Historically interesting pubs

1963: Plotting a robbery – The Star, Belgravia

great train robberyA nice, quiet little pub in a mews just off Belgrave Square, The Star was (and we’ll throw in a ‘so they say’ here just to be careful) one of the meeting places of the gang that pulled off the Great Train Robbery.

During the 1950s and ’60s the pub had an eclectic clientele of gangsters, actors and actresses, the occasional disgraced maharaja and as well as the famous heist was the occasional meeting place of John Profumo and Christine Keeler whose affair caused a major scandal.

Access to the upper floors of the pub was strictly controlled by the then-landlord, Paddy Kennedy, and as such was a secure place for the gang’s chief planners to meet.

As the Star’s explains: “Reynolds, who co-ordinated the robbery, regularly drove his Aston Martin from his Streatham home to meet Edwards and one or two other members of the gang in The Star to go over details during the run-up to the robbery.

“Four was the maximum number to meet in public at any one time, in case the police were observing them. Reynolds’ friend, Terry Hogan, introduced him to The Star following the Eastcastle Street mailbag robbery of 1952 in which they both took part. Reynolds felt he’d broken through into the upper echelons of the criminal fraternity… here in The Star.”

The resulting robbery on 8 August saw the gang net £2.4 million (over £40m today) in what was and still is one of the biggest and most spectacular crimes in British history.

2 Responses to “Historically interesting pubs”

  1. Philip Johnson says:

    Nell Gwynn cumly? How very revealing, Dictionary or decent sub-editor required.

  2. jenna says:

    It was the other way around. Rosalind Franklin first showed the X-ray experiment. Then Watson and Crick get “inspired” to postulate the double helix. #womeninscience…

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