TRUE CRIME, MURDERABILIA, MAIMERABILIA AND DISMALABILIA ….IT’S ALL HERE AT THE CRIME THROUGH TIME COLLECTION , LITTLEDEAN JAIL
HERE’S A BRIEF INSIGHT INTO THE LIFE AND CRIMES OF INFAMOUS 1966 COP KILLER HARRY ROBERTS . THE EXHIBITION INCLUDES PERSONAL HANDWRITTEN AND SIGNED CORRESPONDENCE FROM HIM , PERSONAL BELONGINGS AND PRISON WORN CLOTHING ….ALL OF WHICH CAN NOW BE SEEN ON PUBLIC DISPLAY AT THE JAIL IN AND AMONGST ALL THE TABLOID STORIES FROM OVER THE YEARS
ABOVE: Original painting of Harry Roberts by local Gloucestershire artist Paul Bridgman
SUNDAY PEOPLE STORY 24 APRIL 2016 ……NOT TOO SURE WHO TOOK THIS PHOTOGRAPH OR WHERE IT WAS TAKEN OF HARRY ROBERTS SIGNING PHOTOGRAPHS, OR WHO SOLD THE STORY TO THE PRESS ?? (CERTAINLY NOT US) . FOR THE RECORD , WHILST HARRY HAS PRIVATELY VISITED THE JAIL. THIS PHOTOGRAPH WAS DEFINITELY NOT TAKEN HERE , NEITHER DID HE ASK OR RECEIVE ANY PAYMENTS FOR THE PERSONAL ITEMS HE DONATED FOR PUBLIC DISPLAY ALL OF WHICH ARE FEATURED IN AND AMONGST THE TABLOID STORIES ABOUT HIM AND THE CRIMES HE COMMITTED .
ONE OF THE MANY AND CONTINUALLY UPDATED COLLAGE DISPLAYS FEATURING HARRY ROBERTS WHICH INCLUDES SENSATIONALISED TABLOID FEATURES …. ON DISPLAY HERE AT THE CRIME THROUGH TIME COLLECTION AT LITTLEDEAN JAIL
PLEASE NOTE THAT WE ARE A CRIME MUSEUM AND IN NO SHAPE OR FORM DO WE GLORIFY OR GLAMOURISE ALL THOSE THAT WE FEATURE HERE ON DISPLAY AT LITTLEDEAN JAIL.
FOR THE RECORD, NEITHER DO ANY OF THE ALLEGED OR CONVICTED PERSONS WHO HAVE PERSONALLY CONTRIBUTED DISPLAY ITEMS HERE ( NO MONIES OR PAYMENTS HAVE BEEN MADE BY US TO ANY OF THOSE WHO HAVE CONTRIBUTED MEMORABILIA FOR DISPLAY )
ALL CRIMES, SLEAZE, SCANDALS AND TRAGEDIES THAT WE FEATURE HERE ARE IN THE MAIN UNPLEASANT SUBJECT MATTERS TO COVER …. AND AS SUCH ARE NOT PRESENTED IN A PLEASANT WAY EITHER …
ABOVE : HANDWRITTEN AND SIGNED BY COP KILLER HARRY ROBERTS
AUTHENTIC HAND SIGNED BY HARRY ROBERTS
VICTIMS FROM LEFT PS CHRISTOPHER HEAD , DC DAVID WOMBWELL AND PC GEOFFREY FOX
Harry Maurice Roberts (born 21 July 1936) is an English career criminal who in 1966 instigated the Shepherd’s Bush murders , in which three police officers were shot dead. The killings happened after the plain-clothes officers approached the van in which Roberts and two other men were sitting in Braybrook Street, near Wormwood Scrubs prison in London. Roberts opened fire on the officers when he feared they would discover the firearms his gang were planning to use in an armed robbery. He shot dead two of the officers, while one of his accomplices fatally shot the third.
After Roberts had spent nearly 48 years in jail, in 2014 the Parole Board for England and Wales approved his release, at the age of 78. Having exceeded by far his minimum term of 30 years imprisonment, Roberts was one of the United Kingdom’s longest-serving prisoners, remaining in custody from 1966 until his 2014 release
PLEASE DO BE AWARE THAT THE CRIME THROUGH TIME COLLECTION AT LITTLEDEAN JAIL DOES NOT IN ANY SHAPE OR FORM CONDONE THE HEINOUS MURDERS COMMITTED BY HARRY ROBERTS OR HIS ACCOMPLICES …..
WE ARE SIMPLY A CRIME MUSEUM AND AS SUCH TOUCH UPON AND FEATURE A VAST ARRAY OF HISTORIC AND PRESENT DAY TRUE CRIMES AND EVENTS THAT HAVE SHOOK THE WORLD IN ONE WAY OR ANOTHER ….. HENCE PROVIDING A SAD , DISTURBING AND INSIGHT INTO THESE EVIL CRIMES .
ALL IN ALL FORMING A HOPEFULLY HISTORICAL ARCHIVE FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES TOO .
SO PLEASE , PLEASE , PLEASE … IF EASILY OFFENDED , DISTURBED OR OF A SENSITIVE NATURE, DO AVOID VISITING LITTLEDEAN JAIL .
BELOW IS A GALLERY OF VARIOUS PERSONALLY SIGNED PIECES AND PRISON WORN CLOTHING FROM HARRY ROBERTS ….
Roberts’ name has been used for many years to antagonise the police, with chants like “Harry Roberts is our friend, is our friend, is our friend. Harry Roberts is our friend, he kills coppers. Let him out to kill some more, kill some more, kill some more, let him out to kill some more, Harry Roberts” as well as “He shot three down in Shepherd’s Bush, Shepherd’s Bush, Shepherd’s Bush. He shot three down in Shepherd’s Bush, our mate Harry” (to the tune of “London Bridge Is Falling Down“) which originated with groups of young people outside Shepherd’s Bush police station after Roberts had been arrested
There have been artistic representations of Roberts. The character of Billy Porter in the 2001 novel He Kills Coppers by Jake Arnott, and the 2008 TV adaptation, is based on Harry Roberts.
BELOW: SCENE OF THE TRIPLE COP KILLING
BELOW: HARRY ROBERTS INSPIRED TV SERIES AND BOOK … “HE KILLS COPPERS”
HARRY ROBERTS , POLICE KILLER RELEASED FROM PRISON ARTICLE IN DAILY MAIL ON 11 NOVEMBER 2014, ALSO SOME VIDEO ARCHIVE FOOTAGE … SEE HERE
HERE AT THE CRIME THROUGH TIME COLLECTION, LITTLEDEAN JAIL WE FEATURE A VERY BRIEF, THOUGH INTRIGUING, INSIGHT INTO THE BACKGROUND OF THE REAL PEAKY BLINDERS ALONG WITH A BRIEF EXHIBITION FEATURING THE NOW ICONIC WORLDWIDE PHENOMENAL TV SERIES .
WE HAVE A BIT OF PEAKY BLINDERS MEMORABILIA AND PERSONALLY HAND SIGNED PHOTOGRAPHS, ALONG WITH WEAPONS AND OTHER ASSOCIATED TOOLS OF THE TRADE HERE ON DISPLAY.
THIS HAS NOW BEEN INTRODUCED AS A BIT OF A FURTHER VISUAL FEATURE , MIXED IN AND AMONGST OUR TRUE CRIME , GANGLAND AND MAFIA DISPLAYS…. BEING EN ROUTE THROUGH TO OUR KRAY TWINS EXHIBITION.
ANDY JONES OF THE CRIME THROUGH TIME COLLECTION WITH AN ORIGINAL MACHINE GUN HERE ON DISPLAY AT THE JAIL ,AS WAS USED IN THE VIOLENT SHOOTOUT BETWEEN TOMMY SHELBY AND LUCA CHANGRETTA IN THE PEAKY BLINDERS SERIES 4
Britain is a mixture of despair and hedonism in 1919 in the aftermath of the Great War. Returning soldiers, newly minted revolutions and criminal gangs are fighting for survival in a nation rocked by economic upheaval. One of the most powerful gangs of the time is the Peaky Blinders, run by returning war hero Thomas Shelby and his family. But Thomas has bigger ambitions than just running the streets. When a crate of guns goes missing, he recognizes an opportunity to advance in the world because crime may pay but legitimate business pays better. Trying to rid Britain of its crime is Inspector Chester Campbell, who arrives from Belfast to try to achieve that goal.
ABOVE: TOMMY SHELBY USING HIS MUCH FAVOURED PERSONAL WEBLEY 455 MK VI REVOLVER IN PEAKY BLINDERS .
BELOW: AN ORIGINAL WEBLEY 455 MK VI REVOLVER AS USED IN PEAKY BLINDERS, HERE ON DISPLAY AT THE JAIL ….
BELOW: An original Mauser C96 Broomhandle pistol. This being carried and used by Cillian Murphy starring as Thomas Selby (see below) and also Billy Kimber’s bodyguards in the Peaky Blinders TV Series….
BELOW : Thomas Selby with a Mauser C96 Broomhandle pistol carried and used in the TV series Peaky Blinders ….
BELOW: Original Luger pistol as featured in the Peaky Blinders TV Series …
BELOW: AN ORIGINAL BRASS AND CAST STEEL BLADE KNUCKLE DUSTER AS USED BY THE ORIGINAL PEAKY BLINDERS AND BILLY KIMBER’S BIRMINGHAM BOYS GANG .
BELOW: Original ” no holds barred ” WW1 US 1918 stamped knuckle duster ” trench knife ” issued to the British troops during the brutally violent WW1. These would also more than likely have been carried and used by the original Peaky Blinders, Charles Sabini, Billy Kimber and other violent street gangs at the time as a much favoured and tool .
Most likely these weapons are still used today throughout the world as a violent weapon by debt collectors, street gangs and others ????
ABOVE: Peaky Blinders have arrived here at The Crime Through Time Collection and now form an integral feature in and amongst our True Crime , Murderabilia, Gangland and Mafia exhibition areas here at Littledean Jail, Forest of Dean , Gloucestershire, UK.
ABOVE AND BELOW : Here’s a brief look at some of the many original hand signed memorabilia photographs of the leading cast members to include Cillian Murphy starring as Thomas Shelby and other Shelby family members, Tom Hardy starring as Alfie Solomons along with all other main characters (both Ladies and Gentlemen… )
BELOW: Signed and inscribed photograph “By order of the Peaky Blinders ” by Paul Anderson, in the lead role of Arthur Shelby .
This is one of a great many personally signed photos of the various cast members of the hit television series “Peaky Blinders” here on display at the jail
ABOVE: AUTHENTIC SIGNED PROMOTIONAL PIECE BY CHARLOTTE RILEY IN THE ROLE OF MAY CARLETON ( MARRIED TO TOM HARDY IN REAL LIFE ) HERE ON DISPLAY .
ABOVE: AUTHENTIC HAND SIGNED PHOTOGRAPH OF NOW ICONIC SCREENWRITER AND CREATOR OF THE GLOBAL HIT TV CRIME DRAMA SERIES PEAKY BLINDERS… STEVEN KNIGHT
ABOVE: An original oil painting here on display at the jail, depicting Cillian Murphy as Thomas Shelby from the TV series Peaky Blinders . Painted by Gloucestershire artist Paul Bridgman .
ABOVE: An original oil painting here on display at the jail, depicting some of the infamous Shelby family featured in the TV series Peaky Blinders . Painted by Gloucestershire artist Paul Bridgman .
ABOVE AND BELOW: Just a brief insight into some of the exhibit items here on display
BELOW : Original oil painting of Peaky Blinders Jeremiah Jesus portrayed by Benjamin Zephaniah here on display .
ABOVE AND BELOW : Benjamin Zephaniah in the role as Jeremiah Jesus in the hit TV Series Peaky Blinders .
Talk about objects that evoke strong feelings and debate …. you need look no further than a simple rope which just happens to be the Hangman’s Noose .
Here at The Crime Through Time Collection, Littledean Jail we house and display several original Hangman’s Nooses including the one used by James Berry on ” The Man They Couldn’t Hang ” John “Babbacombe” Lee.
We also house and have on display several official government regulation nooses made by John Edgington , Old Kent Road, London. Some of which have the chamois leather noose and the the gutta percha on the noose ends. The gutta percha was later omitted from the regulation noose ends in 1955.
These noose’s would have possibly been used for both test drops and executions by several of Britain’s 20th Century Hangmen and Executioners, and also for executions carried out abroad . These ropes would undoubtedly have been used by the likes of Stephen Wade, Henry Kirk, Robert Lewis Stewart, John Ellis, Albert Pierrepoint and the last hangman in England Harry Allen .
Above : Original oil painting of 3 generations of the Pierrepoint family , who were all Britain’s chief executioners … Painted by local Gloucestershire artist Paul Bridgman , on display at Littledean Jail.
Sadly official records no longer appear to exist in regards to where and on whom these official government regulation J Edgington & Co noose’s were used .All we know is that Edgingtons were awarded the Government contract to supply all the execution noose’s from 1888 up until the abolition of the death penalty in 1964.
The only other official documentation or records that exists in regards to the storage and transportation of numbered J Edgington nooses is that which is held at HMP Wandsworth , London.
We also feature on display an array of handwritten and signed correspondence from a number of hangmen.
All in all a hopefully unique, historical and educational insight into the life and times of Capital Punishment within the UK .
ABOVE AND BELOW: VARIOUS EXAMPLES OF OFFICIAL GOVERNMENT ISSUE HANGMAN NOOSE’S WHICH WERE MADE BY J EDGINGTON & CO , OLD KENT ROAD , LONDON. THESE WERE MANUFACTURED BY THEM FROM 1888 UNTIL THE ABOLITION OF CAPITAL PUNISHMENT IN 1965 .
Official inscription of Government Hangman nNoose makers J. Edgington on brass eyelets .
close-up image of vulcanised rubber noose washer and ” gutta percha ” covering
Close up image of Chamois Leather covered noose
BELOW IS AN INSIGHT INTO SOME OF VARIOUS HANGMEN RELATED EXHIBIT MATERIAL HERE ON DISPLAY, WHICH INCLUDES ORIGINAL HANGMAN’S NOOSE’S USED BY GEORGE SMITH POPULARLY KNOWN AS ” THROTTLER SMITH ” AND JAMES BERRY ON THE “MAN THEY COULD NOT HANG ” – JOHN “BABBACOMBE” LEE . ALSO HANDWRITTEN AND SIGNED LETTERS, BUSINESS CARDS AND RECEIPTS ETC.
GEORGE SMITH ( 1805-1874 )
George Smith, popularly known as Throttler Smith, was an English hangman from 1840 until 1872. He was born in Rowley Regis in the English West Midlands, where he performed the majority of his executions George Smith, popularly known as Throttler Smith, was an English hangman from 1840 until 1872. He was born in Rowley Regis in the English West Midlands, where he performed the majority of his executionsNOOSE’S USED BY GEORGE SMITH POPULARLY KNOWN AS ” THROTTLER SMITH “NOOSE USED BY GEORGE SMITH POPULARLY KNOWN AS ” THROTTLER SMITH “
WILLIAM CALCRAFT (1800 -1879 )
William Calcraft was a 19th-century English hangman, one of the most prolific of British executioners. It is estimated in his 45-year career he carried out 450 executions.
BELOW: Original oil painting by Gloucestershire artist Paul Bridgman of notorious Hangman and Executioner – William Calcraft
BELOW : Original receipt for payment of the sum of £12.12 shillings dated 22 march 1856 for an execution he carried out at Manchester Gaol . It is complete with a lilac Inland Revenue 1d stamp as well as being receipted as signed for by William Calcraft …. an extremely rare historic item for sure here on display at Littledean Jail
In today’s money this would be equivalent to approx £9000 !!!
WILLIAM MARWOOD ( 1818-1883)
William Marwood was a hangman for the British government. He developed the technique of hanging known as the “long drop”.
ABOVE : Original oil painting of William Marwood by Gloucestershire artist Paul Bridgman here on display at Littledean Jail
BELOW : An original rare official business card from William Marwood , Executioner , which he has also signed on the rear as pictured here below.
JAMES BERRY (1852-1913 )
James Berry was an English executioner from 1884 until 1891. Berry was born in Heckmondwike in the West Riding of Yorkshire, where his father worked as a wool-stapler.
Above & below : An original book about James Berry sent to Joe Mawson back in 2004 with a dedicated inscription for his help having , at the time via Andy Jones of The Crime Through Time Collection provided a copy of the original James Berry calling card for illustrated use within this book
ABOVE : Original and very rare James Berry ” Public Executioner ” business / calling cards
ABOVE: An original oil painting by Gloucestershire artist Paul Bridgman of James Berry , here on display at The Crime Through Time Collection , Littledean jail .
ABOVE AND BELOW: THE ORIGINAL JAMES BERRY HANGMAN’S NOOSE, USED BY HIM IN THE FAILED ATTEMPT TO EXECUTE JOHN ‘BABBACOMBE’ LEE IN EXETER JAIL ON 23 FEBRUARY 1885
DISPLAYED HERE ALONG WITH THE ORIGINAL HANDWRITTEN AND SIGNED AUTHENTICATION LETTER FROM JAMES BERRY DATED 3 JULY 1897 IN RELATION TO THE USE OF THIS NOOSE .
Above & below , an original James Berry Executioner business calling card privately acquired from the estate of former crime ephemera collector Joe Mawson (who passed away at the age of 86) by The Crime Through Time Collection along with an original letter from Scotland Yard’s Black Museum curator Bill Waddell sent from the Metropolitan Police Office dated 20-2-1984, previously sent to Joe Mawson with reference to this extremely rare calling card .
PICTURED HERE BELOW IS AN EXCEPTIONALLY RARE AND MOST CERTAINALY HISTORICALLY UNIQUE ENGRAVED 1861 HALF PENNY COIN PRESENTED BY JAMES BERRY PUBLIC EXECUTIONER TO J.BREEZE, 25 JULY 1886.
THIS PERSONALLY ENGRAVED PRESENTATION COIN IS HERE ON DISPLAY, ALONG WITH AN ARRAY OF INFAMOUS HANGMAN JAMES BERRY & OTHER HANGMEN AND EXECUTIONER MEMORABILIA
JOHN ELLIS (1874 -1932 )
John Ellis was a British executioner for 23 years, from 1901 to 1924. His other occupations were as a Rochdale hairdresser and newsagent.
ABOVE: Original oil painting of John Ellis by Gloucestershire Artist Paul Bridgman , here on display at Littledean Jail
JOHN BILLINGTON HANGMAN AND EXECUTIONER
John Billington came from a family of hangmen. His father, James, was an executioner from 1884 to 1901, and his two older brothers, Thomas and William were employed in the same occupation.
In early 1902, at the age of 21, John attended an execution training course at Newgate Prison. His brother William was England’s primary executioner by this time, and the two became partners. They first worked on 18 March. John was the assistant for 10 of William’s commissions in 1902. He helped perform the last execution at Newgate and the first one at Pentonville.
Billington continued as an assistant through most of 1903. However, with his experience, he was soon promoted. On 2 December 1903, he carried out his commission as a chief executioner in Manchester, with John Ellis as his assistant. Twenty-nine executions took place in England and Ireland in 1903; the Billington brothers participated in 27 of them, including 15 as a two-man team.
John Billington worked both as his brother’s assistant and as a chief executioner for the next two years. On three separate occasions, they carried out executions in different cities on the same day. The last of these was on 17 August 1904, when John executed John Kay at Armley Prison, and William hanged Samuel Holden at Winson Green Prison.
Besides Ellis, John Billington also frequently worked with Henry Pierrepoint. In his career, Billington carried out a total of 26 hangings as an assistant and 16 as a chief executioner. He worked as a hairdresser when not performing executions.
In August 1905, Billington received a commission to hang Thomas Tattersall in Leeds. While preparing the scaffold, he fell through the open trapdoor and cracked his ribs. He died about two months later due to those injuries; the official cause of death was pleurisy.
Billington was 25 years old at the time. He was survived by his wife and one child.
ABOVE : Original oil painting of James Billington by Gloucestershire artist Paul Bridgman here on display at Littledean Jail
BELOW: Original oil painting of Henry Pierrepoint by Gloucestershire artist Paul Bridgman here on display at Littledean Jail
THOMAS PIERREPOINT (1870 – 1954 )
ABOVE: Thomas Pierrepoint (left) and his nephew, Albert (right)
BELOW: Thomas Pierrepoint , Hangman and Executioner
Thomas Pierrepoint began working as a hangman in 1906 under the influence of his brother, Henry. His career spanned 39 years, and ended in 1946, by which time he was in his mid-seventies. During this time, he is thought to have carried out 294 hangings, 203 of which were civilians executed in England and Wales, whilst the remainder were executions carried out abroad or upon military personnel. Among those he executed was the poisoner Frederick Seddon in 1912.
During World War II he was appointed as executioner by the US Military and was responsible for 13 out of 16 hangings of US soldiers at the Shepton Mallet military prison in Somerset. In this capacity, Pierrepoint carried out executions not only for murder but also rape which, at the time, was a capital crime under US military law although not in British law. In most of these cases he was assisted by his nephew Albert – who was principal hangman for the remaining three executions.
In 1940, his medical fitness for the job was questioned by a medical officer who called him “unsecure” and doubted “whether his sight was good”. The Prison Commission discreetly asked for reports on his performance during executions in the following time, but evidently found no reason to take action, although one report said that Thomas Pierrepoint had “smelled strongly of drink” on two occasions when reporting at the prison. This, however, appears to clash with Thomas Pierrepoint’s instruction to Albert (when the latter acted as his assistant) not to take a drink if on the job and never to accept the drink customarily given to all witnesses at executions in the Republic of Ireland.
Thomas never officially retired, rather his name was removed from the list of executioners and invitations to conduct executions ceased to arrive. He died at his daughter’s home in Bradford on 11 February 1954, aged 83
ABOVE: Original oil painting of Thomas Pierrepoint by Gloucestershire Artist Paul Bridgman on display at Littledean Jail
ALBERT PIERREPOINT ( 1943 -1992 )
Albert Pierrepoint was a long-serving hangman in England. He executed at least 400 people, including William Joyce and John Amery. In Germany and Austria after the war, he executed some 200 people who had been convicted of war crimes
HARRY ALLEN – THE LAST HANGMAN AND EXECUTIONER IN THE UNITED KINGDOM