I ‘ ve had a fascination with the Kray Twins for many years now , thanks to accidentally watching the 1990 biopic staring the Kemp brothers at the age of Nine. …..
Over the years that fascination has intensified much to my mother’s horror and whilst I’m not quite at the stage of writing to gangsters in prison I do like to follow in their footsteps …to an extent.
In March 2015 I took a trip to The Blind Beggar Pub where Ronnie Kray infamously shot dead George Cornell as part of my “bucket list”.
I absolutely loved it and will blog about that another time but what it’s inspired is for me to compile is the Ultimate Following in the Footsteps of the Krays guide for myself …… and anyone else who holds the same fascination.
1. 178 Vallance Road
Fort Vallance as it was known was the childhood home of the twins .
2. The Blind Beggar
337 Whitechapel Rd. Whitechapel Overground.
Where Ronnie Kray infamously shot dead George Cornell.
Two doors down from the corner of Hague Street is E Pellicci where the twins used to breakfast.
4.Bow Street magistrates court
Bow Street. Covent Garden tube.
The twins found themselves sleeping in its cells more than once.
5.The tower of London
Not just for royalty , the twins found themselves prisoners here after deserting national service.
6.Repton boys club – The Bath House, Cheshire St. Bethnal Green tube. Where the twins started off as amateur boxers.
7.48 Margaret Street The speakeasy
97 Evering Road
One of the twins many club fronts.
8.St Matthew s church
St Matthew s Row , Bethnal Green London
Funeral s of Charlie, Reggie and Ronnie were all held here.
9.Cedra Court – Cazenove Road. Stoke Newington rail.
Ronnie lived in the flat above Reggie and Frances and would entertain politicians at his all night parties.
10. St James , Bethnal Green
Church where Frances and Reggie married
11.Carpenters Arms -73 Cheshire Street, Bethnal Green shoreditch
This pub was bought for their mother Violet.
12.Double R club 145 bow road , bow , London
Named after the twins whilst Ronnie was inside, this was a business initially set up by Reggie and Charlie.
Wilton Place, Knightsbridge, London
Another club front which attracted various celebrities of the day – including Barbara Windsor
14.Krays Corner – Chingford Mount Cemetery
The final resting place of the Kray Family and Frances Shea
There are many east end tours specialising in Kray Walking Tours and also a small guide book that s been published
However, I’m also lucky enough to have had this treat put together :
DIY Krays tour: the route
Here is your free and up to date tour of the East End and your opportunity to walk in the footsteps of the notorious twins by Manda Harvey.
Leave Liverpool Street station through the Bishopsgate exit.
exit station and cross over Bishopsgate
turn left and take the third right onto Middlesex Street
follow the road round
take the fourth left onto Wentworth Street
walk until you reach Commercial Street
cross at the crossing, turn right and you will find…
Site 1: Toynbee Hall and 28 Commercial Street
Toynbee Hall Juvenile Court
retrace steps along Commercial Street, keep walking and take the third right onto Fournier Street (passing Hawksmoor’s Christ Church)
take the first left onto Wilkes Street
turn right and walk along Hanbury Street (it was here that the twins’ Nanny Lee overhead a cry of ‘Don’t go out. Ripper’s been about’ one evening in 1888. Annie Chapman’s body had just been discovered in the yard of number 29)
turn left and walk up Brick Lane
take fourth right onto Cheshire Street
Site 2: The Carpenter’s Arms 73 Cheshire Street
The Carpenters Arms, Cheshire Street, Bethnal Green East London
Just past the pub is
Site 3: Wood Close School (presently William Davis School)
Continue walking along Cheshire Street and you will pass:
Site 4: Repton Boxing Club
Repton Boxing Club, East London
Site 5: Cheshire Street Public Baths
Continue walking until you meet the junction with Vallance Road
Site 6: Lee Corner 178 Vallance Road
These are now modern flats. Where the plaque is, is where their house once stood.
Krays Family home East London
Lee Corner: The Kray Family Home
If you are facing the modern flats on the site of their old house, take a left to walk North up Vallance Road
Turn right onto Bethnal Green Road and walk to number 332
Site 7: Pellicci’s
Across the road is…
Site 8: St. James the Great Church (Red Church)
Continue walking east along Bethnal Green Road until you reach the Underground Station
Site 9: Bethnal Green Tube Station (Roman Road exit)
Bethnal Green Underground disaster East London
Site of a tragic accident in 1943
walk south down Cambridge Heath Road (towards the railway arches)
cross over at the zebra crossing and continue walking
on the corner of Cambridge Heath Road and Whitechapel Road you will find number 337
Site 10: The Blind Beggar
Whitechapel Underground Station is a short walk if you continue west along Whitechapel Road towards The City (you will see The Gherkin).
So, now I’m planning on following in the footsteps of the krays , whether it be a DIY tour or on an East end tour ….. either way when I do it expect loads of photos !!!!
- Lorraine A Life Less Ordinary