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ESTD 1874 Search

Kray twins link to historic Suffolk hall

08:00 29 January 2008

Bill Wyman with his Signature Detector

Bill Wyman with his Signature Detector

AGING rocker Bill Wyman is well known for discovering ancient relics around his stately Suffolk home.

But the metal detecting enthusiast has uncovered a sinister side to the more recent past of his 15th century mansion Gedding Hall, near Bury St Edmunds.

VETERAN rocker Bill Wyman is well known for discovering ancient relics around his stately Suffolk home.

But the metal detecting enthusiast has uncovered a sinister side to the more recent past of his 15th century mansion Gedding Hall, near Bury St Edmunds.

Research conducted by keen genealogist Mr Wyman has revealed the fascinating role his home played in one of the most infamous killings of all time.

Mr Wyman told a national newspaper that Ronnie and Reggie Kray fled to the hall after killing Jack 'the Hat' McVitie in 1967. They were meant to have stayed up until 3am deciding what to do before returning to London.

The former Rolling Stone found the link while researching the previous tenants of his 550-year-old moated manor. And his findings have been backed up by local residents who said the Krays' link with the Suffolk village had become something of an “urban myth” - strengthening their links with the county.

Dr Henry Fell, chairman of Gedding's parish meeting , said: “I have heard something about the Krays visiting Gedding Hall, I think most people in the village have.

“It has always been an urban myth in the village. There was even a rumour police drained the lake around the hall to search for Jack the Hat's body.

“Although it is now not a topic for general discussion, it is quite interesting to think the Krays had a link to our village and the hall certainly has a fascinating history.”

The Krays were said to have struck up some kind of association with Geoffrey Allen who owned Gedding Hall before Mr Wyman bought it in 1968.

Allen was dubbed “The Godfather” on his gravestone, which resides in the village cemetery, after he was sent to prison for seven years following a 25-year career in crime.

Nine years after selling Gedding Hall, the property dealer was found guilty of swindling insurance companies for more than £300,000 after fires at Briggate Mill, in Norfolk, and Shortgrove Hall, near Saffron Walden.

It is known that the Krays made regular trips to Suffolk to escape their underworld existence in the 1950s and 1960s having fallen in love with the county after being evacuated to the area during the war.

At the height of their criminal power, it is known they kept a caravan in Borley, near Sudbury, and used it as a hideout while the brothers also bought a large house on the edge of Bildeston.

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