Krays’ old henchmen aid ex-model Flanagan to raise £1,700 in Bethnal Green helping kids go straight
PUBLISHED: 17:00 12 March 2019 | UPDATED: 10:43 13 March 2019
Former Page 3 glam pin-up Maureen Flanagan has raised £1,700 with her Bethnal Green charity bash with former Kray gang members and the big names from East End underworld folklore.
The 78-year-old grandmum who was the tabloid star model of the 1970s attracted former villains to the Marquis of Cornwallis pub to help raise cash for Macmillan cancer care and the Ley Community which puts young offenders back on the straight and narrow.
Among the ‘names’ were Freddie Foreman, the Krays’ henchman who disposed of bodies including Jack ‘the Hat’ McVitie who was stabbed to death in 1967 by Reggie Kray.
He got 10 years as an accomplice when the Krays went down for life in 1969 for McVitie’s murder and the 1966 shooting of rival gangland mobster George Cornell at the Blind Beggar in Whitechapel.
Another member of the Kray ‘firm’ turning up was Chris Lambrianou, convicted bank robber and safe-cracker who got 15 years at the Krays’ Old Bailey trial.
The 80-year-old now works with the Ley Community putting the word round for kids to ‘go straight’.
“People kept coming up to me saying I’m a legend,” he told the East London Advertiser.
“But I want to be known as something else apart from being a gangster.
“I don’t understand this hero worship. In my day it was cricket legend Denis Compton and footballer Stanley Matthews—not criminals like me.”
Well, he was portrayed in the 2015 Hollywood film Legend about the Krays, starring Tom Hardy.
Lambrianou in his eighties is anxious to brush off his notorious past, but still has a tale to tell about the old days.
“I got 15 years for aiding and abetting, joint enterprise in murder with the Krays,” he tells you. “I was roped in when Nipper Read (the detective who brought the Krays to justice) tried to get me to talk—but I kept the East End’s codes of silence and got done for murder by association.”
But Lambrianou confesses: “One thing I missed all them years inside was having a family around me and being there for my daughter.”
Other faces turning up for Flanagan’s Big Bash at the Cornwallis—just 500 yards from the Krays’ former terraced house in Vallance Road—included Dave Courtney and ex-bank robber Bobby Cummins.
Among those bending Freddie Foreman’s ear was Linda Calvey, notorious ‘black widow’ who served time for murder and bank robbery.
She killed her lover Ronnie Cook in 1990 after paying a hitman £10,000 who lost his nerve at the last minute. She picked up the gun herself and shot Cook while he knelt in front of her.
Calvey became know as the ‘black widow’ because her lovers ended up either dead or behind bars.