CELEBRITY GANGSTER … DAVE COURTNEY TO REVISIT – FOREST OF DEAN , GLOUCESTERSHIRE ON A FORTHCOMING “EVENING WITH EVENT”

WHETHER ONE LOVES HIM OR LOATHES HIM ….. ALWAYS ENTERTAINING AND ON A PERSONAL LEVEL GREAT TO SPEND TIME WITH .

DO VISIT THE CRIME THROUGH TIME COLLECTION AT LITTLEDEAN JAIL AND SEE FOR YOURSELVES AN INTRIGUING INSIGHT INTO THE LIFE OF CELEBRITY GANGSTER ….. DAVE COURTNEY O.B.E


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ABOVE IS A CLASSIC PICTURE OF DAVE COURTNEY WHO IS ALSO CLAIMED TO BE THE INSPIRATION BEHIND VINNIE JONES’S ROLE IN THE ICONIC BRITISH FILM LOCK, STOCK AND TWO SMOKING BARRELS (SEE PICTURE BELOW)

LSTSB

CELEBRITY GANGSTER DAVE COURTNEY VISITS THE CRIME THROUGH TIME COLLECTION AT LITTLEDEAN JAIL IN MAY 2013 ,

BELOW IS A BRIEF GALLERY OF PICTURES OF DAVE COURTNEY’S VISIT TO THE CRIME THROUGH TIME COLLECTION AT LITTLEDEAN JAIL AND THE WOODLANDS PUB IN THE FOREST OF DEAN WITH HIS PARTNER AND HER SON .

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

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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 

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

R.I.P. BRUCE REYNOLDS …………….. IN MEMORY OF THE ADMIRAL

TRUE CRIME AND MUCH MUCH MORE ON DISPLAY HERE AT THE CRIME THROUGH TIME COLLECTION , LITTLEDEAN JAIL , FOREST OF DEAN , GLOUCESTERSHIRE,UK.

R.I.P. BRUCE REYNOLDS …………….. IN MEMORY OF THE ADMIRAL

Bruce Reynolds, mastermind behind the Great Train Robbery and inspiration for Michael Caine’s ‘Harry Palmer’, dies aged 81

  • Bruce Reynolds robbed £2.6million mail train with 16 accomplices
  • Jailed for 25 years for role and later wrote of experiences in memoir
  • Passed away peacefully in his sleep yesterday morning
  • The haul, which would be worth £40million today, was never fully recovered
  • Reynolds considered inspiration for Caine’s 1965 depiction of fictional spy Harry Palmer in film The Ipcress File

Bruce Reynolds, the crook regarded as the mastermind of the Great Train Robbery, died yesterday aged 81.

His death after a short illness came months before the 50th anniversary of the 1963 heist in which a gang escaped with a then record £2.6million – about £40million in today’s money.

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.

Mastermind: Bruce Reynolds, who organised the Great Train Robbery, has died aged 81
Ill health: Reynolds, pictured in 2007, was apparently ailing for some time before his death

Mastermind: Bruce Reynolds, who organised the Great Train Robbery, has died aged 81

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
Reynolds was considered the inspiration for Michael Caine's 1965 depiction of fictional spy Harry Palmer (above) in the film The Ipcress FileReynolds was considered the inspiration for Michael Caine’s 1965 depiction of fictional spy Harry Palmer (above) in the film The Ipcress File

Nicknamed Napoleon, he bought his shoes at Lobb, his shirts from Jermyn Street and his suits in Savile Row  and was considered the inspiration for Michael Caine’s 1965 depiction of fictional spy Harry Palmer in the film The Ipcress File.

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.

When Tommy Butler, the Flying Squad detective who arrested him there, said: ‘Hello, Bruce, it’s been a long time’, Reynolds replied: ‘C’est la vie’. The last of the robbers to be caught, Reynolds 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.

Gang: Reynolds, centre, with his accomplices Buster Edwards, Tom Wisbey, Jim White, Roger Cordrey, Charles Wilson and Jim Hussey in 1979

Gang: Reynolds, centre, with his accomplices Buster Edwards, Tom Wisbey, Jim White, Roger Cordrey, Charles Wilson and Jim Hussey in 1979

His wife Frances, who had changed her name to Angela, died a couple of years ago, and he lived out his last years in Croydon, south London.

In his memoirs, written in 1995, he said the Great Train Robbery proved a curse which followed him around and no-one wanted to employ him, legally or illegally. ‘I became an old crook living on hand-outs from other old crooks,’ he said.

His musician son Nick Reynolds, whose group Alabama 3 produced The Sopranos theme tune Woke Up This Morning, yesterday announced the death of the Great Train Robber.

Heist: The train which was targeted by the robbers pictured soon after the crime

Heist: The train which was targeted by the robbers pictured soon after the crime

Record: The haul, worth over £40million in today's money, was the biggest robbery in British history

Record: The haul, worth over £40million in today’s money, was the biggest robbery in British history

‘He hadn’t been well for a few days and I was looking after him,’ he said. ‘I really can’t talk at the moment. I can confirm that he has passed away and he died in his sleep.’

The robbery went on to be the subject of several films and books, with a tawdry glamour attaching itself to the notorious crime – even though the train driver was violently attacked and all the robbers eventually caught.

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.

Scene: The bridge where the bandits held up the train and attacked its workers

Scene: 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 1963

Carnage: Inside a carriage of the mail train in the aftermath of the robbery in 1963

More than £2million of the gang’s haul was never recovered.

Seven of the gang, including its most infamous member Ronnie Biggs, were given 30-year sentences in 1964 after judge Edmund Davies called it ‘a crime which in its impudence and enormity is the first of its kind in this country’ and said he hoped the length of the sentences would ‘ensure that it is the last of its kind’.

Biggs lived as a fugitive in Brazil for 36 years after escaping from Wandsworth Prison before finally returning to Britain to face jail in 2001.

Aged 83, he was released on ‘compassionate grounds’ in 2009, has suffered a series of strokes and is now so frail he is unable to speak.

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 Three

Yesterday Biggs’s son Michael said: ‘Regardless of whatever mistakes Bruce made in his life, Bruce was a very, very kind person who was a true gentlemen who made many friends in his life. Bruce was my father’s closest friend, they met in borstal when they were 13.

Biggs’s son claimed: ‘He was very old school. He was absolutely against violence and deeply upset about what happened in the Great Train Robbery.

‘He believed that if you are going to be a criminal then be one but don’t go mugging old ladies. The attack on the driver was something that did upset everyone involved.’

Leonard ‘Nipper’ Read, the Scotland Yard detective who successfully pursued the robbers, said: ‘It really is the end of an era. It was certainly a well-organised operation and Reynolds was the pioneer.’

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

JACK SLIPPER
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
Charles Wilson

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 2011 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 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.

Buster Edwards
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.

Tommy Wisbey
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.

Roger Cordrey
Jimmy White

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.

Roy James
Family: Reynolds, left, with his wife Frances as well as fellow robber John Daly and his wife Barbara

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.