Peaky Blinders crew and canary stuck in heavy snowfall

Members of production crew and bird that features in upcoming series placed in emergency accommodation in Aberdeenshire.

Peaky Blinders crew and canary stuck in heavy snowfall
Peaky Blinders stars filming at Portsoy Harbour in Aberdeenshire.

Crew members working on hit gangster TV show Peaky Blinders – along with a canary that will feature in the upcoming series – were placed in emergency accommodation after snow drifts left them stranded in Aberdeenshire.

The Peaky Blinders actors and production crew wrapped up filming at Portsoy on Saturday.

But they struggled to leave the area after the A96 road was closed due to the heavy snow sweeping across the north-east of Scotland.

Di Mitchell, a coordinator of the Covid-19 Huntly and District Volunteer Group (COTAG), coordinated an emergency response from the car park of the Asda superstore in Huntly.

She said people – including families – started to congregate in the car park, so she put out an appeal to hospitality owners in the area to see if they could offer any help.

She said: “After liaising with Aberdeenshire Council emergency services, I managed to accommodate the two Peaky Blinders crew and their canary with a lovely couple in Huntly.

“I also managed to accommodate a single guy with another Huntly family.

Then we got word that the Castle Hotel in Huntly was opening up and COTAG arrived. The Police and COTAG transported everyone left up to the Castle Hotel in their 4×4’s.

“There were families with children, workmen and of course the two Peaky Blinders crew with their canary all congregated in the Asda car park. The Huntly Asda team were fantastic feeding all the people and keeping them updated. I can’t praise them enough.”

Cillian Muprhy, who plays Thomas Selby in the lead role, was spotted in the area earlier this month decked out in his period costume.

The shoot is for the sixth season of the critically acclaimed drama, which will also be its last.

Huntly councillor Gwyneth Petrie said Saturday night’s response showed Huntly “has the best community spirit during times of need”.

She said: “I cannot thank enough those in Huntly who stepped forward to assist in ensuring that those stranded here had a safe, warm place to stay for the night.  

“In increasingly poor weather conditions, local volunteer Di Mitchell spent hours in the Asda car park to ascertain how many people required somewhere to stay, and to communicate with the council’s emergency response coordinator on finding somewhere.

“The Asda staff were also great in providing support and hot drinks to those stuck here. The owners of the Castle Hotel showed the greatest generosity of spirit in opening their doors, without hesitation or charge, during what must be a significantly difficult time for them.”

A spokesperson for Aberdeenshire Council also thanked everybody involved in the operation.

In a statement, the Aberdeenshire Council Duty Emergency Coordinator said: “What we saw on Saturday night in Huntly was the best possible example of a community pulling together when it was needed most.

“From the roads team who were working hard to rescue to the stranded families, to local community responders, businesses and an amazing network of volunteers, we were able to get these people to safety and put them up overnight.

“Nothing was too much trouble and safety was the first priority. This shows what a community can do when they come together.”