NOW ICONIC BRITISH ACTOR AND STAR OF BRONSON FILM -TOM HARDY CONTINUES TO SUPPORT CHARLIE BRONSON (NOW CHARLES SALVADOR) .

HERE ARE SOME OF THE BEST CLIPS FROM THE CONTROVERSIAL BRONSON FILM  ALONG WITH IMAGES AND A BACKGROUND ON BRITAIN’S MOST INFAMOUS AND NOTORIOUS PRISON INMATE

A GREAT BRITISH ACTOR TOM HARDY AS BRONSON IN THE FILM

TOM HARDY WITH HAIR !!! ALONGSIDE A FILM POSTER DEPICTING HIMSELF AS BRONSON

THE REAL CHARLES BRONSON – STILL DEEMED TO BE BRITAIN’S MOST INFAMOUS AND NOTORIOUS  PRISON INMATE

CHARLES BRONSON WITH BEARD

THE REAL CHARLES BRONSON BEING LED AWAY FROM COURT ..

 AS REPORTED IN THE DAILY MIRROR NOVEMBER 2010

Naked Charles Bronson covered himself in butter in latest jail rage

 15/11/2010

Crackpot Charles Bronson covered himself in butter while naked and took on 12 prison warders in his latest jail rage.

The 57-year-old flipped after growing more and more furious over his latest failed bid to be freed.

He took on six warders, then another six in a specialist restraint team who rushed to help before finally being dragged back to solitary.

At least four officers were injured in the rampage on the notorious F-wing at Wakefield jail, West Yorks.

An insider said: “He was naked and covered himself in butter so staff trying to restrain him could not take him down. He assaulted four before they sent in six members of the control and restraint team to get him.

“They finally managed to control him and he was taken back into solitary confinement.

“Charlie has not been in the news for a while and his failed appeal last year hit him hard. He was moved to Long Lartin and thought he was going to get out.

“Then they had to take him back to the highest security at Wakefield.

“He knows this is it for the rest of his days, and he is desperate.”

Lifer Bronson, first jailed for armed robbery in 1969, is likely to be in solitary indefinitely. He has spent the vast majority of his 36 years behind bars alone.

Bronson was last locked up in 1974 for another armed raid. He has taken a string of hostages in 10 sieges, attacked at least 20 officers and caused £500,000 damage in rooftop protests.

He got life for kidnapping prison teacher Phil Danielson at Hull jail in 1999.

His appeal against that sentence failed last year. A film, Bronson, has been released based on his life.

His art work, including dark depictions of jail life, has won awards, and can earn £2,500 a canvas.

The Prison Service said of Friday’s rampage: “A prisoner was involved in a minor incident in the gym area.”

WIKIPEDIA BACKGROUND

Charles “Charlie” Bronson (born Michael Gordon Peterson, 6 December 1952) is a British criminal often referred to in the British press as the “most violent prisoner in Britain”.[2]

Born in Aberystwyth, Wales, Peterson often found his way into fights before he began a bare-knuckle boxing career in the East End of London. His promoter was not happy with his name and suggested he change it to Charles Bronson.

In 1974 he was imprisoned for a robbery and sentenced to seven years. While in prison he began making a name for himself as a loose cannon, often fighting convicts and prison guards. These fights added years onto his sentence. Regarded as a problem prisoner, he was moved 120 times throughout Her Majesty’s Prison Service and spent most of that time in solitary confinement. What was originally a seven year term stretched out to a fourteen year sentence that resulted in his first wife, Irene, with whom he had a son, leaving him. He was released on October 30, 1988 but only spent 69 days as a free man before he was arrested again.

While in jail in 2001 he married his second wife, Fatema Saira Rehman, a Bangladeshi-born divorcée who inspired him to convert to Islam and take the name of Charles Ali Ahmed. This second marriage lasted four years before he got divorced and renounced Islam.

Bronson is one of the most high profile criminals in Britain, and has been the subject of books, interviews and studies in prison reform and treatment. He is the subject of the 2008 film Bronson, the story based loosely around significant events during his life. In addition Bronson has himself written many books about his experiences and famous prisoners he has met throughout his internment. A self-declared fitness fanatic who spent multiple years in solitary, Bronson dedicated a book to working out in confined spaces.

[edit]Early life[edit]Before prison

Luton, England, which Bronson considers his home town

Bronson was one of three sons [3] of Eira and Joe Peterson, who would later run the Conservative club in Aberystwyth. His uncle and aunt were mayor and mayoress of the town in the 1960s and 1970s. His aunt, Eileen Parry, is quoted as saying, “As a boy he was a lovely lad. He was obviously bright and always good with children. He was gentle and mild-mannered, never a bully – he would defend the weak.”[4]

He lived in Luton from the age of four but, when he was a teenager, Bronson moved with his family to Ellesmere PortCheshire, where he started getting into trouble. Bronson later returned to Luton, which is often referred to as his home town, where he earned a living as a circus strongman. He was married in December 1970 to Irene, with whom he had a son, Michael.

[edit]Boxing career and name change

Prior to being imprisoned, Bronson had a short-lived career in bare-knuckle boxing in the East End of London, during which time he became an associate ofLenny McLean. He changed his name from Mick Peterson to Charles Bronson in 1987 on the advice of his fight promoter,[5] “not because he liked the idea of the ‘Death Wish’ films starring the original Charles Bronson.”[6]

[edit]Life in prison

Ashworth Hospital, where Bronson spent some time as behavioural health patient

Bronson was imprisoned for seven years in 1974, aged 22, for an armed robbery at a Post Office in Little Sutton, a suburb of Ellesmere Port, during which he stole £26.18.[7] His sentence was repeatedly extended for crimes committed within prison, which include wounding with intent, wounding, criminal damage,grievous bodily harmfalse imprisonmentblackmail and threatening to kill.

Bronson has served all but four of his years in prison in solitary confinement due to a number of hostage situations, rooftop protests, and repeated attacks on prison staff and on other inmates. His dangerous behaviour has meant that he has spent time in over 120 different prisons, including all three maximum security hospitals: Broadmoor HospitalRampton Secure Hospital, and Ashworth Hospital.[8]

Bronson has spent a total of just four months and nine days out of custody since 1974. He was released on 30 October 1988 and spent 69 days as a free man before being arrested for robbery, and then released again on 9 November 1992, spending 53 days as a free man before being arrested again, this time for conspiracy to rob.[4]

In 1999 a special prison unit was set up for Bronson and two other violent prisoners from Woodhill, to reduce the risk they posed to staff and other prisoners.[9]

In 2000, Bronson received a discretionary life sentence with a three year tariff for a hostage-taking incident. His appeal against this sentence was denied in 2004.[10]

Bronson remained a Category A prisoner when he was moved to Wakefield High-Security Prison.[11] He was due for a parole hearing in September 2008, but this was postponed when his lawyer objected to a one-hour parole interview, requesting a full day to deal with Bronson’s case.[12] The parole hearing took place on 11 March 2009 and parole was refused shortly afterwards.[13] The Parole Board said that Mr Bronson had not proved he was a reformed character.[14]

On 12 November 2010, Bronson was involved in another incident in Wakefield prison’s F Wing, when he stripped naked, covered himself in butter and attacked six guards. Covering himself with butter apparently made him harder to control. Another six warders were brought in and finally restrained him.[15]

The incident followed another attack on warders the previous week during which he injured four attempting to take him back to solitary confinement.[15]

Prison sources said the attack was Bronson’s “protest over an appeal rejection” and fears that he may now spend the rest of his life in prison.[15]

[edit]Hostage incidents

Belmarsh Prison, where Bronson took two Iraqi hijackers hostage

Bronson has been involved in over a dozen hostage incidents, some of which are described below:

  • In 1983, Bronson took hostages and staged a 47-hour rooftop protest at Broadmoor, causing £750,000 of damage.
  • In 1994, while holding a civilian librarian hostage at Woodhill Prison, Milton Keynes, he demanded an inflatable doll, a helicopter and a cup of tea as ransom. Two months later, he held deputy governor Adrian Wallace hostage for five hours at Hull prison, injuring him so badly he was off work for five weeks.[4]
  • In 1998, Bronson took two Iraqi hijackers and another inmate hostage at Belmarsh prison in London. He insisted his hostages address him as “General” and told negotiators he would eat one of his victims quickly unless his demands were met. At one stage, Bronson demanded one of the Iraqis hit him “very hard” over the head with a metal tray. When the hostage refused, Bronson slashed his own shoulder six times with a razor blade. He later told staff: “I’m going to start snapping necks – I’m the number-one hostage taker.” He demanded a plane to take him to Cuba, two Uzi sub-machine guns, 5,000 rounds of ammunition, and an axe. In court, he said he was “as guilty as Adolf Hitler“, adding, “I was on a mission of madness, but now I’m on a mission of peace and all I want to do now is go home and have a pint with my son.” Another seven years were added to his sentence.[4]
  • In 1999, he took Phil Danielson, a civilian education officer, hostage at Hull prison.[3] He can be seen in CCTV footage singing the song “Yellow Submarine“, walking around with a makeshift spear[citation needed] (after having caused havoc inside the prison) and causing the wing to be locked up for over 40 hours.
  • In 2007, two prison staff members at Full Sutton high security prison in the East Riding of Yorkshire were involved in a “control and restraint incident”, in an attempt to prevent another hostage situation, during which Bronson (who by now needed spectacles) had his glasses broken. Bronson received £200 compensation for his broken glasses,[11] which he claimed were made of “pre-war gold” and given to him by Lord Longford.[citation needed]

[edit]Personal life

[edit]First marriage

Bronson met his first wife, Irene, in 1969, when he was still called Michael Peterson. Irene remembers that he “was so different from any other boys I knew. He always wore tailored suits, had perfectly-groomed sideburns and a Cockney accent.”[16] Eight months later, when Irene was 4 months pregnant, they married at Chester Register Office in December 1970. Four years later, when their son Mike was three years old, the police raided their house searching for Peterson. He was eventually caught and sent to prison. Five years later they divorced and Irene later remarried and became Irene Dunroe. She had two children with her new husband.[16]

[edit]Second marriage and second name change

In 2001, Bronson married again, this time in Milton Keynes‘, HMP Woodhill to Fatema Saira Rehman, a Bangladeshi-born divorcee[17] who had seen his picture in a newspaper and begun writing to him. Rehman had visited Bronson ten times prior to their wedding.[18][19] She had worked at a women’s shelter prior to their meeting, but lost her job when her employer found out about the relationship.[20]For a short time, Bronson converted to Islam (Rehman is Muslim) and wished to be known as Charles Ali Ahmed. After four years he and Rehman divorced.[16] Rehman has since given many interviews regarding her short marriage to Bronson, portraying him in a negative light. In one interview she was quoted as saying, “He fooled me – he is nothing but an abusive, racist thug.”[3]

Bronson claims that shortly after the 9-11 attacks in New York, two men visited him (he was then known as Ahmed) offering to release him into general population if he would infiltrate the Muslim prison population.[21]

[edit]Occupations and projects

While in prison, Bronson has developed an extreme fitness regime and claims he is still able to do 172 press-ups in 60 seconds and 94 press-ups in 30 seconds.[22] In 2002, he published the bookSolitary Fitness, detailing an individual training process with minimal resources and space.[23]

For the past ten years, Bronson has occupied himself by writing poetry and producing pieces of art; he has had eleven books published, including in 2008 his only self-penned book Loonyology: In My Own Words. He has won 11 Koestler Trust Awards for his poetry and art.[24]

On 28 April 2010, BBC News reported that artwork by Bronson were displayed on the London Underground at Angel Station from 26 April 2010 for two weeks. The display was organised by Art Below, which is unrelated to the official Transport For London art program, and there is controversy over whether it should have been shown.[25] His work has since been removed by an unknown party.[25]

[edit]Film of Bronson’s life

Bronson, which loosely follows Bronson’s life, was released in Britain on 13 March 2009. It stars Tom Hardy in the titular role, and is directed by Nicolas Winding Refn.[26] There was some controversy caused at the première, when a recording of Bronson’s voice was played with no prior permission granted by officers at HM Prison Service, who called for an inquiry into how the recording had been made.[27]

[edit]Bibliography

  • Bronson, Charles; Richards, Stephen (2002). Solitary Fitness (2002 ed.). Mirage. ISBN 1902578120- Total pages: 215
  • Bronson, Charles. Loonyology: In My Own Words (2 Nov 2009 ed.). Apex Publishing Ltd.ISBN 1906358117.- Total pages: 466
  • Bronson, Charles. Diaries from Hell: Charles Bronson – My Prison Diaries (1 May 2009 ed.). Y Lolfa.ISBN 1847711162.- Total pages: 464
  • Bronson, Charles; Richards, Stephen (1999). The Charles Bronson Book of Poems: Birdman Opens His Mind Bk. 1 (1 May 1999 ed.). Mirage. ISBN 1902578031- Total pages: 78
  • Bronson, Charles; Richards, Stephen. Silent Scream: The Charles Bronson Story (5 Sep 1999 ed.). Mirage. ISBN 1902578082- Total pages: 248
  • Bronson, Charles. Emmins, Mark. ed. Con-artist (19 Dec 2008 ed.). Matador. ISBN 1848760485- Total pages: 108

THE SEEMINGLY WRONGLY INSTITUTIONALISED AND STILL INCARCERATED “CHARLES BRONSON ” ( NOW KNOWN AS CHARLES SALVADOR ) RECEIVES A FURTHER 2 YEAR IMPRISONMENT FOR ASSAULT ON PRISON GOVERNOR .

AS REPORTED ON THE DAILY MAIL ONLINE 2 SEPTEMBER 2014………….

Britain’s most notorious lifer Charles Bronson pictured for the first time in a decade – as he’s convicted of yet ANOTHER vicious assault on prison governor

Bronson, who has attacked multiple prison officers and inmates during his 40 years in prison, today plead guilty to the actual bodily harm of prison governor Alan Parkins.

He was photographed being escorted into a prison van flanked by security guards following the court hearing – at which he was sentenced to another two years in jail.

Notorious prisoner Charles Bronson pictured being escorted to a prison van following his court appearance today. It is believed to be the first photo taken of him in a decade

The images show him wearing prison overalls and trademark round glasses, and he is clean shaven aside from the signature handlebar moustache.

Bronson, who has changed his name by deed poll to Charles Salvador, left the governor with multiple injuries following the attack on February 28 this year.

 It was believed the 61-year-old, jailed for an initial seven years but now serving a life sentence for kidnap while behind bars, was angry that prison staff had withheld mail from him.

He had held Mr Parkins, of Woodhill Prison in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, in a headlock so tightly that he was unable to breathe during the incident shortly before 8am.

The notorious inmate also struck the prison chief several times over the head before a group of prison officers rushed to free the governor from his grip and Bronson was restrained.

Bronson pictured in April 2004 at The Old Bailey. It is one of only two photos of him taken that year

Bronson pictured in April 2004 at The Old Bailey. It is one of only two photos of him taken that year

Bronson pictured in Wakefield Prison in June 2004 in a return to his trademark moustache and glasses

Governor Parkins was left with a bloody nose and scrapes on his face, as well as bruising on his shoulder and arm.

Last month Bronson declared, via his supporters’ appeal fund page, he had changed his surname from Bronson to Salvador.

In a rambling statement, he wrote: ‘Bronson came alive in 1987. He died in 2014. Come on. The boy done well. But he’s finished.

‘It’s now Salvador all the way to Disneyland. Your (sic) welcome to join the ride but it’s non-violent all the way.

‘It’s a peaceful journey from here on. The creator will create masterpieces.’

The statement was signed ‘Charles Salvador’.

Today he sat in the secure dock surrounded by six prison guards, with further police equipped with riot gear outside Amersham Crown Court.

Detective Sergeant James Shepherd said the police were pleased Bronson chose to plead guilty at the hearing

He added: ‘Police were immediately informed following this incident in February and conducted a full interview.

‘Bronson declined to make any comment in interviews, stating only that he would save his comments for a jury.’

Bronson has spent only four months and nine days outside prison since first being convicted in 1974.

He has been in solitary confinement for 36 years of that time and was given a life sentence after holding a prison art teacher hostage in 1999.

The statement released by Bronson’s appeal fund in which he renounces violence and declares his name change

 The second page discusses his decision to start again with the new name and is signed Charles Salvador

The second page discusses his decision to start again with the new name and is signed Charles Salvador

Violent prisoner Charles Bronson, pictured in 1997, has spent 36 years in solitary confinement

Violent prisoner Charles Bronson, pictured in 1997, has spent 36 years in solitary confinement

  • 1974: First jailed, aged 22, for armed robbery (seven years jail).
  • 1975: Attacked fellow prisoner with a glass jug. (nine months jail)
  • 1985: A three-day rooftop protest at Walton Gaol caused £100,000 worth of damage (one year jail)
  • 1988: Sent back to prison for robbing a jewellery shop. (seven years jail)
  • 1992: Released from prison but shortly afterwards found guilty of intent to rob. (eight years jail)
  • 1994: Holds prison librarian hostage, demanding inflatable doll, helicopter and cup of tea (eight years jail).
  • 1998: Takes three inmates hostage at Belmarsh. Insists they call him ‘General’ and threatens to eat one of them unless demands are met (five years jail, reduced from seven on appeal).
  • 1999: Given life sentence for kidnapping prison teacher Phil Danielson at Hull jail (life sentence with a three year tariff).
  • 2014: Assaulted prison governor Alan Parkins (two years jail)

THE CHARLES BRONSON ( NOW CHARLES SALVADOR) EXHIBITION AT LITTLEDEAN JAIL , 

WE AT THE CRIME THROUGH TIME COLLECTION HERE AT LITTLEDEAN JAIL WISH TO CONTINUALLY SUPPORT CHARLIE IN HIS ONGOING AND NEVER ENDING LEGAL BATTLE.   ALL THE VERY BEST WITH HIS LONG AWAITED 2014 APPEAL (IF IT EVER COMES TO COURT? ) FOR HIS FREEDOM, AFTER HAVING SERVED IN EXCESS OF SOME 40 YEARS IN PRISON .

LET US NOT FORGET HE HAS NEVER KILLED ANYONE, HE IS NOT A TERRORIST AND HAS ALWAYS BEEN THE FIRST TO PUT HIS HANDS UP TO ALL HIS WRONG DOINGS FOR WHICH HE HAS SERVED FAR MORE TIME THAN DESERVED .

SADLY HOWEVER .. AS IS SEEMINGLY ALWAYS THE CASE, THE ESTABLISHMENT APPEAR TO WANT TO HOLD BACK FROM GIVING HIM ANY REASONABLE REHABILITATION OR PROGRESS TO HELP HIM BE RELEASED  BACK INTO SOCIETY. NOT EVEN ENCOURAGED TO BE DECATEGORISED WITHIN THE PRISON SYSTEM .

ALL THE VERY BEST ………….ANDY JONES….LITTLEDEAN JAIL

 

BELOW IS A GREAT, FROM THE HEART, VERSION OF THE CLASSIC FRANK SINATRA , AND SID VICIOUS (SEX PISTOLS) HIT …”MY WAY ” .

AND YES BELIEVE IT OR NOT THIS WAS ACTUALLY SANG BY CHARLIE BRONSON HIMSELF WHILST STILL IN SOLITARY CONFINEMENT  AS A CAT A PRISONER IN A HIGH SECURITY PRISON  HERE IN THE UK……………….

 

 

CaptureADO COME VISIT AND SEE FOR YOURSELVES THE CHARLES BRONSON EXHIBITION AND INSIGHT INTO THE MAN HIMSELF HERE AT THE CRIME THROUGH TIME COLLECTION HERE AT LITTLEDEAN JAIL, FOREST OF DEAN , GLOUCESTERSHIRE ,UK . WE WILL BE REOPENING TO THE PUBLIC FOR THE FORTHCOMING TOURISM SEASON ON THE 28TH MARCH 2013 .

217A9C38-A378-C8E1-F63E93FADD6FD276 charlesbronson_180_777033a

THE KRAY TWINS, THE FIRM, OTHER GANGLAND MEMORABILIA AND BEYOND HERE AT THE CRIME THROUGH TIME COLLECTION, LITTLEDEAN JAIL

EXTRACTS FROM VARIOUS NATIONAL NEWSPAPERS FEATURING SOME OF THE KRAY TWINS MEMORABILIA ON DISPLAY AT LITTLEDEAN JAIL

599036_395136070521817_1213505194_nBELOW IS A BRIEF GALLERY OF KRAY TWINS ITEMS INCLUDING 2 ORIGINAL PAINTINGS FROM BOTH RON AND REG, WHILST IN JAIL AT HMP PARKHURST , ISLE oF WIGHT , PAINTED BY THEM IN 1971 THAT WERE SOLD TOGETHER FOR £4800 + FEES, ETC  AT CHISWICK AUCTIONS , LONDON IN MARCH 2008 .

AFTER GOING AROUND VARIOUS OTHER AUCTION HOUSES SINCE THEN,  THEY HAVE NOW ARRIVED HERE AT LITTLEDEAN JAIL ACQUIRED FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTOR   AND ARE NOW ON DISPLAY TO THE PUBLIC  ALONG WITH VARIOUS OTHER KRAY TWINS ITEMS .

BELOW IS THE  PRESALE REPORT ON THE PAINTINGS AS SEEN IN THE DAILY MAIL  ON THE 9 MARCH 2008

Yours for £2,000, oil paintings by the Kray Twins (currently owned by a ex-convict who won them in a card game)

The KraysGangsters with an artistic streak: Reggie (left) and Ronnie Kray in the 1960s

One famously shot dead a fellow gangster in an East End pub for a verbal sleight. The other knifed to death another gangland member at a party  But it appears Ronnie and Reggie Kray also had a more sensitive side – as landscape painters. These oil canvasses by the infamous twins, painted after they were both jailed for 30 years, are to be auctioned in London this week.The one of a white cottage next to a road was painted by Ronnie. His brother’s is an image of a river running through a green valley with an ominously dark sky in the background.  Both twins began painting after their 1968 trial at the Old Bailey, often creating the same scene in picture after picture.  A spokesman for Chiswick Auctions in West London, where the paintings are being sold, said: ‘The same themes are repeated over and over again in their work, with very little variation. We expect these two to go for between £800 and £1,500 each.’ Both pictures are being sold by a former inmate who won them from the twins during card games in jail.The auction house spokesman said: ‘The seller has given us some interesting insights into the Krays’ minds.

Dream house in the country: Ronnie Kray’s
  ‘He says Reggie always, always painted with a dark sky. This might reflect his state of mind and the dark thoughts he had. He was known for his moods and being aloof. Ronnie, on the other hand, always painted a white cottage because that was his idea of a dream house, a place in the country.

Ronnie’s paintings are more aspirational, whereas Reggie’s tend to reflect his sombre state of mind.’The images were painted in oils on to card. They are both eight-and-a-half inches by 11-and-a-half inches.

A similar painting by Ronnie sold at an auction in Lincolnshire in 2005 for £2,200, twice the expected fee.

The spokesman added: ‘The seller told us paintings were used in games of cards as currency. If they were by Joe Bloggs, they wouldn’t be worth £5.’

The Krays ran a brutal gang known as The Firm in London’s East End during the late Fifties and Sixties. Revelling in their image of sharp suits and flashy cars, they began to believe the law could not touch them.

That bravado allowed Ronnie to walk into the Blind Beggar pub in Whitechapel and shoot dead George Cornell in front of customers for calling him a ‘fat poof’.

A year later, in 1967, Reggie stabbed Jack ‘The Hat’ McVitie to death in a flat in North London.  But Scotland Yard closed the net and the twins were given life sentences and told they must serve at least 30 years.  Ronnie died of a heart attack in 1995 after collapsing in his cell in Broadmoor. Reggie died in jail in 2000.

Moody: Reggie Kray painting

MORE EXTRACTS OF MEDIA COVERAGE OF THE CRIME THROUGH TIME’S KRAY TWINS EXHIBITION

486929_395600367142054_1213412020_n

246509_395136577188433_974717736_n

BELOW ARE MORE EXHIBIT ITEMS 

ABOVE IS RONNIE KRAY’S  ORIGINAL PROVISIONAL DRIVING LICENCE FROM BACK IN 1959 WHEN HE WOULD HAVE BEEN 26 YEARS OLD, REGISTERED TO HIM AT THE KRAY FAMILY’S HOME ADDRESS AT THE TIME , 178 VALLANCE ROAD , LONDON   .

IN ITSELF A NOSTALGIC PIECE OF PRE-ARREST KRAY TWINS MEMORABILIA …. NOW HERE ON PERMANENT  DISPLAY ALONGSIDE THE KRAY TWINS EXHIBITION  HERE AT LITTLEDEAN JAIL .

THE ONLY KRAY TWINS EXHIBITION OF ITS KIND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC .

 

REGGIE KRAYS ORIGINAL ARTIST PAINT BOX , PAINTS AND BRUSHES LAST USED BY HIM AT HMP WAYLAND SHORTLY BEFORE HIS DEATH FROM CANCER ON 01ST OCTOBER   2000

COME VISIT AND SEE FOR YOURSELVES THE UK’S ONLY KRAY TWINS EXHIBITION ON PUBLIC DISPLAY FEATURING SOME OF THEIR PERSONAL BELONGINGS, HANDWRITTEN AND SIGNED LETTERS ,  TOOLS OF THE TRADE, ARTWORK, MEMORABILIA AND OTHER RELATED FIRM ITEMS . 

ALL IN ALL AN INTRIGUING PERSONAL INSIGHT INTO BOTH PRE ARREST DAYS AND THEIR SUBSEQUENT LIFE BEHIND BARS

ALSO VARIOUS OTHER GANGLAND MEMORABILIA …..ITS ALL HERE AT THE CRIME THROUGH TIME COLLECTION AT LITTLEDEAN JAIL .

HERE BELOW IS A BRIEF PICTORIAL INSIGHT INTO SOME OF THE ITEMS ON DISPLAY …………

 

 

YES THIS REALLY IS RON KRAY’S PERSONAL KNUCKLE DUSTER  KINDLY GIFTED TO ANDY JONES – THE CRIME THROUGH TIME COLLECTION AFTER A PERSONAL  VISIT TO REGGIE KRAY WHILST HE WAS INCARCERATED AT HMP. MAIDSTONE …WHICH HE WANTED ANDY TO DISPLAY ALONG WITH VARIOUS OTHER PERSONAL ITEMS  ACQUIRED FROM OTHER INNER CIRCLE FRIENDS,  ACQUAINTANCES AND EVEN FROM VARIOUS FORMER METROPOLITAN POLICE OFFICERS …….. .FOR AND ON   REGGIES AND  RONNIES  BEHALF..

ORIGINAL EASEL  ARTIST PAINTBOX AND PAINTS THAT BELONGED TO REGGIE KRAY …. SHOWN HERE WITH ONE OF HIS LANDSCAPE PASTEL DRAWINGS . THIS WAS LAST USED BY REG AT HMP WOODHILL AND TAKEN OUT OF PRISON BY HIS WIFE BACK IN 1999 SHORTLY BEFORE HIS DEATH FROM CANCER ON 01ST OCTOBER 2000 ALONG WITH A NUMBER OF OTHER PERSONAL ITEMS AND PASTIME PLEASURES USED BY HIM. ALL OF WHICH ARE PRISON CENSOR STAMPED AND DATED  ON OFFICIAL FORMS ….. ALSO HERE ON DISPLAY .

ORIGINAL RONNIE KRAY ARTWORK PAINTED BY HIMSELF WHILST AT BROADMOOR MENTAL ASYLUM . HERE ON DISPLAY ALONG WITH MANY OTHER ARTWORK ,DRAWINGS AND PAINTINGS BY BOTH RONNIE AND REGGIE 

GREAT TRAIN ROBBER RONNIE BIGGS FUNERAL – THE FINAL JOURNEY 3RD JANUARY 2014

BELOW ORDER OF SERVICE FOR THE FUNERAL OF RONNIE BIGGS1497963_10153639642285456_772394335_o

RONNIE’S SON MICHAEL IN A PRIVATE MOMENT OUTSIDE  HIS HOME PRIOR TO THE HEARSE TAKING RONNIE ON HIS  FINAL JOURNEY TO GOLDERS GREEN CREMATORIUM

JSN_5970RONNIE’S  WICKER COFFIN INSIDE GOLDERS GREEN CREMATORIUM ADORNED WITH THE BRAZILIAN AND ENGLISH NATIONAL FLAGS, HIS ARSENAL SCARF AND TRILBY HAT 
JSN_6151BELOW ARE A COUPLE OF NEWS VIDEO FOOTAGE COVERING THE FUNERAL 

BELOW IS HOW THE DAILY MAIL NEWSPAPER REPORTED THE FUNERAL

Ageing gangsters, Hell’s Angels taking selfies, a coffin draped in the BRAZILIAN flag… and a two-fingered floral salute: A fittingly tacky send-off for Ronnie Biggs

  • Ronnie Biggs, the Great Train Robber, died last month aged 84
  • Notorious prisoner Charles Bronson sent a bouquet of flowers
  • He said in a message read to the funeral: ‘I do hope the royal family show their respect with a nice train wreath’
  • Brazilian flag draped across Ronnie Biggs’ coffin
  • Freddie Foreman, who had links to the Kray twins, among the mourners
  • Biggs gave a two-fingered salute last time he was seen in public
  • Today his coffin was taken to Golders Green Crematorium, north London with a similar floral tribute
  • Great Train Robbers fled with £2.6m in 1963 – £46m in today’s money
  • Train driver Jack Mills was beaten over the head and never fully recovered

Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs, who spent much of his life cocking a snook at authority, was given an appropriate send off today.

He stuck two-fingers to the authorities for one last time – with an offensive floral tribute in the back of his hearse.

And in what could be seen as a final dig at British justice, the criminal’s coffin had a Union Flag draped across it which was almost completely covered by a Brazilian flag in reference to the time he spent on the run there.

After being jailed, Biggs escaped from Wandsworth Prison in 1965 and made his way to Rio five years later where he could not be extradited back to his homeland. He stayed there for 27 years before finally returning to the country.

At his funeral today, some of Britain’s best-known villains paid their respects in person – and those behind bars sent their messages of condolence.

 

Mourners: Ronnie Biggs' coffin is carried into Golders Green crematorium, draped in a Brazilian flag with his trademark cap on the top. the criminal spent 27 years in Brazil before he returned to BritainMourners: Ronnie Biggs’ coffin is carried into Golders Green crematorium, draped in a Brazilian flag with his trademark cap on the top. the criminal spent 27 years in Brazil before he returned to Britain

The Great Train Robber's coffin, draped with a Union Flag, a Brazilian flag and a scarf of his beloved Arsenal football team is carried into Golders Green CrematoriumThe Great Train Robber’s coffin, draped with a Union Flag, a Brazilian flag and a scarf of his beloved Arsenal football team is carried into Golders Green Crematorium
Funeral: Ronnie Biggs son Michael holds his father's cap as he is comforted by Great Train Robbery ringleader Bruce Reynolds' son NickFuneral: Ronnie Biggs son Michael holds his father’s cap as he is comforted by Great Train Robbery ringleader Bruce Reynolds’ son Nick

Biggs's granddaughter Ingrid speaking during the funeral service
Michael Biggs speaking during the funeral service of his father Ronnie Biggs

Tribute: Biggs’s granddaughter Ingrid and son Michael speak during the funeral service

Emotion: Biggs's granddaughter Ingrid is consoled by her father Michael, after giving her speech during the serviceEmotion: Biggs’s granddaughter Ingrid is consoled by her father Michael, after delivering her speech

In loving memory: A copy of the order of service for the funeral of Ronnie BiggsIn loving memory: A copy of the order of service for the funeral of Ronnie Biggs
Nick Reynolds, son of Great Train Robber Bruce Reynolds gives a reading during the funeral serviceNick Reynolds, son of Great Train Robber Bruce Reynolds gives a reading during the funeral service

Charles Bronson, one of the country’s longest-serving prisoners, sent a bouquet containing an old ten-bob note with the words ‘Ronnie Biggs RIP’ scrawled across it.

Biggs, who spend 36 years on the run in total, died last month aged 84 after a long battle with illness.

When Bruce Reynolds, the mastermind behind the notorious Great Train Robbery in 1963, died last year, Biggs took the opportunity to swear at journalists one last time.

Today Bruce’s son Nick was among the mourners at Golders Green Crematorium, in north London.

Freddie Foreman, a notorious East End crook with links to the Kray twins, and self-proclaimed former gangster Dave Courtney were also in attendance.

Final journey: Ronnie Biggs' body is taken to his funeral escorted by Hells Angels outriders

Final journey: Ronnie Biggs’ body is taken to his funeral escorted by Hells Angels outriders

Defiance: A two-fingered floral tribute is displayed in the back of Ronnie Biggs' hearse this afternoon as his body is taken to the crematorium. He died last month aged 84Defiance: A two-fingered floral tribute is displayed in the back of Ronnie Biggs’ hearse this afternoon as his body is taken to the crematorium. He died last month aged 84

Funeral: Flanked by a posse of Hells Angels, the coffin is driven to the crematorium draped in two flags - and with Biggs' cap on topFuneral: Flanked by a posse of Hells Angels, the coffin is driven to the crematorium draped in two flags – and with Biggs’ cap on top

Final journey: Ronnie Biggs' coffin is carried into the crematorium by Nick Reynolds, son of the Great Train Robbery ringleader BruceFinal journey: Ronnie Biggs’ coffin is carried into the crematorium by Nick Reynolds, son of the Great Train Robbery ringleader Bruce

Respects: Ronnie Biggs' coffin is carried into the crematorium this afternoonRespects: Ronnie Biggs’ coffin is carried into the crematorium this afternoon
Mourners: Hells Angel bikers and other wellwishers attend the funeral in north LondonMourners: Hells Angel bikers and other wellwishers attend the funeral in north London
Escort: A police van and a row of cars follow the hearse to the funeral in north LondonEscort: A police van and a row of cars follow the hearse to the funeral in north London
Grief: Michael Biggs, the Great Train Robber's son, is seen in sunglasses at the funeral in north LondonGrief: Michael Biggs, the Great Train Robber’s son, is seen in sunglasses at the funeral in north London
Send off: The Hells Angels bikers arrive at the funeral, leading the coffin to the crematoriumSend off: The Hells Angels bikers arrive at the funeral, leading the coffin to the crematorium

Send-off: The bikers arrive at the crematorium in Golders Green, north London, this afternoonSend-off: The bikers arrive at the crematorium in Golders Green, north London, this afternoon
Tribute: A brass band at Biggs' funeralTribute: A six-piece Dixie band joined the procession for the final part of the journey to the crematorium.
Leading the hearse and funeral cars, it played songs including When the Saints Come Marching In

Criminal: Notorious prisoner Charles Bronson sent a bouquet of flowers with an old ten bob note with 'Ronnie Biggs RIP' written on itCriminal: Notorious prisoner Charles Bronson sent a bouquet of flowers with an old ten bob note with ‘Ronnie Biggs RIP’ written on it
Final journey: The coffin is carried into Golders Green Crematorium this afternoon as Biggs is given a final send-off from family, gangsters and roguesFinal journey: The coffin is carried into Golders Green Crematorium this afternoon as Biggs is given a final send-off from family, gangsters and rogues
Ronnie Biggs gives a two-fingered salute
Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs

Defiance: Ronnie Biggs, seen last year when he made his final public appearance (left), gives a two-fingered salute. He was involved in the Great Train Robbery when he was much younger (right) in 1963

 

Friends say final farewell to Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs

Biggs’ coffin had both the Union Jack and the Brazilian flag draped across it – in reference to the time he spent on the run.

The robber and his co-conspirators made off with £2.6million – which is £46million in today’s money – when they hijacked a Royal Mail train in Ledburn, Buckinghamshire.

Jack Mills, the driver, was coshed over the head with an iron bar and never properly recovered from his injuries.

At Biggs’ funeral today, the Reverend Dave Thompson said: ‘People have asked me “How can you take part in the funeral of a Great Train Robber?”

‘What we need to remember is that Jesus didn’t hang out with hoity-toity folk, he just treated people as people.’

Mourners entered the church to the sound of the London Dixieland Jazz Band before the service began with the hymn Abide With Me by Scottish Anglican Henry Francis LyteMourners entered the church to the sound of the London Dixieland Jazz Band before the service began with the hymn Abide With Me by Scottish Anglican Henry Francis Lyte

A eulogy was read by Biggs's son Michael before a Shakespeare sonnet chosen by Charmain Biggs and two of Biggs's own poems read by his friend CookieA eulogy was read by Biggs’s son Michael before a Shakespeare sonnet chosen by Charmain Biggs and two of Biggs’s own poems read by his friend Cookie
Grief: Michael Biggs, pictured at the funeral this week, will tattoo in some of his father's ashes into his armGrief: Michael Biggs, pictured at the funeral this week, will tattoo in some of his father’s ashes into his arm
Respects: The actor Steven Berkoff was among the mourners at the funeral in north London todayRespects: The actor Steven Berkoff was among the mourners at the funeral in north London today
Ex-wife: Charmain Powell, the former wife of Ronnie Biggs, is seen today on her way to the funeralEx-wife: Charmain Powell, the former wife of Ronnie Biggs, is seen today on her way to the funeral
Mourner: Charmain Powell, the ex-wife of Ronnie Biggs, makes her way to his funeral in north London todayMourner: Charmain Powell, the ex-wife of Ronnie Biggs, makes her way to his funeral in north London today
Old criminal: Freddie Foreman, a notorious East End crook with links to the Kray twins, arrives at Ronnie Biggs' funeralOld criminal: Freddie Foreman, a notorious East End crook with links to the Kray twins, arrives at Ronnie Biggs’ funeral

Tribute: Nick Reynolds, son of Bruce Reynolds who was the ringleader of the Great Train Robbery, arrives at Golders Green crematorium in north LondonTribute: Nick Reynolds, son of Bruce Reynolds who was the ringleader of the Great Train Robbery, arrives at Golders Green crematorium in north London

Mourner: Harold Marks arrives at the funeral this afternoon in north LondonMourner: Howard Marks arrives at the funeral this afternoon in north London
Mourner: His face covered in tattoos, a mourner arrives at Ronnie Biggs' funeral in Golders Green, north London, this afternoonMourner: His face covered in tattoos, a mourner arrives at Ronnie Biggs’ funeral in Golders Green, north London, this afternoon

Biggs’s son Michael cried as he paid homage to his father, saying; ‘I’m here to talk about Ron, Ronnie, to me simply dad.

‘Dad always had a way of looking at things and saying something that was fair and often funny.

‘Dad never made enemies and after arriving in Brazil he embraced the culture and became a carioca, someone from Rio.

‘He always had soft spot for the underdog and he considered himself to be one, he always had a few pennies for the street beggars.

‘He spoke the lingo and enjoyed the samba.

‘And parties, he knew about great parties, some were memorable and to this day there are still old hippies that I meet in Rio and say the biggest party they ever went to were with dad.

‘Dad thank you for all your love and strength when necessary, your screwed up way of parenting that many people did not understand, however it has worked.

‘Let’s celebrate his life with a proper booze up later on, ashes to ashes and dust to the beach.

‘Don’t worry mate, you are not paying for the booze.’

Funeral selfie: Hells Angel bikers pose for a selfie as they arrive at Ronnie Biggs' funeral at Golders Green crematorium this afternoonFuneral selfie: Hells Angel bikers pose for a selfie as they arrive at Ronnie Biggs’ funeral at Golders Green crematorium this afternoon
Mourner: A man arrives at Ronnie Biggs' funeral at Golders Green crematorium this afternoonMourner: A man arrives at Ronnie Biggs’ funeral at Golders Green crematorium this afternoon
Mourners: Ronnie Biggs, the Great Train Robber who spent 36 years on the run, died last month at the age of 83Mourners: Ronnie Biggs, the Great Train Robber who spent 36 years on the run, died last month at the age of 83Bruce Reynolds’ son Nick described Biggs as ‘a great character, with charisma and what he called his kind of luck’.

Speaking about the ill health he had suffered in his last years, Mr Reynolds said: ‘Ronnie managed to hang on to life with great tenacity, dignity and humour.

‘The house was a wreck but the lights were on and Ron was very much at home.

‘The word legend is defined in the dictionary as an extremely famous or notorious person, especially in a particular field, and Ron certainly fits that description.’

He also read out an email from Bronson, who described Biggs as ‘staunch, solid, loyal to the end’.

‘Much respect to a diamond geezer,’ Bronson wrote. ‘I do hope the royal family show their respect with a nice train wreath.

‘Three cheers to you Ron, we love you buddy.’

Tribute: A man carries a floral tribute sent by Charles Bronson to the funeral. A note from the notorious criminal, daubed on an old ten bob note read 'Ronnie Biggs RIP'Tribute: A man carries a floral tribute sent by Charles Bronson to the funeral. A note from the notorious criminal, daubed on an old ten bob note read ‘Ronnie Biggs RIP’

Grief: Guests arrive at Ronnie Biggs' funeral in north London today after he died last month following a long illnessGrief: Guests arrive at Ronnie Biggs’ funeral in north London today after he died last month following a long illness
Crowd: Old criminals, family and friends of Ronnie Biggs attend the funeral of the convicted thief who spent 36 years on the runCrowd: Old criminals, family and friends of Ronnie Biggs attend the funeral of the convicted thief who spent 36 years on the run
'From all your friends': A bouquet of flowers from the Hells Angels bikers with a note which says 'rest in peace Ron, love and respect'‘From all your friends': A bouquet of flowers from the Hells Angels bikers with a note which says ‘rest in peace Ron, love and respect’
Self-proclaimed English former gangster Dave Courtney arrives at the Crematorium for the funeral of Ronnie Biggs
Self-proclaimed English former gangster Dave Courtney (in white coat) arrives at the Crematorium for the funeral of Ronnie Biggs

Funeral: Self-proclaimed English former gangster Dave Courtney arrives at Ronnie Biggs’ funeral at Golders Green Crematorium today

Earlier, the funeral cortege, with a guard of honour formed by 13 Hells Angels bikers, left the home of Biggs’ son Michael and daughter-in-law Veronica in Barnet, north London.

Michael, who was wearing dark glasses and jeans with a skull and crossbones belt, met with mourners before the cortege set off.

Ronald Arthur ‘Ronnie’ Biggs, who spent more than three decades on the run, had been cared for at Carlton Court Care Home in East Barnet, north London, after suffering several strokes in recent years.

Funeral: Two men embrace outside Golders Green crematorium where Ronnie Biggs' funeral was heldFuneral: Two men embrace outside Golders Green crematorium where Ronnie Biggs’ funeral was held
Mourners: Dressed in black, these people arrive at Ronnie Biggs' funeral in Golders Green this afternoonMourners: Dressed in black, these people arrive at Ronnie Biggs’ funeral in Golders Green this afternoon

His carers at the home were among those joining the funeral procession today.

Close friend and writer Chris Pickard, who helped Biggs put together his autobiography Odd Man Out, said: ‘I am going to remember him as a great friend. He was great fun to be around.

‘I knew him in Rio and he was a great host and a very generous man.

‘People forget he was involved in just one major incident, one of the iconic crimes of the 20th century.

‘He always said he was the best witness to the Great Train Robbery, he played a very minor part in it, but people always link it to him.

‘But if he hadn’t gone over the prison wall, he wouldn’t have been remembered – there were 16 people at the track but it’s only people like him, Buster Edwards and Bruce Reynolds that get remembered all these years later.

‘Ronnie kept in the news by being on the run for all those years, getting himself kidnapped, it is amazing – he has been in the news virtually every year for the last 50 years and very few people can say that.’

Press pack: Photographers compete for space outside Golders Green CrematoriumPress pack: Photographers compete for space outside Golders Green Crematorium
Grief: The crowd of mourners at Golders Green crematorium in north London this afternoonGrief: The crowd of mourners at Golders Green crematorium in north London this afternoon
Crowd: People watch as Ronnie Biggs' coffin leaves his home and heads to the crematorium in north LondonCrowd: People watch as Ronnie Biggs’ coffin leaves his home and heads to the crematorium in north LondonAsked about the presence of former gangsters at the funeral, Mr Pickard said: ‘He probably wouldn’t know them – he wasn’t involved in that, he was more involved, especially in Brazil, with the arts, music, things like that.

‘His friends were from a huge base of artists and musicians, he didn’t really have that many friends in the criminal fraternity.’

Biggs was released from prison in 2009 on compassionate grounds due to ill health, despite being re-arrested in 2001 upon his return to the UK after evading the authorities since his first escape from Wandsworth Prison in 1965.

At the time of his escape, Biggs had served just 15 months of the 30-year sentence he was handed for his part in the robbery of a Royal Mail freight train between London and Glasgow on August 8, 1963.

After having plastic surgery, he lived as a fugitive for 36 years first in Australia then Brazil, where Michael was born. His son later became the key to him being allowed to stay in the country and not face extradition. Biggs’s money eventually ran out and he traded on his notoriety to scrape a living.

Speaking last year, he said he was proud to have been part of the gang behind the robbery, which saw 15 men escape with a record haul.

Biggs, who could not speak due to his strokes and communicated through a spelling board, said: ‘If you want to ask me if I have any regrets about being one of the train robbers, my answer is, “No”.

‘I will go further: I am proud to have been one of them.’

He did admit to some regrets, however.

‘It is regrettable, as I have said many times, that the train driver was injured,’ he said.

Final sendoff: Draped in both a British flag and a Brazilian flag - in honour of the South American country where he spent so many years on the run - Ronnie Biggs' coffin is taken to his funeralFinal sendoff: Draped in both a British flag and a Brazilian flag – in honour of the South American country where he spent so many years on the run – Ronnie Biggs’ coffin is taken to his funeral

Hells Angels: The bikers went in front of the funeral cortege as the coffin was driven to the crematoriumHells Angels: The bikers went in front of the funeral cortege as the coffin was driven to the crematorium
Tribute act: The bikers arrive at Ronnie Biggs' family's home in Barnet, north London, to make the journey to the crematoriumTribute act: The bikers arrive at Ronnie Biggs’ family’s home in Barnet, north London, to make the journey to the crematorium
Defiant to the last: Thief Ronnie Biggs swears at photographers at the funeral of fellow Great Train Robber Bruce Reynolds last yearDefiant to the last: Thief Ronnie Biggs swears at photographers at the funeral of fellow Great Train Robber Bruce Reynolds last year
Living it up: Ronnie Biggs relaxes in Brazil in 1997 where he spent 36 years on the run from British justice before returning to get medical careLiving it up: Ronnie Biggs relaxes in Brazil in 1997 where he spent 36 years on the run from British justice before returning to get medical care
Notorious: Ronnie Biggs, who died last month, revelled in the fame his heinous crime brought himNotorious: Ronnie Biggs, who died last month, revelled in the fame his heinous crime brought him

Share or comment on this article

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2533283/Hells-Angels-rogues-gallery-ageing-criminals-turn-send-Great-Train-Robber-Ronnie-Biggs.html#ixzz2piVljwZM
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

R.I.P GREAT TRAIN ROBBER AND ICONIC FIGURE RONNIE BIGGS …8TH AUGUST 1929 – 18TH DECEMBER 2013

LOVE HIM OR LOATHE HIM …. CERTAINLY ONE OF THE UK’S MOST ICONIC PETTY CRIMINALS WHO BECAME A HOUSEHOLD NAME WORLDWIDE AS A RESULT OF BEING PART OF THE GREAT TRAIN ROBBERY GANG OF 1963. SUBSEQUENTLY ESCAPING TO A CELEBRITY LIFESTYLE IN RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL BEFORE RETUNING TO THE UK WHERE HE SERVED A FURTHER TERM IN PRISON BEFORE BEING RELEASED IN 2009 ON COMPASSIONATE GROUNDS. SPENDING THE REMAINDER  OF HIS LIFE UNDER PRISON LICENCE IN A CARE HOME IN BARNET UNTIL HIS SUDDEN DEATH ON 18TH DECEMBER  2013 , AGED 84.

 

 

‘I hope he will be remembered as a gentle, fine man': Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs’ son pays tribute to his father as he reveals he plans to scatter his ashes in Brazil

  • Legendary criminal dies at North London home at the age of 84
  • He had been in poor health since returning to Britain from Brazil in 2001
  • Found fame as he taunted the authorities during his decades on the run
  • Biggs was part of the gang which targeted a train in 1963 and made off with £2.6million in cash – worth £40million today
  • Two-part drama about the Great Train Robbery begins tonight on BBC1

The son of Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs today paid tribute to his son saying he hoped he would be remembered as ‘gentle, generous and fine man’.

His son Michael announced the death of his father this morning – less than 24 hours before a TV drama about the notorious crime is broadcast on BBC1.

Speaking from his house on Stanhope Road, which is close to the care home, Michael, 39, said: ‘I want to say thanks to him for all the love he gave me and who he turned me into as a person.

Old age: Biggs with his son Michael who paid tribute to his father and said he hoped to bury his ashes in BrazilOld age: Biggs with his son Michael who paid tribute to his father and said he hoped to bury his ashes in Brazil

 

‘He was always present, very present in my life. He was always there for me and when my mother left, he was my mum and my dad all my life.

‘I always knew about everything growing up but it was just part of my life.

‘I’m sad for all the family. Hopefully he will be remembered as a good father, and a gentle, generous and fine man.

‘I haven’t thought about the funeral yet as it’s only been 12 hours since he died but I’ll maybe scatter his ashes in Brazil.’

But today many people spoke out against such warm descriptions of Biggs, saying that his crimes mean he does not deserve to be celebrated.

Mugshot: Biggs was jailed for his role in the Great Train Robbery, but escaped after just 15 monthsMugshot: Biggs was jailed for his role in the Great Train Robbery, but escaped after just 15 months

 

‘Ronnie Biggs was a violent criminal who evaded facing justice for decades,’ tweeted Tory MEP candidate Daniel Hamilton. ‘I find today’s gushing eulogies slightly offensive.’

Mick Whelan, general secretary of train drivers’ union Aslef, added: ‘While naturally we feel sorry for Mr Biggs’s family at this time, we have always regarded Biggs as a nonentity, and a criminal, who took part in a violent robbery which resulted in the death of a train driver.

‘Jack Mills, who was 57 at the time of the robbery, never properly recovered from the injuries he suffered after being savagely coshed by the gang of which Biggs was a member that night.’

In a remarkable coincidence, tonight the BBC is showing the first part of a drama series which marks the 50th anniversary of the 1963 Great Train Robbery.

The first film, A Robber’s Tale, focuses on the story of mastermind Bruce Reynolds as he masterminds the raid on the Royal Mail train, while the second instalment, A Copper’s Tale, tells the story from the perspective of DCS Tommy Butler, the officer leading the investigation.

Biggs became a household name as a result of his part in the gang which stole £2.6million (the equivalent of £40million today) from a train that they forced to stop at a bridge in Cheddington, Buckinghamshire.

He shot to legendary status a couple of years later, however, when he escaped from prison and went on the run and he was one of the last known robbers from the incident still alive.

Taunting: Ronnie Biggs, who has died at the age of 84, pictured while on the run in BrazilTaunting: Ronnie Biggs, who has died at the age of 84, pictured while on the run in Brazil

Ronnie Biggs
Ronnie Biggs pictured at the funeral of Bruce Reynolds in East London

Defiant: Biggs flashed the V-sign at photographers at the funeral of Bruce Reynolds in March

Arrest: Biggs pictured after being apprehended by police in the wake of robberyArrest: Biggs pictured after being apprehended by police in the wake of robbery

 

 

He spent 30 years evading British justice, getting plastic surgery in France before heading to Australia and later Brazil where he had a son with a local woman meaning he could not be extradited.

The last time he was seen in public was in March this year when his character shone through as he flicked Vs at photographers despite appearing to be extremely unwell.

 

 

He returned to the UK from exile in Rio de Janeiro in 2001 against the wishes of his family, saying he wanted to go to a pub in Margate ‘as an Englishman and buy a pint of bitter’ – a wish he never got to fulfil.

Announcing his death at Carlton Court Care Home in East Barnet, his son Michael said today: ‘I’m sorry to say my Dad passed away in the early hours.’

Biggs’s involvement in the Great Train Robbery has long been debated with some suggesting he was only involved because he could recruit a train driver to move the train once it had been stopped at a false set of signals.

Others suggest that he was the one who hit train driver Jack Mills around the head causing injuries that he never fully recovered from.

 

 

 

 

Still sticking two fingers up: Ronnie Biggs’ defiant March 2013

Biggs, pictured with his wife Charmian in 1974, was sentenced to 30 years' behind bars on April 15, 1964, but was to serve just 15 months in prisonBiggs, pictured with his wife Charmian in 1974, was sentenced to 30 years’ behind bars on April 15, 1964, but was to serve just 15 months in prison

 

 

The wreckage of the car in which Biggs's son Nicholas, aged 10, was killed in a two car crash near MelbourneThe wreckage of the car in which Biggs’s son Nicholas, aged 10, was killed in a two car crash near Melbourne

Speaking to Nicky Campbell on Radio 1 in 2000 – before his return to the UK – Biggs said his share of the money had been £147,000, but he had quickly spent the loot.

‘I squandered it totally – within three years it was all gone,’ he said. Since then he had been ‘living on my name only,’ he added.

His ghostwriter said today that Biggs would be known as ‘one of the great characters’ – but an expert on the robbery dismissed him as an ‘idiot’.

Christopher Pickard, who collaborated on the thief’s memoirs, told the Today programme on BBC Radio 4: ‘People will remember him as one of the great characters of the last 50 years.

Youth: Biggs pictured in an early police mugshot, before he left Britain for a life in exile

Youth: Biggs pictured in an early police mugshot, before he left Britain for a life in exile

Biggs and 11 other robbers were jailed for a combined total of more than 300 years for the robbery. Pictured is Biggs's police record sheetBiggs and 11 other robbers were jailed for a combined total of more than 300 years for the robbery. Pictured is Biggs’s police record sheet

Decades earlier: Three of the robbers covered in blankets leave a court hearing in 1963

Decades earlier: Three of the robbers covered in blankets leave a court hearing in 1963

‘You have people who would still say hanging is too good for him and others who like him.’

However, Anthony Delano, who has written a book on the Great Train Robbery, said that Biggs was an ‘idiot’, adding: ‘He was a small-time South London crook who nobody wanted on the team because he was a weak link.’

Biggs always portrayed himself as a lovable personality who spurned violence, insisting he was a ‘crook’ rather than a ‘criminal’.

Lobbyist Alex Deane added: ‘Biggs wasn’t a cuddly heart of gold cockney character to be feted. His gang beat a man with an iron bar, ruining his life.’

And writer Sali Hughes said: ‘RIP member of gang who beat an innocent train driver minding his own business with an iron bar. You were a real “character”.’

Target: The train after it had been ransacked by Biggs and his fellow thieves in BuckinghamshireTarget: The train after it had been ransacked by Biggs and his fellow thieves in Buckinghamshire

Scene: The train parked on an embankment in Buckinghamshire in the aftermath of the robberyScene: The train parked on an embankment in Buckinghamshire in the aftermath of the robbery

 

Investigation: Police walk along the railway lines while looking into the circumstances of the crimeInvestigation: Police walk along the railway lines while looking into the circumstances of the crime

The Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association today tweeted: ‘In case today’s media confuses you: attacking railway staff with an iron bar to the extent they’re barely able to work again really isn’t OK.’

The retired police officer who was the first person to discover the robbers’ hideaway at Leatherslade Farm said today that Biggs was a ‘self-publicist’ who had managed to inflate his own role at the expense of his fellow plotters.

‘The reality is that amongst the robbers, Ronnie Biggs was a bit of a nonentity – not at all involved in planning the robbery or even carrying it out,’ John Woolley told MailOnline.

‘He’s the man who has had all the publicity, and arguably he’s had the benefits because he lived the high life for 30 years.

‘He was a colourful character. Being a bit of a self-publicist, he absolutely capitalised on being involved in the “crime of the century”.’

Bruce Reynolds, one of the suspected robbers involved in the Great Train Robbery
Charles Wilson, a suspect in the Great Train Robbery trail.

Conspirators: Bruce Reynolds, left, and Charlie Wilson, right, two of the ringleaders of the Great Train Robbery

Ronald " Buster " Edwards, one of the Great Train Robbers.
Great Train Robber John Daly

Gang: Buster Roberts, left, and John Daly, right, were both arrested in the wake of the heist

 

Jailed: Roy James spent 12 years in prison for his part in the Great Train RobberyJailed: Roy James spent 12 years in prison for his part in the Great Train Robbery

Mr Woolley added that it is important to remember the violent nature of the Great Train Robbery, even if Biggs was less responsible for this than some of the others.

‘It’s too easy to forget that this was a greedy, vicious crime that completely shattered the life of at least one person,’ he said.

‘The only reason the Great Train Robbery wasn’t recorded as a veritable bloodbath was because the only person who stood in their way was the train driver.’

A detective who was part of the original investigation said he was pleased to have outlived Biggs, who he claimed lived ‘a charmed life’.

Retired Detective Constable John Bailey was first on the scene of the robbery, and took hundreds of photographs which were used as evidence.

The former policeman said today: ‘When I found out about Ronnie Biggs’s death I was glad, he has lived a charmed life, quite frankly.

‘Despite his crimes, he has been living it up. He then came back here on the scrounge and got put in a nursing home.

‘He was a very ordinary bloke really, he needed the money as we all do I suppose. But when this came along he knew the right people as he used to be part of a clan or gang of those sorts.

‘I am glad I have outlived him because otherwise my work would not have been worthwhile.’

But Nick Reynolds, an artist and musician who is the son of robbery mastermind Bruce, insisted that Biggs was a ‘great guy’ who was misunderstood.

‘He was like an uncle figure to me,’ he told Sky News. ‘I used to visit him in Brazil – in fact, I was with him when he flew back.

‘Before he lost the power of speech, he was a great guy. There was a lot more to him that the media cartoon figure that was portrayed – he was very intelligent, very well-read, loved jazz.

‘He was a great wit and raconteur – he was a man’s man.’

 

The gang hid at Leatherslade Farm (pictured) following the train robbery but they quit the site hurriedly after they became aware police were hot on their scentThe gang hid at Leatherslade Farm (pictured) following the train robbery but they quit the site hurriedly after they became aware police were hot on their scent

 

A spade in a hole dug at Leatherslade Farm by the train robbers to burn the mailbagsA spade in a hole dug at Leatherslade Farm by the train robbers to burn the mailbags

Victim: Train driver Jack Mills was unable to work after being attacked during the robberyVictim: Train driver Jack Mills was unable to work after being attacked during the robbery

 

HOW THE ‘CRIME OF THE CENTURY’ UNFOLDED LEADING TO THE THEFT OF £2.6MILLION IN BANKNOTES

The country was left stunned after a train was hijacked and robbed 35 miles from its London destination in August 1963.

A 17-strong gang launched the raid on the overnight service from Glasgow at the Bridego Railway Bridge in Ledburn, Buckinghamshire in the early hours of August 8 in what has been dubbed the ‘crime of the century’.

Led by the charismatic Bruce Reynolds, the group of criminals pulled off the notorious heist, making off with £2.6million – the equivalent of £40million today.

The train was stopped at a set of fixed signals which the gang had switched, leading driver Jack Mills to go and investigate.

He was knocked out by an iron bar wielded by an unknown member of the gang, forcing him to give up work, and he died seven years later.

Following an outcry over Charmian Biggs cashing in on her husband’s crime by selling her story to the Press, the Daily Mail sponsored a fund to help Mills’s family, raising more than £34,000 by the time of his death.

The bulk of the huge haul has never been recovered.

The gang shared out the proceeds at isolated Leatherslade Farm – Biggs taking around £148,000 – but thereafter things started to go badly wrong, with nearly all the gang members being rounded up by the police.

In fact, the Leatherslade Farm hide-out was a huge mistake on the part of the gang. The police were telling reporters that they were looking for an isolated farm which had just changed hands and which was 25 miles from the scene of the crime. Leatherslade met every one of these requirements.

When the gang became aware that the police were hot on their scent, they quit the farm hurriedly, leaving behind scores of tell-tale fingerprints.

Most of the ringleaders were quickly rounded up, and 11 of the robbers got jail sentences ranging from 14 to 30 years.

Despite Biggs’s elevated reputation as a ‘Great Train Robber’, his one job in the robbery on August 8, 1963 – to provide the team with a train driver – was an utter failure.

The robbers needed to move the mail train around half a mile from the signal box where it was stopped to Bridego Bridge, where a truck was waiting to load the loot.

Biggs was tasked with finding a driver and provided a retired railway man known as ‘Stan Agate’. But despite his years of experience, the driver was unable to operate the new-style locomotive.

When it became clear the driver was useless, he and Biggs were banished to the waiting truck to help load the mail bags.

No guns were used, but driver Jack Mills was coshed and left unconscious by an unidentified assailant, suffered constant headaches for the rest of his life and died in 1970 from leukaemia.

Two of the robbers, Charlie Wilson and Biggs, escaped from Wandsworth Prison within two years of being jailed – Biggs scaled a wall with a rope ladder.

Biggs then spent 36 years on the run, living mainly in Brazil where he would taunt the British police and boast about his notoriety to unsuspecting tourists.

However, in 2001 he returned home to face arrest, when he had grown tired of his life in exile and required medical treatment which he could not afford to pay for, after he had suffered three strokes.

He was eventually freed from jail in 2009 on ‘compassionate grounds’ by then Justice Secretary Jack Straw.

Three years before the robbery, Biggs married his wife Charmian, with whom he had three sons.

They joined him in Australia after his escape from prison, and began a new life together using fake new identities.

When police discovered who he really was, they raided the family home – but Biggs had fled a day earlier, leaving his wife and children behind.

The fugitive ended up in Brazil while Charmian and the boys continued living in Australia, where in 1970 son Nicholas died in a car accident at the age of 10.

While living in Rio, Biggs began an affair with Raimunda de Castro, a nightclub dancer 18 years his junior, and the couple had a son, Michael, in 1974.

The birth of the boy meant that Biggs could no longer be extradited, as the parents of Brazilian citizens cannot be deported from the country.

Michael – who later became a well-known musician in his homeland – tried to dissuade his father from returning to Britain, and been one of his most outspoken supporters.

By contrast, his other two surviving sons, Farley and Chris, are said to have little contact with him, as they are angry at him for abandoning them and betraying their mother.

BBC show The Great Train Robbery to air on Wed 18 Dec

Reconstruction: A scene from a BBC drama on the Great Train Robbery which premieres tonightReconstruction: A scene from a BBC drama on the Great Train Robbery which premieres tonight

Cast: The gang of robbers as depicted in the BBC's drama, including Jack Gordon as Biggs, second rightCast: The gang of robbers as depicted in the BBC’s drama, including Jack Gordon as Biggs, second right

 

Gang: The programme's depiction of the thugs who orchestrated the carefully planned robberyGang: The programme’s depiction of the thugs who orchestrated the carefully planned robbery

Portrayal: Jack Gordon playing Biggs in the BBC television drama which will begin tonightPortrayal: Jack Gordon playing Biggs in the BBC television drama which will begin tonight

 

Biggs divorced Charmian even though she had flown to Rio to try and save their marriage, and in 2002 he married Raimunda in a prison chapel.

In July, just days before the 50th anniversary of the Great Train Robbery, Biggs insisted he was ‘proud’ of the crime that made him a household name.

‘If you want to ask me if I have any regrets about being one of the train robbers, my answer is no,’ he said via an alphabet board.

‘I will go further: I am proud to have been one of them. I was there that August night and that is what counts. I am one of the few witnesses – living or dead – to what was the crime of the century.’

The small-time crook who became one of the world’s most wanted men but crafted a ‘cheeky chappy’ persona to court public favour

Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs’s place in the annals of crime owed more to his status as a notorious fugitive than his prowess as a villain.

His conviction for his part in the most celebrated robbery in the history of British crime and his subsequent escape and high-profile life in Rio de Janeiro brought him worldwide notoriety in which he seemed to revel.

But at the age of 71, and in failing health after three strokes, Biggs announced he was ending his 35-year exile.

He was penniless and needed vital medical treatment in Britain which he could not afford in Brazil.

Biggs holds his son Michael, aged six weeks, while the baby's mother, Raimunda Nascimento de Castro, fixes the infant's clothing

Biggs holds his son Michael, aged six weeks, while the baby’s mother, Raimunda Nascimento de Castro, fixes the infant’s clothing

Biggs, pictured with his son Michael in 1981, the same year the Great Train Robber was kidnapped in Rio by a gang of adventurersBiggs, pictured with his son Michael in 1981, the same year the Great Train Robber was kidnapped in Rio by a gang of adventurers

Ignoring protests from his family, including son Michael who begged him to reconsider, he sent an email to Scotland Yard informing them that he wanted to give himself up and needed a passport.

He struck a deal with The Sun newspaper which flew him back to Britain in May 2001 on an executive jet stocked with curry, Marmite and beer.

Explaining his reasons for turning himself in, Biggs said: ‘I am a sick man. My last wish is to walk into a Margate pub as an Englishman and buy a pint of bitter. I hope I live long enough to do that.’

But he was immediately arrested on his arrival in this country and found himself back in a dock later that day, a dribbling husk of the cocky cockney villain he had been last time he faced a judge.

Lambeth-born Ronald Arthur Biggs had been, essentially, a small-time crook who suddenly and unexpectedly found himself in the big league.

He was born on August 8, 1929, and his first court appearance came as a 15-year-old in January 1945 – for stealing pencils from Littlewoods.

In 1950, Biggs cut an absurd figure in the robbery of a bookie in Lambeth Road. His contribution was to ask the bookie’s wife for her handbag.

‘When she did not have one, Biggs picked up a vase as though to hit her,’ reads the court report of the case.

Nine convictions and 13 years later he was given the chance to play a bit part in a robbery on an altogether grander scale and, by accepting it, set himself on the path to a lifetime of infamy.

ARCHIVE: Royal Mail train Biggs held up in Great Train Robbery

 

 

Courting notoriety: Biggs pictured in Brazil in 1992, when he was one of the world's most wanted criminalsCourting notoriety: Biggs pictured in Brazil in 1992, when he was one of the world’s most wanted criminals

 

Ronnie Biggs, pictured in Brazil in 1992, spent 36 years on the run, during which time he would taunt the British police and boast about his notorietyRonnie Biggs, pictured in Brazil in 1992, spent 36 years on the run, during which time he would taunt the British police and boast about his notoriety

 

Biggs, pictured in Brazil in 1992, raised money during lean times in Rio by selling T-shirts of himself and entertaining Japanese tourists, posing in pictures with them for £25 a time
Ronnie Biggs, pictured in Brazil, in 1992, has died at the age of 84

Biggs, pictured in Brazil in 1992, raised money during lean times in Rio by selling T-shirts of himself and entertaining Japanese tourists, posing in pictures with them for £25 a time

 

He joined the gang which held up the Royal Mail night train from Glasgow to London on his 34th birthday, August 8, 1963, and stole £2.6million worth of banknotes.

Biggs’s role was to find a driver for the train, but the man he found was unable to control it properly.

The hold-up, at Sears Crossing in Buckinghamshire, was planned in minute detail and, initially at least, was a spectacular success.

‘One report said that since my time on the run I’ve had 2,500 girlfriends. I mean you got to realise, I’ve been on the run for more than 30 years, I have got to have had more than that.’

The gang shared out the proceeds at isolated Leatherslade Farm – Biggs taking around £148,000 – but thereafter things started to go badly wrong, with nearly all the gang members being rounded up by the police.

When the gang became aware that the police were hot on their scent, they quit the farm hurriedly, leaving tell-tale fingerprints.

It was then but a matter of time before most of the ringleaders were rounded up. Eleven of the robbers got jail sentences ranging from 14 to 30 years.

Sentenced to 30 years’ behind bars on April 15, 1964, Biggs was to serve just 15 months in prison.

On July 8, 1965, he made a daring escape from Wandsworth prison. While other prisoners created a diversion in the exercise yard, Biggs scaled a wall with a rope ladder and dropped onto a furniture van parked alongside.

After a brief stopover in Paris for £40,000 worth of plastic surgery to change his appearance, he travelled to Australia, entering the country on a false passport using an assumed name.

 

Return: Biggs being transported to court after he came back to Britain in 2001

Return: Biggs being transported to court after he came back to Britain in 2001

In the dock: Biggs pictured in court in 2001 after finally agreeing to return to BritainIn the dock: Biggs pictured in court in 2001 after finally agreeing to return to Britain

For several months he ran a boarding house in Adelaide, using the name Terry King, and in June 1966 his wife Charmian and two children joined him, also on false passports.

The family moved first to Perth and then to Melbourne, where Biggs took a job as a foreman carpenter at a local airport in the name of Cooke.

In 1968 came a breakthrough for his pursuers. Biggs had formed a business partnership with another fugitive from British justice. His partner was arrested and the trail began to hot up.

‘There’s a difference between criminals and crooks. Crooks steal. Criminals blow some guy’s brains out. I’m a crook.’

But a year later, a security slip allowed the elusive Biggs to slip the net yet again. A Melbourne newspaper published a story that the manhunt was being renewed in the city and the report was taken up by TV.

A day before police swooped on his home, Biggs had packed a suitcase and disappeared – without even taking the family.

Once again the trail went cold. Throughout 1970 and 1971, there were reports of sightings in Hong Kong, South Africa and Japan, but there were no firm leads as to Biggs’s precise whereabouts.

In fact, he was building a new life for himself in Brazil. In the sunshine city of Rio de Janeiro the fugitive, now calling himself Michael Haynes, carved out a new career as a jobbing carpenter.

Reunion: Biggs with Bruce Reynolds, said to be the mastermind of the robbery, at his 70th birthday partyReunion: Biggs with Bruce Reynolds, said to be the mastermind of the robbery, at his 70th birthday party

 

His peace was shattered on February 1, 1974, when he was tracked down in Rio by the Daily Express reporter Colin MacKenzie – and shortly afterwards by Detective Inspector Jack Slipper of Scotland Yard.

But the Yard’s efforts to get Biggs back to Britain were foiled by Brazilian law.

Biggs had got his Brazilian lover Raimunda de Castro pregnant, and, as the father of a Brazilian child, had won himself immunity from extradition.

‘It has been rumoured that I was the brains of the robbery, but that was totally incorrect. I’ve been described as the tea boy, which is also incorrect.’

Michael, his son, was later to find fame in Brazil as a pop star.

In March, 1981, Biggs was kidnapped in Rio by a gang of adventurers and smuggled to Barbados by boat. Their aim was to bring him back to Britain.

But the Barbados High Court decided the rules governing extradition to Britain had not been properly put before the island’s Parliament, and Biggs pulled off another Houdini-like escape, being allowed to return to Rio.

In 1978, Biggs made a record, No One is Innocent, with the Sex Pistols. During lean times in Rio, he also raised money by selling T-shirts of himself and entertaining Japanese tourists, posing in pictures with them for £25 a time.

He suffered his first stroke in 1998 and two more quickly followed, ending his days of beaches and parties, and starting the chain of events that led to his return to Britain and a life as prisoner 002731.

Old age: Biggs shown launching his memoirs in 2011, when he was afflicted with illness

Old age: Biggs shown launching his memoirs in 2011, when he was afflicted with illness

Frail: This picture released by Biggs's lawyers in 2009 shows how ill he was during his last few yearsFrail: This picture released by Biggs’s lawyers in 2009 shows how ill he was during his last few years

Barely a month back in his home country, a fourth stroke followed and Biggs was moved from prison to Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Woolwich.

He was returned to the top-security Belmarsh Prison in south-east London after a week where he was fed through a drip as his health continued to decline.

In August, a few days after his 72nd birthday, he was rushed back to hospital for an emergency blood transfusion.

He was rushed to hospital again three months later after vomiting and passing blood.

On July 10, 2002 Biggs finally married his son Michael’s Brazilian mother Raimunda in a ceremony at Belmarsh jail. He was too ill to say his vows and held up a card which read ‘I do’.

Although permanently linked together by their participation in one of Britain’s most notorious crimes, Biggs and the surviving train robbers saw each other rarely in later years.

The Monopoly set played by the Great Train Robbers while lying low at Leatherslade FarmThe Monopoly set played by the Great Train Robbers while lying low at Leatherslade Farm

 

The robbers were rumoured to have used real cash stolen from the job to play the board game withThe robbers were rumoured to have used real cash stolen from the job to play the board game with

But the gang’s leader Bruce Reynolds did visit his old partner in crime in Belmarsh, and found that he could only communicate using a pointer and alphabet.He said: ‘By that time Ronnie had had three major strokes and he found it difficult to communicate. This guy was a very jovial character with a great sense of humour and a very strong guy physically and my heart was saddened by the condition he was in.’

‘I am no longer a criminal. I gave up that practice years ago.’

Appeals to have Biggs released met with deaf ears. In October 2003 an appeal against his sentence was thrown out by a High Court judge as ‘hopeless’ and ‘misconceived’.

Biggs was moved from Belmarsh to Norwich Prison in July 2007 to live on a unit for elderly inmates.

Justice Secretary Jack Straw refused him parole in 2009 and accused him of being ‘wholly unrepentant’ about his crimes.

But Biggs was old and severely ill, lying in a bed in Norwich Hospital with pneumonia, fractures of the hip, pelvis and spine.

After his four strokes he was unable to eat, speak or walk.

He was finally granted compassionate release from his prison sentence on August 6 2009, just two days before his 80th birthday.

Audacious thieves who shocked the nation: Where all of the Great Train Robbers ended up

Regarded as the mastermind of the Great Train Robbery, Bruce Reynolds died in February aged 81
Charles Wilson, the treasurer whose role was to give the robbers their cut of the haul

Bruce Reynolds (left): The crook regarded as the mastermind of the Great Train robbery died in February aged 81. A career criminal who enjoyed the high life and drove an Aston Martin, Reynolds was a notorious jewel thief and housebreaker who formed the 17-strong gang which held up the Royal Mail travelling post office in Buckinghamshire as it ran between Glasgow and London. After the robbery, using a series of aliases and a false passport, Reynolds went on the run in Mexico and Canada for five years with his wife and young son before returning to Britain when the cash ran out. Justice eventually caught up with him in Torquay in 1968 and he was sentenced to 25 years in jail. He was released on parole in 1978 and moved, penniless, into a tiny flat off London’s Edgware Road. In the 1980s he was jailed for three years for dealing amphetamines. He died earlier this year.

Charles Frederick (Charlie) Wilson (right): The treasurer whose role was to give the robbers their cut of the haul. He earned the nickname ‘the silent man’ after he was captured because he refused to say anything during his trial. Jailed for 30 years but escaped after four months. Was captured in Canada four years later and severed another ten years in jail. Moved to Spain in 1978 where he was shot and killed by a hitman on a bicycle in 1990.

Ronald 'Buster' Edwards fled to Mexico after the robbery but gave himself up in 1966
Chief getaway driver Roy James left a fingerprint at the gang's farm hideout and was caught following a rooftop chase

Ronald ‘Buster’ Edwards (left): Fled to Mexico after the robbery but gave himself up in 1966. After nine years in jail he became a familiar figure selling flowers outside London Waterloo. Killed himself in 1994 at the age of 62. He was played by singer Phil Collins in the 1988 film Buster.

Roy James (right): The chief getaway driver left a fingerprint at the gang’s farm hideout and was caught following a rooftop chase. He moved to Spain after serving 12 years of a 30 year sentence. He was jailed again for six years in 1993 for shooting his wife’s father and hitting her with a pistol, and died soon after being released, at the age of 62.

Tommy Wisbey was there to frighten the train staff
Jimmy Hussey died last year after apparently making a deathbed confession claiming he was the gang member who coshed the train driver

Tommy Wisbey (left): One of the ‘heavies’ of the gang, Wisbey was there to frighten the train staff. Was jailed for 30 years and released in 1976 before being jailed for another ten years in 1989 for dealing cocaine. After being released he lived in north London, where he suffered a number of strokes. He is still alive.

Jimmy Hussey (right): ‘Big Jim’ died last year after apparently making a deathbed confession claiming he was the gang member who coshed the train driver. He was sentenced to 30 years for the robbery. After he was released in 1975 he eventually opened a restaurant in Soho after working on a market stall. He was convicted for assault in 1981. He was then jailed for seven years, eight years later, for a drug smuggling conspiracy, along with Wisbey. He died in November 2012, aged 79, from cancer.

Roger Cordrey was jailed for 20 years after being arrested in Bournemouth
Jimmy White, the 'quartermaster' for the robbery

Roger Cordrey (left): Was jailed for 20 years after being arrested in Bournemouth. He was caught after renting a lock-up from a policeman’s widow. His sentence was reduced to 14 years on appeal. The florist returned to the flower business after he was released in 1971 and moved to the West Country. He has now died.

Jimmy White (right): The ‘quartermaster’ for the robbery. The former Paratrooper was caught in Kent after being on the run for three years and was sentenced to 18 years. He moved to Sussex after being released in 1975. He has now died.

 

Douglas Gordon Goody (below): Was released in 1975 after being sentenced to 30 years in jail. After being released the hairdresser moved to Spain to run a bar, and he still lives there.

Douglas Gordon Goody was sentenced to 30 years in jail and was released in 1975Douglas Gordon Goody was sentenced to 30 years in jail and was released in 1975

 

Bobby Welch: Was also jailed for 30 years and released in 1976. The nightclub boss was left crippled after an operation on his leg went wrong. After being released from jail he became a gambler and a car dealer in London. He is still alive

Brian Field: The solicitor was used to make the arrangement to buy the farm hideout used after the robbery. Jailed for 25 years, which was later reduced to five. He later died in a motorway crash in 1979.

John Wheater: A solicitor who was sentenced to three years for conspiring to pervert the course of justice. He was released in 1966 and went to live in Surrey. Believed to be dead.

Bill Boal: An engineer who was arrested with Roger Cordrey in possession of £141,000. Reynolds said he had never heard of Boal. He claimed Boal was not involved in the robbery and was ‘an innocent man’. Boal was charged with receiving stolen goods and jailed for 24 years, which was reduced to 14 on appeal. He died of cancer in jail in 1970.

Leonard Field: A former merchant seaman, Field was sentenced to 25 years, which was later reduced to five. He was released from jail in 1967 and went to live in north London. Believed to be dead.

 

 

 

STORMIN’ NORMAN BUCKLAND …. ANOTHER HARD BASTARD GUV’NOR LEGEND

A BRIEF INSIGHT INTO THE WORLD OF UNLICENSED BOXING FIGHTS .

THE GUV’NOR STORMIN NORMAN BUCKLAND PICTURED AT THE PREMIERE OF THE CULT GANGSTER FILM KILLER BITCH , ALSO IN THE PICTURES ARE LINDA CALVEY “THE BLACK WIDOW , AND ANDY JONES , OWNER OF THE CRIME THROUGH TIME COLLECTION AT LITTLEDEAN JAIL.

STORMIN’ NORMAN IS ALSO FEATURED ON DISPLAY AT THE CRIME THROUGH TIME COLLECTION IN AMONGST VARIOUS OTHER UNLICENSED GUV’NOR LEGENDS .
12259564 12259565 12259574 12259577HERE IS SOME VIDEO FOOTAGE OF THE GUV’NOR STORMIN NORMAN BUCKLAND IN ACTION DURING ONE OF HIS MANY UNLICENSED BOXING FIGHTS .

 

 

HERE’S A MONTAGE OF  CLIPS SOME FEATURING STORMIN NORMAN BUCKLAND .. IN A CAMEO ROLE FIGHTING ALEX REID IN THE 2010 GANGSTER FILM ………” KILLER BITCH”

THE MASTERMIND BEHIND THE GREAT TRAIN ROBBERY (1963) BRUCE REYNOLDS FUNERAL 20TH MARCH 2013

R.I.P BRUCE REYNOLDS

NICK REYNOLDS DEVOTED SON OF HIS FATHER BRUCE , HIS BOYS , FAMILY , FRIENDS , ACQUAINTANCES AND MANY OTHERS SAY FAREWELL TO ONE OF THE MOST ICONIC FOLKLORE FIGURES IN BRITISH MODERN HISTORY AT ST BARTHOLOMEW THE GREAT CHURCH, SMITHFIELDS , LONDON, UK . 

FOLLOWED UP BY THE WAKE IN HIS HONOUR HELD AT THE KING’S HEAD PUB , KINGSLAND ROAD , LONDON. 

ON A PERSONAL LEVEL I  WOULD WISH TO ADD THAT IT WAS A GREAT DAY AND A GREAT SEND-OFF AND FURTHERMORE ALL THOSE THAT WERE THERE THROUGHOUT THE DAY AND EVENING HAD A FANTASTIC TIME . 

BELOW IS THE ORDER OF SERVICE FRONT COVER  , VARIOUS PERSONAL IMAGES TAKEN ON THE DAY AND THROUGHOUT THE EVENING BY OUR OWN ALWAYS LOYAL FACEBOOK ADMIN GEEZER………….. JULES,  AS WELL AS SOME OTHER PRESS USED FEATURES AND VIDEO ETC RELATING TO BRUCE REYNOLDS AND HIS LIFE……../

DSC_1868NICK REYNOLDS AND HIS SONS SAY THEIR LAST FAREWELLS TO BRUCE 

Nick Reynolds kisses his father, Bruce Reynolds coffin as it leaves  the church  at   Bruce Reynolds the Great Train Robbery masterminds funeral, London, UK

FOR MORE OF OUR IMAGES TAKEN BY JULES PLEASE VISIT

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151359471518457.1073741834.597178456&type=1

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151360319213457.1073741835.597178456&type=1&notif_t=like

 

 

Two fingers to you all: Frail and wheelchair-bound, Ronnie Biggs, 83, makes a feeble gesture of defiance at the funeral of one of his train robber pals

  • The former criminal mastermind Bruce Reynolds died in his sleep last month aged 81
  • Reynolds referred to the train robbery as ‘his Sistine Chapel’, says his son Nick
  • Brains behind £2.6million robbery of mail train with 16 accomplices
  • Jailed for 25 years for role and later wrote of experiences in memoir
  • Fellow gang member Ronnie Biggs attended private funeral in city of London

 

Even half a century later, he speaks of it as ‘an adventure’.

Ronnie Biggs might be a pathetic figure in a wheelchair these days but he still has fond memories of the Great Train Robbery and his 36-year flight from justice.

An engine driver coshed on the skull with an iron bar. A life on the run. A circle of friends including gangsters, hard-men, thugs and petty criminals.

Scroll down for video

Ronnie Biggs
Ronnie Biggs

Partner-in-crime: Ronnie Biggs makes an obscene gesture as he attends the funeral of Bruce Reynolds, the mastermind behind the Great Train Robbery

Event: Hundreds of mourners attended the service which took place at St Bartholomew the Great, in LondonEvent: Hundreds of mourners attended the service which took place at St Bartholomew the Great, in London
Gathering: Around 200 people attended the funeral of Bruce Reynolds in the city of London today
Bruce Reynolds

Colourful life: Bruce Reynolds, left, was the brains behind the Great Train Robbery (pictured in 1963 right)

Notorious: Mourners comfort each other outside the church. The funeral was very well attendedNotorious: Mourners comfort each other outside the church. The funeral was very well attended

Biggs said farewell to one of them yesterday – and found the strength to raise two fingers for the cameras.

Frail, 83, and unable to stray far from medical care, he made a rare public outing from his nursing home to join mourners at the funeral of his old pal Bruce Reynolds, fellow ex-fugitive and so-called ‘mastermind’ of the 1963 robbery.

In a tribute read out on his behalf, Biggs told a 200-strong congregation: ‘It was Bruce who set me off on an adventure that was to change my life, and it was typical of Bruce that he was there at the end to help me back from Brazil to  Britain. I am proud to have had Bruce Richard Reynolds as a friend. He was a good man.’

Well-known associate of the Kray brothers Freddy Foreman (centre) leads a group of mourners to the funeralWell-known associate of the Kray brothers Freddie Foreman (centre) leads a group of mourners to the funeral, including former celeb and football agent Eric Hall (right)
Respects: Mourners at the funeral of Bruce Reynolds who was jailed for 25 years for his part in the Great Train robberyRespects: Mourners at the funeral of Bruce Reynolds who was jailed for 25 years for his part in the Great Train robbery
Underworld: Self-styled gangster Dave Courtnay who was jailed in the Eighties for attacking five men with a meat cleaver at the funeraUnderworld: Self-styled gangster Dave Courtney, who was jailed in the Eighties for attacking five men with a meat cleaver, at the funeral

A mourner makes a display of his underworld connections at the funeral of Bruce ReynoldsA mourner makes a display of his underworld connections at the funeral of Bruce Reynolds
Eastenders actor Jamie Foreman - the son of former gangster Freddie Foreman - attended the funeral
Bobby Welch arriving

EastEnders actor Jamie Foreman – the son of former gangster Freddie Foreman, left, and another of the surviving Great Train robbers Bobby Welch, right

NICK REYNOLDS: GANGSTER’S SON WHOSE BAND FOUND FAME WITH THE SOPRANOS THEME TUNE

Nick Reynolds’ band, Alabama 3, was founded at an Acid House party in Brixton, London, in 1995, when members agreed that a fusion of country music with acid house was a possibility.

They were signed to Geffen Records for a million dollars which, in their words, was spent: ‘ on ‘various contraband items and with the rest we made an over-produced, brilliant situationist masterpiece called ‘Exile on Coldharbour Lane’

They achieved international fame when the producers of The Sopranos, a hit TV series about a Mafia family living in the U.S., chose their track ‘Woke Up This Morning‘ for the show’s opening credits.

That tune, written by band member Rob Spragg,’bought someone a swimming pool, but it sure wasn’t any of us…’, they claim.

Their music has also appeared in a number of films including Gone in 60 Seconds and A Life Less Ordinary.

That ‘good man’ was part of the gang that needlessly attacked train driver Jack Mills and left him bleeding in his cab.

Although Mills died seven years later from cancer, his family maintains the trauma never left him, insisting the blow contributed to his early death.

The robbery netted more than £2.6million in used bank notes, around  £40million in today’s money and the biggest of its kind.

Despite the unnecessary brutality, it captured public imagination for decades, spawned a succession of films and books, and earned leading gang members dubious celebrity.

Hence, other names from the past joined Biggs yesterday for the private church service in St Bartholomew The Great in the City of London.

Among them were former Kray brothers’ henchmen Freddie Foreman, known as ‘Brown Bread Fred’ for the assistance he gave in disposing of one of the twins’ high profile victims; fellow member of ‘The Firm’, Chris Lambrianou; and self-proclaimed gangster Dave Courtney.

Yesterday Courtney said of Reynolds: ‘He was a real class act.

‘He used to wear the cravat and everything. He was a monarch for naughty people. The Great Train Robbery – that was the big one for him. He always used to call it his Moby Dick.’

Reynolds, an antique dealer nicknamed ‘Napoleon’, boasted that he wanted to pull off a crime that would go down in  history and make him rich.

He succeeded in one of those ambitions – but was broke by the time he was arrested five years later in Torquay after returning to Britain from a  succession of hideouts in Mexico and Canada.

He was convicted and sentenced to 25 years in jail. In the 1980s he was jailed again, for drug dealing.

He died in his sleep on February 28, aged 81, a few months before the 50th anniversary of the robbery.

It might have been hailed as one of the most audacious of the 20th century, but Reynolds, the service was told, was not looking forward to celebrating it. In his 1995 memoirs, he labelled it ‘a curse’ that followed him for the rest of his life.

Yesterday his son Nick described his father as ‘a romantic, a true adventurer… a journeyman who chose a lunatic path and paid the price.’

He added: ‘He was an artist at heart and although he referred to the train robbery as his Sistine Chapel, his greatest triumph was in reassessing himself and changing his attitude about what is important in life.’

Having left the church to the strains of Let’s Face the Music and Dance, guests were invited afterwards to remember Reynolds at an East End pub.

Biggs
A note left at the funeral of Bruce Reynolds

Biggs was joined by a number of associates of Reynolds. A note (left) placed by a mourner at the funeral of Bruce Reynolds

Nick Reynolds' leads his family into the service where tributes and readings were madeNick Reynolds’ leads his family into the service where tributes and readings were made
An ailing Ronnie Biggs shakes Nick Reynolds' hand after an emotional service
Dave Courtney

An ailing Ronnie Biggs (left) shakes Nick Reynolds’ hand after an emotional service, while self-styled gangster Dave Courtney turns up with a toy train

Nick Reynolds performs with his band Alabama 3 during his father's funeralNick Reynolds performs with his band Alabama 3 during his father’s funeral
A statement read out on behalf of Ronnie Biggs described Bruce Reynolds as a 'true friend'A statement read out on behalf of Ronnie Biggs described Bruce Reynolds as a ‘true friend’
Flowers left by well-known associate of the Kray brothers Freddie ForemanFlowers left by well-known associate of the Kray brothers Freddie Foreman
A tribute from Reynolds' deputy Gordon Goody was also read out at the serviceA tribute from Reynolds’ deputy Gordon Goody was also read out at the service

Emotional: Tributes were read out by Bruce Reynolds' son Nick and his friend and fellow robber Gordon GoodyEmotional: Tributes were read out by Bruce Reynolds’ son Nick and his friend and fellow robber Gordon Goody
The coffin leaves St Bartholomew the Great church followed by mourners in the City of London Great church in the City of LondonThe coffin leaves St Bartholomew the Great church followed by mourners in the City of London
Nick Reynolds paid tribute to his father describing him as his best friend and greatest inspirationNick Reynolds paid tribute to his father describing him as his best friend and greatest inspiration
Ronnie Biggs, centre, said he was 'proud' to count Bruce Reynolds as a friendRonnie Biggs, centre, said he was ‘proud’ to count Bruce Reynolds as a friend
Arrest: Reynolds being taken away by police in November 1968 after spending five years on the runArrest: Reynolds being taken away by police in November 1968 after spending five years on the run
Family: Reynolds, left, with his wife Frances as well as fellow robber John Daly and his wife BarbaraFamily: Reynolds, left, with his wife Frances as well as fellow robber John Daly and his wife Barbara
Jim HusseyGang: Reynolds, centre, with his accomplices Buster Edwards, Tom Wisbey, Jim White, Roger Cordrey, Charles Wilson and Jim Hussey in 1979
Heist: The train which was targeted by the robbers pictured soon after the crimeHeist: The train which was targeted by the robbers pictured soon after the crime
Scene: The bridge where the bandits held up the train and attacked its workersScene: The bridge where the bandits held up the train and attacked its workers
Carnage: Inside a carriage of the mail train in the aftermath of the robbery in 1963Carnage: Inside a carriage of the mail train in the aftermath of the robbery in 1963
Cash: Detectives search through sacks of banknotes which were stolen in what was then a record robberyCash: Detectives search through sacks of banknotes which were stolen in what was then a record robbery
Investigation: A policeman picks up the train driver's hat from the railway tracks near the ambush siteInvestigation: A policeman picks up the train driver’s hat from the railway tracks near the ambush site
Father and son: Reynolds with his son Nick, an artist who is a member of the band Alabama ThreeFather and son: Reynolds with his son Nick, an artist who is a member of the band Alabama 3

THE FUNERAL OF BRUCE REYNOLDS: A CONGREGATION OF MURDERERS AND ASSORTED VILLAINS

THE MEAT CLEAVER MAN

Dave Cortney (left) and Chris Lambriano attend the funeral of Bruce Reynolds, the mastermind behind the Great Train Robbery of 1963 at St Bartholomew The Great Church in Smithfield, LondonDave Cortney (left) and Chris Lambriano attend the funeral of Bruce Reynolds, the mastermind behind the Great Train Robbery of 1963 at St Bartholomew The Great Church in Smithfield, London

Dave Courtney, 54, (pictured left – speaking to Chris Lambrianou, right) claims to have been shot, stabbed and had his nose bitten off. He also says he’s had to kill to stay alive.

The underworld hardman, who was jailed in the Eighties for attacking five men with a meat cleaver, is said to have been a debt collector for the Kray twins.

In this role, he cultivated a reputation for using the knuckleduster. He claims he was the model for Vinnie Jones’s character in the 1998 film Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. However, it’s been suggested that he’s embellished his past so his books sell better.

THE KILLER TURNED CHRISTIAN

Chris Lambrianou, 75, was involved in the attempt by the Krays to muscle in on Birmingham in the 1960s – but failed to wrest control of the city’s bars. He was handed 15 years in prison for his part in the 1967 murder of Jack ‘the Hat’ McVitie.

Lambrianou later turned to religion and after his release he moved to Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, to live a quiet life.

BROWN BREAD FRED
Freddie Foreman – aka ‘Brown Bread Fred’ – was a key associate of the Krays. Now 80, he was linked to the 1960s killings of ‘Mad Axeman’ Frank Mitchell and Tommy ‘Ginger’ Marks.

Foreman (right) has admitted he was asked by the Krays to kill  Mitchell. He shot him in the back of a van and had his body dumped at sea.

Marks was killed for arranging the shooting of Foreman’s brother George. Foreman was jailed for ten years in 1975 as an accessory to the killing of McVitie and served six years from 1989 for his role in the 1983 £7million Security Express robbery.

Biggs
Biggs

Notorious: Ronnie Biggs, pictured left at the time of the robbery and right in 2011, is the best-known of the gang after escaping from prison and spending decades on the run

Injuries: Jack Mills, driver of the train which the gang targeted, after being beaten by the robbersInjuries: Jack Mills, driver of the train which the gang targeted, after being beaten by the robbers
Police: Jack Slipper, left, and Gerald McArthur, right, were two officers intimately involved with the investigation
Gerald McArthur

Police: Jack Slipper, left, and Gerald McArthur, right, were two officers intimately involved with the investigation

Audacious thieves who shocked the nation: Where the Great Train Robbers ended up

By James Rush

Ronnie Biggs
Jim Hussey

Ronnie Biggs (left): The most famous of the train robbers, even though he played a minor role as a contact for the replacement train driver. He is best known for his escape from prison in 1965 and living as a fugitive for 36 years. He voluntarily returned to the UK in 2001 and spent several years in prison. During this time his health rapidly declined and on August 6, 2009, he was released from prison on compassionate grounds.

Charles Frederick (Charlie) Wilson (right): The treasurer whose role was to give the robbers their cut of the haul. He earned the nickname ‘the silent man’ after he was captured because he refused to say anything during his trial. Jailed for 30 years but escaped after four months. Was captured in Canada four years later and served another ten years in jail. Moved to Spain in 1978 where he was shot and killed by a hitman on a bicycle in 1990.

Jim Hussey
Roy James

Ronald ‘Buster’ Edwards (left): Fled to Mexico after the robbery but gave himself up in 1966. After nine years in jail he became a familiar figure selling flowers outside London Waterloo. Killed himself in 1994 at the age of 62. He was played by singer Phil Collins in the 1988 film Buster.

Roy James (right): The chief getaway driver left a fingerprint at the gang’s farm hideout and was caught following a rooftop chase. He moved to Spain after serving 12 years of a 30 year sentence. He was jailed again for six years in 1993 for shooting his wife’s father and hitting her with a pistol, and died soon after being released, at the age of 62.

1
Jim Hussey

Tommy Wisbey (left): One of the ‘heavies’ of the gang, Wisbey was there to frighten the train staff. Was jailed for 30 years and released in 1976 before being jailed for another ten years in 1989 for dealing cocaine. After being released he lived in north London, where he suffered a number of strokes.

Jimmy Hussey (right): ‘Big Jim’ died last year after apparently making a deathbed confession claiming he was the gang member who coshed the train driver. He was sentenced to 30 years for the robbery. After he was released in 1975 he eventually opened a restaurant in Soho after working on a market stall. He was convicted for assault in 1981. He was then jailed for seven years, eight years later, for a drug smuggling conspiracy, along with Wisbey.

1
1

Roger Cordrey (left): Was jailed for 20 years after being arrested in Bournemouth. He was caught after renting a lock-up from a policeman’s widow. His sentence was reduced to 14 years on appeal. The florist returned to the flower business after he was released in 1971 and moved to the West Country.

Jimmy White (right): The ‘quartermaster’ for the robbery. The former Paratrooper was caught in Kent after being on the run for three years and was sentenced to 18 years, He moved to Sussex after being released in 1975.

1
1

Douglas Gordon Goody (left): Was released in 1975 after being sentenced to 30 years in jail. After being released the hairdresser moved to Spain to run a bar.

John Daly (right): Reynold’s brother-in-law was arrested after his fingerprints were discovered on a Monopoly set linked to the case, but was acquitted when he successfully argued this did not prove he was involved.

Bobby Welch: Was also jailed for 30 years and released in 1976. The nightclub boss was left crippled after an operation on his leg went wrong. After being released from jail he became a gambler and a car dealer in London.

Brian Field: The solicitor was used to make the arrangement to buy the farm hideout used after the robbery. Jailed for 25 years, which was later reduced to five. He later died in a motorway crash in 1979.

Bill Jennings: The criminal who was hired to decouple the carriage with the cash in it was never caught and brought to justice.

Four other people were believed to be involved in the heist, but have never been identified. They include ‘The Ulsterman’, a key figure whose real name is a complete mystery.