The Kray Twins and The Walker Brothers

A couple of months ago I visited The Blind Beggar pub with my friend Nick. The pub of course is notorious, certainly not because of its beer, decor or food these days but because it’s where Ronnie Kray shot fellow villain George Cornell right between the eyes with a 9mm Mauser in 1966. It is said, and I do hope it’s true, that one of Kray’s bullets richocheted and hit the juke box, which was playing the number one record at the time by The Walker Brothers and the record started jumping on the line The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Any More..Any More..Any More..Any More… It was said that George, big and brave admittedly, was not the most intelligent of men, and had called Ronnie ‘a big fat poof’. Ronnie obviously took exception to this, though not for being called a ‘poof’ apparently, but because he was ‘big and fat’ – quite 21st Century of Ronnie really.On the other side of the Whitechapel Road from the Blind Beggar is the horribly named LHT Urban bar which used to be called The London Hospital Tavern (named because it’s next to the London Hospital which incidentally was where the Elephant Man lived for a short while and if you ask nicely you can see a plaster cast of his body). It was here in the early 60s that the biggest gang fight for decades occurred, featuring the Kray Twins and their “Firm” and the fantastically named “Watney Streeters”. The Kray’s Firm easily won and their reign of the East End of London began.
I’m not sure, but I suspect, that the Krays might have felt slightly uncomfortable with the current imaginative exterior decor and they may have taken their fight elsewhere. Don’t you need planning permission to paint the outside of your pub like this? If so, shouldn’t the planning officers be shot? Perhaps between the eyes.

Here are a few versions of the song including the original sung by Frankie Valli
The Walker Brothers – The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore
Neil Diamond – The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore
Frankie Valli – The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore

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4 Responses to “The Kray Twins and The Walker Brothers”

  1. Codename Quickfire says:

    To dovetail with your post about the Tommy Steele and the Elephant & Castle, Mad Frankie Fraser still lives on Browning Street in SE17, the barred gate immediately on your left when you turn off Walworth Road. He earns his bread by leading tours around the City and city in general.

  2. jay alexander says:

    the watney streeters would of anilated the firm,with georgie cornell they were untouchable,my father watched georgie myers fight in lukin street around 1947 ,he said he was like lightning with both hands allways led with the left.his old man joe was well known as well, georgie knocked around with a boy called abe, abraham lazarus, another handy cobble fighter,

  3. staceyboy says:

    Another important pub in the Kray’s tale is “The Grave Maurice” which is just over the road from that horrid “Urban Bar” – though I think the “GM” itself has ‘enjoyed’ a re-fit in recent years. I believe that it was in the bar of the “GM” that Inspector Nipper Read first laid eyes on the twins thus kickstarting the chain of events that would eventually lead to the downfall of their empire. Recall that Morrissey used the outside of the pub for a photoshoot a while back during his ‘faux London’ period. Btw, love the blog. Excellent stuff.

  4. Heather says:

    Very interesting reading! Would love to know precisely where Paul Simon lived on Cable Street. Paul mentioned he lived there when Simon & Garfunkel played at Hyde Park about seven years ago, and as I move around Tower Hamlets so much for work, when I’m on that street I stare at every building debating if that’s the one. (Keeps me entertained while walking!)

    The Grave Maurice, per the above post, is now a betting shop. I believe the sign is also gone, which stayed up for the few years it tried unsuccessfully to be a trendy bar.

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