Krays' memorabilia auctioned in Suffolk

LETTERS and pictures giving a glimpse of prison life for two of Britain's most notorious gangsters have been sold at a Suffolk auction room.

Dave Gooderham

LETTERS and pictures giving a glimpse of prison life for two of Britain's most notorious gangsters have been sold at a Suffolk auction room.

The collection of Kray twins memorabilia, which went under the hammer in Clare, near Sudbury, included child-like drawings and handwritten letters.

The crayon and pencil pictures, notes and poems made a total of almost £3,000 - just two months after eight oil paintings by Ronnie Kray sold for more than £16,000 at the same auction house.

The latest art works - described as naïve and childish by auctioneers - portrayed hills, drawn by Reggie Kray while in Lewes Prison, and a painting of a house by his brother Ronnie while he was at Parkhurst Prison.

There was also handwritten letters from Maidstone Prison on headed notepaper which had been impressively personalised - one with a photo of Reggie.

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Auctioneer James Mander said: “The Kray pictures have generated a lot of interest because there are still a lot of people who remember them from the 1950s and 1960s.

“The paintings are a little childish so therefore getting £1,200 each was a lot of money. Now we are just wondering whether the value will continue to increase.

“The fact that both brothers are now dead means that there won't be any more paintings from them, so people are buying items that do become available as an investment.”

During the auction on Saturday, the two paintings went for £1,200 each while others went for £100 and the poems and letters for £50 each.

Identical twins Ronnie and Reggie were nightclub owners who dominated the post-war crime scene around London's East End.

They were eventually arrested in May 1968 and both sentenced to life imprisonment in 1969. Ronnie died in 1995 and Reggie five years later.

It is known the Krays had connections in Sudbury and owned property in Bildeston, which may have been the inspiration for the cottage featured in one of the paintings.

And the relationship between Suffolk and the infamous pair looks set to continue after Mr Mander revealed a third sale of Kray-related items was likely to go ahead soon.

He added: “We have been contacted by someone who has another picture by Ronnie and we are also in contact with another person who has a watch and other items owned by the Krays, which will be of great interest to collectors.”

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