milk
  • Bourneville
  • Thorntons Chocolate
  • Turkish Delight
  • Cadbury Milk Tray
  • Jelly Babies
  • Blackjacks
  • Fruit Salads
  • Cadbury Flake
  • Cadbury Fruit n Nut
  • Sherbet Fountain
  • Cadbury Crunchie

Jelly Babies Trivia & Cadbury Chocolate History

Did you know that Jelly Babies were originally called ‘Peace Babies’ or ‘Victory Babies’ to mark the end of the First World War?

For a full history of Cadbury chocolate visit Cadbury www.cadbury.co.uk/our-story 

How can Bloomin’ Sweet Delights help you celebrate?

We create a variety of confectionery gifts suitable for that special person, occasion or celebration in your life including:

* Valentines * New Home * Easter * Baby Showers * Christmas * Birthday
* Christenings *Children’s Parties * Mothers & Fathers Day * Anniversary
* Graduation Good Luck *Hen / Stag * Thank You * Wedding Congratulation

We can cater for specific taste buds – Sweet, Savoury, Dark Chocolate, Mint, Orange…Or those with special dietary needs such as Nut Allergy, Coeliac or Gluten Free. We have regularly made bouquets to suit vegetarian, dairy-free and Halal diets!

Whether it’s a bouquet, sweet cone, chocolate centre fabric flower, filled mugs or sweet jar, we have gifts as unique as the person they are being created for.

The confectionery won’t last long, but the feelings from the gesture will!

What Can I Do For You?

If you would like to see more of what I make, head over to the Bloomin’ Sweet Delight Instagram or Facebook profiles and be sure to follow & like for all the latest updates, offers and sweet delights! If you are local to the area and would like to know more about placing an order click the button below to access the How to order pages on the website…