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Carl Chinn - Author

About the Author

Featured books by Carl Chinn

Other books by Carl Chinn

They Worked All Their Lives Women of the Urban Poor, 1880-1939

They Worked All Their Lives Women of the Urban Poor, 1880-1939

Author: Carl Chinn Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 31/12/2019

While an undergraduate Carl Chinn recalls a lecturer postulating that working-class women were downtrodden and brow-beaten by their men: 'I remember thinking, They're not in my family ...I lacked the confidence to disagree, and to tell him that I knew many working-class women who were at least the equals of their men and who could fight physically. Indeed the first fight I had seen was when I was ten. My Nan had taken me and my brother down the Villa. An away fan had pinched Our Kid's scarf and Our Nan, just four foot eleven tall, turned round and laid the chap out with one punch. A tough woman whose fore-finger had been torn off by a machine at work, Our Nan was the daughter, mother and grandmother of strong, working-class women.' Often strong physically, women of the urban poor worked from when they were toddlers until they died. They worked inside and outside the house, cooking, washing, cleaning and planning how to get by; they worked as domestics in the houses of a middle class often arrogant and condescending in their attitudes towards them; they worked in factories, shops, mills and workshops; they worked in their neighbourhoods in providing vital services for their neighbours. Often earning her own income and receiving the earnings of her children, it was the mother who was in charge of the daily battle against hunger and hardships. Such supreme dedication and true grit earned these women the central role in the family and fostered the devotion of their children, who recognised a mother's command of the household finances, her ability to maintain a family's self-sufficiency through careful housekeeping and creative cooking, and her valiant efforts to stay clean and respectable. Married daughters chose to live close to their mothers, forming extended families in settled neighbourhoods and furthering cementing strong kinship ties. Older married women who were grannies and aunts held sway over large familial networks, and from this position of importance many of them achieved status in their neighbourhoods as layers-out, unofficial midwives, wise women, custodians of the moral code and guardians of the group consciousness. The women of the urban poor worked all their lives for their families and neighbours: they deserve our respect and admiration.

Peaky Blinders - The Real Story of Birmingham's most notorious gangs The No. 1 Sunday Times Bestseller

Peaky Blinders - The Real Story of Birmingham's most notorious gangs The No. 1 Sunday Times Bestseller

Author: Carl Chinn Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 19/09/2019

THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER The Peaky Blinders as we know them, thanks to the hit TV series, are infused with drama and dread. Fashionably dressed, the charismatic but deeply flawed Shelby family blind enemies by slashing them with the disposable safety razor blades stitched in to the peaks of their flat caps, as they fight bloody gangland wars involving Irish terrorists and the authorities led by a devious Home Secretary, Winston Churchill. But who were the real Peaky Blinders? Did they really exist? Well-known social historian, broadcaster and author, Carl Chinn, has spent decades searching them out. Now he reveals the true story of the notorious Peaky Blinders, one of whom was his own great grandfather and, like the Shelbys, his grandfather was an illegal bookmaker in back-street Birmingham. In this gripping social history, Chinn shines a light on the rarely reported struggles of the working class in one of the great cities of the British Empire before the First World War. The story continues after 1918 as some Peaky Blinders transformed into the infamous Birmingham Gang. Led by the real Billy Kimber, they fought a bloody war with the London gangsters Darby Sabini and Alfie Solomon over valuable protection rackets extorting money from bookmakers across the booming postwar racecourses of Britain. Drawing together a remarkably wide-range of original sources, including rarely seen images of real Peaky Blinders and interviews with relatives of the 1920s gangsters, Peaky Blinders: The Real Story adds a new dimension to the true history of Birmingham's underworld and fact behind its fiction.

Birmingham The Workshop of the World

Birmingham The Workshop of the World

Author: Carl Chinn, Malcolm Dick Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 31/10/2016

Birmingham is a city with an extraordinarily diverse achievement in fields as varied as science, industry, politics, education, medicine, printing and the arts. Labels such as the 'first industrial city', 'city of a thousand trades', 'the best-governed city in the world' and 'the youngest city in Europe' have been applied to the town. This new publication, the first major history of Birmingham since the 1970s, is published to commemorate the 850th anniversary of Birmingham's market charter in 1166, an event which marked the first step in the rise of Birmingham as a commercial and industrial powerhouse. Authored by scholars, but written for a general readership, this detailed, accessible and richly illustrated book is both a definitive reference work and a readable account of a diverse, culturally rich and high-achieving city. Many aspects of the history of Birmingham are presented for the first time outside academic publications: its diverse people's history, a rich prehistoric and Roman past, the rise of Birmingham in medieval and early modern times, the evolution of an innovative system of education, a varied experience in art and design and an extraordinary printing history. The book covers economic and political themes and new approaches to the history of society and culture. It is illustrated with many images which have never before been published either in books or on the web. The result is a visually stunning and factually illuminating book which will appeal to many kinds of people.

The Real Peaky Blinders Billy Kimber, the Birmingham Gang and the Racecourse Wars of the 1920s

The Real Peaky Blinders Billy Kimber, the Birmingham Gang and the Racecourse Wars of the 1920s

Author: Carl Chinn Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 10/10/2014

Stylish and dark, the BBC series the 'Peaky Blinders' is set in the backstreets of Birmingham after the First World War and tells of the rise to power of Thomas Shelby and his criminal gang. Yet the real stories behind these fictional characters are just as dramatic, bloody and compelling as the TV series. Thomas Shelby's arch enemy Billy Kimber was in real life a Brummie from Summer Lane. He was a feared fighter with an astute mind and magnetic personality which earned him the leadership of the Birmingham Gang that dominated the highly profitable protection rackets of the racecourses of England. The members of this gang had once been 'sloggers' or 'peaky blinders' and their rise to supremacy was attributable to their viciousness and to Kimber's shrewd alliances with other gangs. But they soon incurred the envy of the Sabini Gang of London who fought violently to oust Kimber and his men and take over their rackets. The Birmingham Gang battled back fiercely in the infamous and blood-stained racecourse wars of the 1920s. This Birmingham Gang led by Billy Kimber were the Real Peaky Blinders and this is their story.

Free Parks for the People A History of Birmingham's Municipal Parks, 1844-1974

Free Parks for the People A History of Birmingham's Municipal Parks, 1844-1974

Author: Carl Chinn Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/05/2012

Birmingham's parks are a gift that has been passed on to us thanks to the efforts of four distinct groups. The first comprises generous upper class and upper middle class philanthropists of a variety of backgrounds and beliefs. The second embraces preachers like George Dawson and Robert Dale, who propounded the Civic Gospel. The third is the Council. In its early years and with a few honourable exceptions like Alderman Cutler, it was dominated by councillors with a miserable attitude to civic life. Thankfully they were eventually replaced by dynamic councillors who enthusiastically took up the Civic Gospel so as to provide municipal facilities for Birmingham's people. The fourth group was a hardy and resourceful band of working-class activists who were resolved to improve life for their fellows. Together these groups succeeded in providing free parks for the people. They have left us a wonderful legacy that we should cherish.

The Streets of Brum

The Streets of Brum

Author: Carl Chinn Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/12/2008

Birmingham's streets, roads and lanes are an absorbing aspect of our history. They call out to us about long dead landowners, notable figures from the history of England, Brummies long forgotten, farms that have been swept away by the outpouring of our city, remarkable physical features, distant battles, intriguing foreign places and mysterious happenings. The street names of Birmingham raise many immediate questions. Was there an oak in Selly Oak? How is Smallbrook Street connected to a vicious family feud? Where is Spiceal Street and why is it important? Who was Tinker Fox and what connection is there between the Adderleys and Saltley? How are the city's Civil War connections reflected in its street names? Which battles of the First World War are recalled in streets in Billesley? And how are both Tyseley Hill Road and Weoley Castle Square tied in to the Anglo-Saxon mythology? In this deeply researched book, Carl Chinn looks at scores of street names, bringing to life their meaning and those people who belonged to them.

Poverty Amidst Prosperity The Urban Poor in England, 1834-1914

Poverty Amidst Prosperity The Urban Poor in England, 1834-1914

Author: Carl Chinn Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 10/05/2007

The upper and middle classes of Victorian England were marked out by their confidence: they boasted that the sun never set on their Empire; they believed they were destined to lead other nations; and they bragged that their civilisation was pre-eminent. Their self-belief was assured because they lived in a country that had become rich through industrialisation. But amidst great prosperity there was also much poverty. Deprivation and distress were widespread and obvious. In towns and cities, grand public and civic buildings were surrounded by poor dwellings later known as 'slums'. The poor crowded into these insanitary districts; they rented badly built dwellings with inadequate facilities; they did the dirtiest, hardest and most dangerous jobs; they ate the worst food; they suffered ill health and early deaths. Poverty blighted their lives. Many observers asserted that many of the poor were thriftless and feckless. They stated that the muckiness of the poor districts was caused by dirty people who did not wish to raise themselves out of the mire. Gradually, however, social investigators began to question these scathing generalisations, arguing that poverty was usually the result of economic conditions over which individuals and families had no control. Poverty Amidst Prosperity focuses on the urban poor themselves, and explains their way of life from within. Using working-class autobiographies and other evidence from working-class people themselves, Carl Chinn shows how people reacted to poverty, and brings to the fore their strategies for coping with their situation. He asserts that the urban poor were not passive victims of their circumstances, but that they fought against poverty with the support of neighbours and kin, and that they formed thriving villages in a dreadful urban environment. This book provides the ideal introduction to those seeking to understand poverty from the grassroots. Its wide range of evidence, clear analysis and strong argument stress the importance of communities, and give a voice to those whom traditional history has marginalised.

Streets of Brum

Streets of Brum

Author: Carl Chinn Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/12/2006

Brum Undaunted Birmingham During the Blitz

Brum Undaunted Birmingham During the Blitz

Author: Carl Chinn Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 13/10/2005

Brum Undaunted first appeared in 1995 under the imprint of Birmingham Library Services . This new expanded memorial edition published by Brewin Books contains, in addition to the original text, details of all those who lost their lives in the Birmingham Blitz, together with personal memoirs and photographs from some who survived. The book has been produced in conjunction with the Birmingham Air Raids Remembrance Association who have worked tirelessly for many years to commemorate the victims of the Blitz. Their efforts have now been crowned with success by the unveiling of a suitable memorial. Professor Carl Chinn, MBE, author of the book, has waived his rights to the usual royalties and the publishers, instead, will be making a donation to BARRA in respect of copies sold, the money raised being used towards the work of the Association.

Streets of Brum

Streets of Brum

Author: Carl Chinn Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/11/2004

Birmingham's streets, roads and lanes are an absorbing aspect of our history. They call out to us about long dead landowners, notable figures from the history of England, Brummies long forgotten, farms that have been swept away by the outpouring of our city, remarkable physical features, distant battles, intriguing foreign places and mysterious happenings. Questions as to their origins leap out from a multitude of Birmingham's street names. Why was Fawdry Street first called Noah's Ark Passage? Was treasure to be found in Golden Hillock Road? How did Foulemoreslone become Formans Road? Did Gate Street have a gate? What has Franchise Street got to do with the battle for working-class rights? Where was The Froggery? What connection is there between creatures of mythology and Hob Moor Road? And why should the Holte, Gooch and Gough families have so many streets and roads named after them? In this deeply researched book, Carl Chinn looks at scores of street names, bringing to life their meaning and those people who belonged to them.

Black Country Memories

Black Country Memories

Author: Carl Chinn Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/11/2004

It is a thrill to have written a local history book in conjunction with the Express and Star. The paper is not only the biggest-selling evening newspaper in the country outside London, but also it is marked out by its commitment to its region and the people of that region. There can be few papers that are as local as the Express and Star and that commitment to localness affects positively every aspect of its reporting and coverage. The Black Country is fortunate to have a paper so dedicated to the well being of Black Country folk. I thank the editor of the Express and Star, Adrian Faber, and its management for giving me the opportunity to write so extensively about the Black Country.

The Streets of Brum

The Streets of Brum

Author: Carl Chinn Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 30/11/2003

Birmingham's streets, roads and lanes are an absorbing aspect of our history. They call out to us about long dead landowners, notable figures from the history of England, Brummies long forgotten, farms that have been swept away by the outpouring of our city, remarkable physical features, distant battles, intriguing foreign places and mysterious happenings. Such names almost demand of us that we ask questions of them. Why is Conybere Street so called? Where is the Fashoda that is highlighted in a Stirchley road? How did AB Row gain its name? For what reason are the Adderleys brought to mind in Saltley? Did people wash themselves in Bath Row? Were cherries once picked in Cherry Street? And where were Fisherman's Hut Lane, Noah's Ark Passage, Devil's Tooth Hollow Yard and The Froggery. In this deeply researched book, Carl Chinn looks at scores of street names, bringing to life their meaning and those people who belonged to them. Carl Chinn MBE is Director of the BirminghamLives multimedia project at South Birmingham College, Professor of Community History at The University of Birmingham, a broadcaster with BBC WM and a columnist with the Birmingham Evening Mail. The Streets of Brum: Part One is his 21st book.

Proper Brummie A Dictionary of Birmingham Words and Phrases

Proper Brummie A Dictionary of Birmingham Words and Phrases

Author: Carl Chinn, Steve Thorne Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 31/01/2003

The Cadbury Story A Short History

The Cadbury Story A Short History

Author: Carl Chinn Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 27/04/1998

With full access to the Bournville archives, Dr. Chinn has traced the history of this distinguished family and its long established business.

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