The Kray Twins Gangster Tour is a great insight into the life of the infamous London gangsters.
Yesterday I was in East London for a 2 hour walking tour, The Kray Twins Gangster Tour, with East End Tours to find out more about London and Britain’s most notorious and infamous gangsters; the Kray twins. With the new film Legend just released in the cinema the tour is going to be popular. The Kray’s are twins Ronnie (Ronald) and Reggie (Reginald) who ruled London’s East End in the 1950s & 60s with terrifying brutality and everybody in the East End still knows who and what they were, and depending on who you talk to were either good or bad!
To start our tour, there were about 20 in the group, we had to meet up outside Whitechapel tube station at 1.30pm (there is also another tour starting at 7pm). Our tour guide for the day was Richard who arrived promptly wearing a Kray’s t-shirt and had an A4 card with Kray’s tour printed on so you could easily spot him. He explained what we were there to do and see and had friendly chats with the crowd before setting off. He was going to take us around the Kray’s manor, from their home, school, pubs and even the church where their funerals were held and give a brief insight into the Kray twins, their family, their celebrity status and their crimes.
So off we set, bearing in mind the Whitechapel is very busy especially with the market, Richard always tried to take us out of the way of the crowds and could always be heard. Our first stop was into the Blind Beggar pub, probably one of the most infamous pubs in London as this was where Ronnie shot gangster George Cornell. The pub were kind enough to let him bring the tour inside (even though they were open for business) and let him continue with his talk there.
From then on we walked the back streets of the East End around all the Kray’s old haunts from their home in Vallance Road, their school, the boxing club they trained and fought in (this was closed on out visit so we couldn’t go in), the Carpenter’s Arms (the pub they bought for their mum Violet which is still there are operating as a pub), to the St Matthew’s Church in Bethnal Green which held the biggest funerals the East End has ever seen when Ronnie and Reggie passed away after serving nearly 30 years in prison.
Richard, our tour guide, was very knowledge about the Kray twins, their family and friends and about their early life and crime empire, filling the talk with the well-known facts and rumours with lesser known facts like the Kray’s were among the last prisoners to ever be held in the Tower of London (from which they escaped). He spoke loudly and clearly for everyone to hear and spoke with ease and humour and answered any questions and had plenty of photos to show. We learned of their early life right up to their demise, finally being caught by Leonard “Nipper” Read and of course the murders of George Cornell and Jack “The Hat” McVitie.
Whatever your thoughts about the Kray’s, violent gangsters that got what they deserved or good ol’ boys that would doing anything for their mum and the community, this tour is definitely one worth taking, Richard certainly made it interesting. And for only £10 per person was definitely value for money.
If you have any interest in the East End, the Kray’s or crime history then the Kray Twins Gangster Tour is a very good place to start. Highly recommended.
Disclosure: I bought my own ticket for this tour and was not paid to review it. The opinions expressed in this review are independent and my own.