Lancaster's Williamson Park used as filming location for BBC crime drama Peaky Blinders
Film crews were spotted in Williamson Park today as scenes for the BBC drama Peaky Blinders were recorded.
The Ashton Memorial was the backdrop for some indoor scenes of the award-winning British crime drama.
And while the production team asked the public to keep away as part of its Covid safety protocol, lorries used for transporting the crew and equipment could still be spotted from a distance by passers-by, who gathered in the rain hoping to spot a star or two.
Director Anthony Byrne said: “It’s a pleasure to be here. The Ashton Memorial is a location we’ve all been very excited to shoot at for a long time.
"I can’t say what it is being used for or where we are supposed to be but it’s a stunning location and a beautiful part of the world for us to be in.
"Our art department have done quite an extraordinary job and transformed it into something very special indeed. That said I don’t think we could ever outdo Lord Ashton and his wild ambition.”
A spokesman for Williamson Park said: "The council is delighted to be facilitating the filming of scenes for the popular TV drama Peaky Blinders at its Williamson Park.
"The production will have a presence on site at the Ashton Memorial until early March and both the production team and the council would like to thank everyone in advance for their patience and co-operation during the preparation and filming.
"Every effort will be made to minimise disruption for park users and we ask that visitors to the park continue to adhere to current Government restrictions and refrain from gathering in groups in the park at this time.
"It should be noted that the café and toilets in the vicinity of the memorial will be closed tomorrow whilst filming is taking place."
In a statement, the production team said: “Everyone at Peaky Blinders is excited to be filming our new series. We’ve gone to extensive lengths in line with the applicable Government and regional guidelines to make the production safe for cast, crew and the communities that surround our filming locations and in order to continue to do this, we kindly ask that members of the public please stay away from our closed sets to allow us to create the series in a safe and secure way for everyone involved.
"We look forward to sharing the series with you in due course.”
Peaky Blinders is a series created by Steven Knight and set in Birmingham, following the exploits of the Shelby crime family in the direct aftermath of the World War One.
The fictional family is loosely based on a real urban youth gang of the same name, who were active in the city from the 1890s to the early 20th century.
This is not the first time a Lancashire landmark has been used in the series.
In September 2019, Hoghton Tower near Chorley kicked off the third episode of season five.
The iconic fortified manor house doubled up for St Hilda's Orphanage in Birmingham, a beneficiary bankrolled by the Shelby family's Grace Shelby Foundation.