At one time, notorious for gangland crime, the East End of London was home to many criminals – most famously Jack the Ripper, and the Kray twins.
The Blind Beggar Pub is renowned for a gruesome night in 1966. The Kray Twins had a confrontation with the South London Gang, the Richardsons at the Astor Club, Berkeley Square. This is where George Cornell is said to have referred to Ronnie as a ‘fat poofter’.
On 8 March a shoot-out in a South London Club, between the Richardsons and a local gang, resulted in one of the Krays allies, Richard Hart, being killed.
The next evening Ronnie was drinking heavily in his local pub, ‘The Lion’ in Tapp Street, off Brady Street, when he got word that Cornell was also drinking in the `Blind Beggar’ on Whitechapel Road. Ronnie summoned one of the firms’ drivers who took him to the pub where Cornell was sat on a stool drinking a light ale.
The record on the juke box was the Walker Brothers – `The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore’. As Ronnie walked up to him, Cornell, sneeringly said `Well, look who’s here … ‘ at which point Ronnie shot him in his forehead, just above his right eye with his 9mm Mauser pistol. The needle on the juke box got stuck and it kept repeating the words `anymore … anymore …’
When questioned by the police, none of the witnesses in the pub could remember anything, including the barmaid who was unable to pick out Ronnie Kray in an identification parade
Blind Beggar Pub
337 Whitechapel Road
Nearest tube – Whitechapel