The Great Train Robbery in Britain was an enormous story in 1963. I found this great site that tells the whole story of How the Great Train Robbery Worked. A very interesting story. The robbers did a fine job planning the heist but didn't plan their escape very well! Except for Ronnie Biggs they were all captured quite speedily.

Ronnie Biggs with his Wanted Poster

LONDON (AFP) – Ronnie Biggs, notorious for his role in Britain's 1963 Great Train Robbery and his 35 years as a celebrity fugitive, was admitted to hospital with chest pains Saturday. The ailing 80-year-old was to undergo tests at Barnet General Hospital in north London, his son Michael Biggs said. "He had pain in his chest this morning, he's conscious but he's in a lot of pain," he said. Biggs, who was released from custody last August, lives in a care home in Barnet. 

Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs.

A series of strokes has left Biggs bedridden and unable to speak, eat unaided or walk. He was in hospital with pneumonia when he was freed. "My daughter was born in the last few weeks so he's been in good spirits celebrating that," Michael Biggs said. The infamous Great Train Robbery saw a 15-strong gang hold up a Glasgow to London mail train and make off with 2.6 million pounds, a huge sum at the time, at a railway bridge north of London.

Biggs played a minor role in the hold-up but was jailed for 30 years in 1964. After 15 months, he escaped by scaling a prison wall and leaping on to the roof of a furniture van.
Biggs' three decades on the run took him to France, Spain and then Australia, but he settled in Brazil, where he flaunted his freedom by frequently being pictured in British newspapers partying. He nevertheless handed himself over to British authorities in 2001 amid a blaze of publicity and was sent to jail to serve out the rest of his sentence.

2.6 million pounds YIKES

How the London Times Reported the story...

SUMMER 1963 WAS ALREADY pretty newsy. Nelson Mandela had been charged with treason, Martin Luther King had had his dream, General de Gaulle had said “non”, Dr Beeching had proposed to prune the railways, the War Minister had denied sleeping with a classy tart, and the Beatles had released their first LP.

Then, one morning in August, we learned of a fabulous heist, which in its planning and sheer audacity still captures the imagination 45 years later — not least because the story is not yet over. Full Story HERE

They were playing Monopoly with real money up until they robbed the train. Fingerprints on the game and a ketchup bottle led police to the criminals. Cool photo of old British Monopoly game.


Skip said...

Biggs was so cool. No one even hurt in the heist! The song he sings with the Sex Pistols is fantastic!"

Retro Kimmer said...

Really interesting how they lay in wait playing Monopoly the whole time!

Mark Pulham said...

First of all, who are the people in the photograph titled The Robbers? None of them are the train robbers. Second, for Skip in the comments, "No one was hurt in the heist!" The train driver Jack Mills was hit with an iron cosh by 'Mr. Three', and never fully recovered. As for all of them except Biggs caught fairly speedily, Bruce Reynolds took five years, Jimmy White three years, and Buster Edwards about three years, and only after he gave himself up.

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