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The Go To Girls Blog Goes on The Kray Twins Walk

On another trip to London, we decided to do The Kray Twins Walk, as I have said previously we are both really into crime and the many stories within this area of life.

We could not start at the correct tube station, Bethnal Green, as it had been closed for renovations,

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We got off at Whitechapel instead and made our way to the first stop in the book.  You can buy a great book called The Kray Twins Walk from Amazon.

Use this if you don’t want to do the usual escorted tour, to be honest, it was more fun on our own.

We arrived at The Lions public house, a meeting place of the twins, this was just at the end of an arch under the railway lines.  This was recorded to be where the twins heard George Cornell was in the Blind Beggar, the night George Cornell was shot dead in the Blind Beggar.DSC00045

Next on the tour is W English and Son Funeral Directors who took care of all three Kray brothers funerals, the bodies of all of them were laid in the Chapel of Rest here until they were taken to St Matthews Church for their funerals.  Ronnie in 1995, Charlie in early 2000 then later in 2000 Reggie.  During each of the funeral processions, it was said the streets were lined with family friends and strangers.  Visiting some of the stops on the walk brought about the reality of the Krays lives and despite being notorious criminals they were also in my personal opinion just ordinary people, who lived in the reality of their own lives. They did love their family and did what it took to protect them as well as being generous to some of those in need.  I am not excusing what they are accused of doing but I do sympathise as they were not all bad.

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The next point on the walk was a cafe (we really needed a cuppa and a rest by now the east end is big) Pellicci’s.  It has been here for about a hundred years…. WOW…

We went inside for a cup of tea but it was packed and the only seats were on a table with a lady sat having a cup of tea.  She must have noticed us looking for a seat and gestured us over and offered us two empty seats at her table.  We accepted of course and sat with her while we all ate full English breakfast  We presumed she was local due to the accent and came to the conclusion the East End was a very friendly place. By the way, Pellicci’s serve the best breakfast ever.

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Just opposite the cafe is what used to be a church, St James the Great Church although it has been converted now to flats you can still tell it was a church.  This was where Reggie married Francis in 1965, sadly a few years later this is where the funeral for Frances took place……

Daniel Street School below is the school attended by the Kray Twins when they were eleven, reported as being happy here they often played tricks on the teachers pretending to be each other.  A good trick I bet they had fun doing this, I would have.

The next spot on the walk is St Matthews Church, where all of the funerals of the Kray Brothers, Ronnie, Reggie, and Charlie, also their mum Violet took place.

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The Carpenter Arms is the 8th stop and the halfway point of the walk.  Ronnie and Reggie Kray bought this old public house in 1967.  This was described as a difficult time for the twins as it was around this time Frances, Reggie’s wife had died.  Cornell had been killed.  The twins wanted somewhere they could call their own and feel safe and the Carpenters Arms offered them the safety they  needed

Cheshire St was stop 9 this is the location of the Carpenters Arms, simply an old back street in the East End.  The Kray Twins are recorded as drinking here before they went to find Jack ‘the hat’ McVitie, who had been accused of ripping off he twins on a murder for hire plot.  This night they reportedly killed ‘the hat’

Wood Close School was stop 10 but for some reason, we did not get a photo of it which is weird as we have photos of all of the other stops on the walk

Below is Repton Amateur Boxing Club. This is the venue for the twins to train. They each went on to win amateur boxing titles.

Stop 12 is Cheshire Street baths.  It was a public bathhouse used by locals as back then not all houses had baths so regularly visited by the Twins.  It has been said the furnace used to heat the bath water helped some of the Kray Twins victims ‘disappear’, although this has never been proven.

The house the Kray family lived in no longer exists but on the site of 178 Valance Road is a block of houses built on the site where the house once stood, adorned with a plaque giving the exact position of the house, I was disappointed this house was not there, not just because it was the Krays Home but as usual all of history gets erased eventually and all that remains is a plaque….

267 Whitechapel Road is the address of the next stop on the walk.  This is the site of the Grave Maurice Public House. This was Ronnie Krays local pub and was only closed in 2010, what a shame, another piece of history lost in time. It is now a bookie.

Then the penultimate stop on the walk The Blind Beggar.  This is the site of the infamous murder of George Cornell, mentioned earlier.  As I have said previously my husband and I are complete crime buffs so for us this was the opportunity of a lifetime.  To go into The Blind Beggar and have a drink where the Krays had once walked, the whole walk was like walking in the footsteps of history.  We stayed and had a drink again very friendly old East End Public house.  We would recommend you stop in for a drink

We could not miss the opportunity to take our photos outside either.

Basically, this was the end of the walk apart from the short walk up the street to the Whitechapel Tube Station

I must say although we love the criminal aspect of this walk it was also a very historically enriching walk as so much history is embellished onto the streets around here.  The East end has truly seen some of the most memorable episodes in history.

If you visit London, you must do this walk.

If you are a fan of crime, you must do this walk.

If you are a fan of history, you must do this walk

As always loving being me …..

Thanks for reading…..

Please come back for more stories of love, life, and family.

The Go To Girls Blog goes on the Jack The Ripper Tour, London

We often go to London, as this was the first place my husband and I went together when we first met so it holds fond memories for us both.  We thought we would go and we heard about this tour to see the site of the Jack the Ripper murders.  As well as being huge fans of London we also love crime and the study of it.

I studied Criminology at University and have been fascinated by it ever since.  So we decided we would book this walk, we did think it would involve being down a lot of dark alleys and we were right.  We met our guide at Aldgate East Tube Station, he turned out to be the author of some Jack The Ripper books, Phillip Hutchinson.

 

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We went around all the sites of the Ripper murders with the darkness crawling in the further we got round, I am not quite sure we went round the murder sites in the order they were committed but in the order of the route  we walked for continuity as other wise we would have walked back and forth and the tour would have been much longer.

 

 

We went on about an hour and half walk which covered the following

Mitre Square was the site of the murder of Catherine Eddows apparently you can see late on a night a ghostly figure laid on the road where the body of Catherine was found.

 

Old Castle Street The site of the murder of Alice Mackenzie, believed to be Jacks last victim by some scholars even though this was 6 months after the last ‘official victim’

Gunthorpe Street The murder site of Martha Turner The First victim this was ‘never confirmed’

Whites Row The murder site of Mary Jane Kelly, this for me was by far the most gruesome of the murders as the Ripper had stopped all night with Mary to disembowel her completely

29 Hanbury St The Murder site of Annie Chapman.  She was found on he street ‘with parts of her body beside her’.

Durward Street The murder site of Mary Anne Nichols.  She had her throat cut and had been ‘gutted like a fish.

Berner St The murder site of Elizabeth Stride She was killed moments before she was discovered.

These pictures below are how some of those murder sites look today

 

 

and how they looked back when the murders took place

 

 

and some other Jack the Ripper memorabilia

 

I loved walking around the streets of London on a night, it is not the usual places you would expect to visit on a trip to London.  There are lots of different tours going on around London.  We will be doing all of them as soon as we can.  Our views of the Jack the Ripper Tour was

This tour was very creepy –

very informative –

Worth the time and money –

If you are a fan of crime, serial killers and London this is a must do……. Loved it

See you soon

As always love being me

Thegotogirlsblog

Some Of The Best Days Ever

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We love the town we live in “Hull” but if we would of met when we were younger i think we may of either moved or bought a flat here. Where is here? LONDON!!!!

We love it and it all started in this pub,

Chris (my husband, i love saying that) used to work down here and lived 9 days here 5 days home, so he got to know his way around London quite well. He lived a short walk from this pub and spent the odd night here after work, probably more than he ever told me about lol. I did not know him then so …..

It was November 2006 and Chris was going to go to London for the weekend but i already had plans so asked him if he could postpone until the following week and i would be able to go with him…. He said yes…. whoppee dooo!!!!

I am off to London next week and i can’t wait.

We stayed at the pub in the picture “The Wheatsheaf opposite Tooting Bec Tube Station ” a typical old fashioned Irish public house was my first though when i entered it. Reminded me of my local back in Hull. We had a room, nice and clean and a fresh bed (thankfully) the only downside i felt was i had to share a bathroom, again it was kept clean so nothing really to worry about, of course it was cheap so how can i ask for more.

We arrived here about eleven pm on Friday night, we originally intended to be there earlier but we got a flat tyre and ended up going to meet up with Chris’s mates at The Old Sergeant on Garrett Lane, somewhere in South West London.

We eventually arrived at The Wheatsheaf (follow them on twitter @thewheatsheafTbec)but it was late and we had been travelling for about 4 hours so we had a quick drink and go to our room, shower and bed.

The next day we were up pretty early and went for breakfast at the little cafe across the road next to Tooting Bec Tube Station, it was so good, bacon, sausage, egg, mushroom, toast and a good old cup of “rosie lee” (tea)

All fed and watered we set off to see the sights and boy did we see a lot that day. We got on the tube at Tooting Bec, first place to see, Whitechapel, as we got off the tube we came upon a market and were surprised to see the Helen Mirren (instagram her at @helenmirren) filming on the street as we walked past. I was star struck. This is crazy we have been in London 5 minutes and already seeing famous people. WOW!!!!

Anyway back to reality we went for a walk around Whitechapel (we know this was the hunting ground of Jack the Ripper) We do come back to London later on and do the official Jack the Ripper Tour (more on this in a later blog)

Next stop Westminster….

The view around here as you can see are absolutely breathtaking. The Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, The London Eye and of course all of the street acts

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We stood for a while watching them all and they have a real talent standing there not moving, i could not do it. Around the London Eye were food stalls with all sorts of treats i could not resist a bag of candy floss, yummy!

After about 1 hour we headed over to Piccadilly, Leicester Square and later China Town, if you are going to eat then this is the place to do it. We went to a little backstreet authentic Chinese all you can eat restaurant. OMG it was delicious and a bargain £6.00 per person all you can eat. We were in danger of being in food coma’s after our visit here and have been back a few times over the years.

Next stop on our tour was Camden….

I was getting a bit tired by this time but i was not about to miss anything during this trip as we were only there for a few days. We went to “The Dublin Castle” this is where Madness (twitter @madnessNews) played one of their first gigs and seeing as Chris is a massive Madness fan we had to stop and have a beer here before we went back to The Wheatsheaf to get ready for our night out in Balham

We went out with Chris’s mates he used to work with for a few drinks and a catch up as he had left London and working there in April that year. After that i had to go to bed but more sights the next day….

Keep coming back to see where we went….

The Go To Girls Blog visits Scape Park

DSC_0096As you may know Chris and I travel or rather go on holiday each year and we have started to venture further afield each time we go. If you read my blog you will have heard of some of the stories of our escapades. We always try to do something cultural or off the Beaten Track.  As we were in Dominican Republic, our trip of choice for this holiday was to visit Scape park.DSC_0284

Scape Park  is located in Cap Cana resort about an hour away from Punta Cana.  It is a natural theme park with lots of things to bring out the  adventurer in you.  It’s like an adrenaline junkie Park you can do various adrenaline fuelled activities such as swimming in a cenote (a fossilised sink hole), there are caves to explore, zip lining, rock climbing and so much more.  We heard about this trip when we were looking around for trips on trip advisor.  We booked to go and signed up for a swim in the cenote, now filled in with water the clearest blue water in this case. DSC_0111

We were picked up by coach for this trip and travel about an hour to reach Scape Park.  It’s about million square metres in total for all the different activities.  We went to get all bands and information from the reception when we arrived.  Then we waited for our guides and 10 minutes later the guide appeared and began showing us around.  He began by showing us the plant life around the path, the variety of Native vegetation is amazing. The path meanders deeper into the forest and you simply follow your party.

You followed each other’s footsteps as you get further and further into the park deep into the forest but luckily you have a guide showing you which way to go we walked for about half an hour and came to a bridge across a road running through the park.  The views from the top of the bridge (mainly tops of trees) was beautiful.  You could see so far  from up.  From there we started to walk up hill and we could see rocks and caves as we walked further on.   We were sort of on the top of a large rock hill or a cave, quite high but not a mountain high.  We had been walking quite a while by now and it was boiling hot so obviously the mosquitos were making a meal out of us. DSC_0288

You could literally see the bites on Chris’s body increasing the further we walked.  Not to say I did not get bitten, you can draw dot to dot on my back, it was not pretty.  As you can imagine we could not wait to get in the water.  Finally we started to hear the guide talking about the Cenote and the crisp blue water.  Just up here he said!  Up Where?  This sort of hill.  Then he hit us with this enormous ladder down to the Cenote. There was literally hundreds of steps down to the cenote but finally we could see it.  It was more beautiful than you could imagine.  It was about fifty metres wide, thirty metres across and twenty metres deep.DSC_0317

As soon as we arrived we were stripped down and straight into the pool. It was freezing,  as you would expect it to be but always hoped it would not be.  We had a couple of hours free time while we were there.  We just bobbed around in the water for most of this time as it warmed up the longer you were in there.  The water was so clear you could see all the way to the bottom and could swim with your eyes open all the way to the bottom, If you could hold your breath that long!  On these trips you have various photograph opportunities so we had our guide take photos. DSC_0287

This actually turned out to be a very good choice as we have had not had any luck finding the videos we took from our day there, really hoping I have not deleted them.  We spent one of the best days of our lives here and it was an experience swimming in a fossilised sink hole as for all we know it could have ‘sunk’ with us in it.  We were really glad it did not LOL!!   I did not realise at any part of my life i would do some of the things i have done over the last ten years but this is definitely one of the most memorable.

Loving being me (loving being adventurous me)

Thanks for reading, please come back soon for more tales of love, life, family and travel.

Love The Go To Girls Blog xxx