Have a pint at the scene of a Kray twins murder: A Yearful of London week 5
A cold winter Sunday in London - what better to do than visit the Blind Beggar pub on Whitechapel Road?
Not only is it a charming, friendly pub with a beautiful koi carp pond in the garden, it is also brimming with history!
Most notably, it is the site of a terrible crime committed by Ronnie Kray.
Ronnie Kray was one of the Kray Twins who were infamous East End gangsters in the 1950s and 1960s.
In the recent film, Legend, both Kray Twins were played by Tom Hardy in what I am happy to call the performance of his life.
The Kray Twins were identical twins and ran a protection racket in the East End of London, making them extremely wealthy.
They owned nightclubs that were frequented by celebrities, which in turn earned them a celebrity status.
Their legitimate business provided cover for their crimes for some time, which included: armed robbery, arson, hijacking. But they didn't quite get away with murder.
Ronnie Kray walked into the Blind Beggar on the 9th March 1966 and shot George Cornell in front of a full bar.
Some said the motive for the murder was Cornwell calling Ronnie Kray a 'big fat poof' in public (Ronnie Kray quite openly enjoyed having sex with men). However, it is much more likely due to Cornwell's association with a rival gang: the Richardsons.
Though a few of the witnesses told the police that Ronnie Kray had committed the murder when questioned, none of them were willing to testify. It took almost 3 years to convict Ronnie. He was eventually certified insane in 1979 and moved to Broadmore Hospital where he lived the rest of his years until 1995 when he died of a heart attack in Wexham Park Hospital.
Visit the Blind Beggar to see where this violent attack took place, enjoy a hot dog, a pint, and an award-winning beer garden.
What's A Yearful of London? My new year's resolution is to do something you can only do in London every week. Any ideas? Give me a shout.