Krays 'Firm' staging 'memory' sale at Blind Beggar where Cornell was shot
PUBLISHED: 18:14 07 November 2015 | UPDATED: 18:31 07 November 2015
One of the henchmen who "tidied up" for the Kray mobsters in London's East End in the 1960s returns to the Blind Beggar pub tomorrow—scene of one of their notorious gangland executions—to squeeze some cash for his worthy cause.
Chris Lambrianou, a member of ‘The Firm’ that ruled London’s racketeering underworld 50 years ago, is teaming up with former Page 3 pin-up Maureen Flanagan to run a Krays’ memorabilia day.
Proceeds from the fundraider starting at 2pm at the Whitechapel boozer go towards Lambrianou’s Ley Community charity that he helps run for young offenders in Oxfordshire.
It’s part of a continuing involvement with the Kray ‘Firm’ after half-a-century for Maureen, who was one of the first Page 3 models in the tabloid press in the Sixties and now running a charity shop in Hackney.
She used to do the their mum Violet Kray’s hair each week at their home in Bethnal Green and has since written a book about the family, published in the summer, while keeping the momentum going with tomorrow’s Blind Beggar fundraiser.
“We’re expecting followers from all over the country who weren’t even born when the Krays were finally jailed,” Maureen said. “However bad the Krays were, they were also into charity work—even when they were behind bars.”
Flannagan, at 74, runs the Paragon Trust charity shop at Wells Street in South Hackney, supporting St Joseph’s Hospice nearby.
“Lambrianou has gone from being a gangster to helping young offenders go straight,” she tells you.
“Young guys don’t listen to parents, teachers or even a priest.
“But they listen to a man who served time, telling them crime isn’t glamorous—Chris lost 15 years of his life for his gangland involvement.”
Lambrianou was jailed for disposing of the body of Jack ‘the Hat’ McVittie who was stabbed to death in a frenzied attack by Reggie Kray at a house in Stoke Newington in 1967 and later served 15 years.
McVittie’s killing followed Ronnie Kray assassinating rival gang-leader George Cornell when he shot him in the head at the Blind Beggar in the Whitechapel Road, where tomorrow’s fundraiser is being staged.
The ‘Firm’ of ex-cons are selling souvenir mugs, signed photos, T-shirts, computer mouse-mats, key-rings and calendars showing pictures of the Kray twins’ East End upbringing with family dates of birthdays, boxing trophies, funerals—and the nasty murders they carried out.
Movie-maker Brian Helgaland reveals why he made the Krays ‘heroes’ in the film Legend which was released in September.