Krays’ mugshots brought to life to help Cockney Pride raise cash for charity
- Credit: Cockney Pride charity
Works of art using images of the notorious Krays are being used for an exhibition to raise cash for charity.
Cockney heritage organiser Joe Leslie has put together a collection of pictures of the Kray twins Ronnie and Reggie, who ruled their gangland empire of extortion and murder with older brother Charlie in London’s East End in the 1950s and 60s.
The iconic pictures have been artistically re-mastered and go on sale after the exhibition opening in April on St George’s Day.
“I wanted to bring a fresh approach to presenting well-known images of the Krays,” Joe explained.
“I chose the Krays not on any moral or political grounds and wanted to get away from the judgemental attitude towards them and just view the images on their merit.”
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Joe, who set up Cockney Pride charity in 2012 to preserve East End heritage including its infamy, is putting on his six-week exhibition at the Juno Bar in Shoreditch High Street from on April 23, with an online auction from 7pm on his Cockney Pride website. Profits go to the Ley Community charity to help addicts overcome drug and alcohol dependency.
The Krays were jailed for life at the Old Bailey in 1969 for the murders of rival gangland figures George Cornell at the Blind Beggar pub in Whitechapel in 1966 and Jack ‘The Hat’ McVittie at a basement flat in Stoke Newington a year later.
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Among ex-members of ‘The Firm’ run by the Krays planning to turn up for the exhibition is Chris Lambrianou, who was called to the flat where Reggie Kray stabbed McVitie to death and was told to dispose of the body. Lambrianou later refused to turn Queen’s evidence and was jailed 15 years for accessory to murder.
The exhibition in April is also likely to raise interest in the film Legend, due for release in the autumn, starring Tom Hardy in both rols as Ron and Reggie, which was filmed last summer around Bethnal Green and Whitechapel where the Krays lived and ran their empire.