A grandad from Birmingham is raising money for children’s charities through his own Peaky Blinders calendar with a twist after being inspired by youngsters suffering with cancer while he was battling the disease himself.
Sid Histon and his friends from Batchley in Redditch have created their very own Peaky Blinders calendar, although there’s a twist!
Inpired by the Calendar Girls film, Sid’s friends are discreetly posing nude in some of the pictures while also being dressed up as Peaky Blinders to raise money for charities including the Birmingham Children’s Hospital and Children with Cancer UK.
The 2003 film follows the story of a group of girls who decide to raise money selling nude calendars to help one of their friends who is diagnosed with terminal leukaemia.
Sid, who lives with his wife Elaine, was diagnosed with a rare form of skin cancer on his nose just over six years ago. After putting off getting his symptoms checked at first, he was eventually diagnosed with cancer and had to have his eye removed.
The Birmingham City fan, who is from Sparkbrook, had surgery and radiotherapy and was given the all clear from the disease. He still has to have yearly check-ups to make the cancer hasn’t returned.
Over the years, he has raised thousands of pounds for cancer and children’s charities, primarly through fundraising events, but he wanted to do somethig a bit different this time around. Sid was inspired by the children who were also battling cancer as they always had a smiles on their faces despite their illnesses.
Speaking to BirminghamWorld about his diagnosis and fundraising work, Sid said: “I was having radiotherapy and chemotherapy at the same time as these young children and it wasn’t right that they were there, but they were always laughing with smiles on their faces despite suffering with cancer.
“So I thought if I can get through this then I can do something for the kids.
“I’d raised money for many charities following my diagnosis but I wanted to do something different and raise money in other ways. So I had the help of a few of my mates who had backed me through this and a few weeks ago I decided to get them all together - they’re all from Redditch and Birmingham - and we thought of the Calendar Girls inspired calendar.
“Trying to sell tickets for a charity event itsn’t always easy - and with the financial situation across the country at the moment people always want to help but aren’t always able to, so I thought lets do something a bit different, which is how the calendar started.”
Being from Sparkbrook in Birmingham, Sid and many of his friends grew up in the same Birmingham neighbourhoods as the real Peaky Blinders, so they thought dressing up as the Birmingham gang would also add something special to the fundraiser, and so far the Batchley Blinders Charity Calendar 2023 has been a huge success.
“So far we’ve ordered 250 calendars which have all been sold and I have to order some more - the money is going to Birmingham Children’s Hospital and Children with Cancer UK, and we’re going to share it between them. We’ve raised £700 in two weeks so far and the printers have done a fantastic job for us as well. And we’re going to need to order some more!”
Sid also wants to urge people vigilant to any changes in their bodies after he put off going to the doctors prior to his cancer diagnosis.
He said: “I was silly I never got it checked out properly, and I thought the mark on my skin was because I worked in the gardens for years and years looking after peoples gardens, but I was wrong. As soon I left hospital I put the message out there to people to get lumps and bumps checked as soon as possible, I hope its helped one or two people.”
Visit The Peaky Blinders Sparkbrook Birmingham site on facebook, here, to enquire about a calendar.
The calendars are £600 plus £200 postage with all money going to charity.