We all have heard of the Kray’s, the leaders of the East End underworld who wreaked havoc in the early 60’s but what about their childhood? Believe it or not even the Kray twins were innocent children once however the majority of their childhood is frequently over shadowed by their adult years.
The Kray twins were born on the 24th of October in 1933 in Stene Street, London however the family later decided to relocate in 1939 to Vallance Road, Bethnal Green although it wasn’t much of an improvement. The house was in bad knick and the toilet was situated in the garden. Early on in their lives both of the twins fell seriously ill with diphtheria and although Reggie recovered fairly quickly, Ronnie was left fighting for his life but after a while recovered also.
Back in those days the road on which the twins lived on was part of a large ghetto that played host to many gambling dens, brothels and seedy pubs. It was also home to a selection of heavy drinkers and boxing fanatics and was famous for its high crime levels.
Much like the Kray’s in their later years, immediate family members of the twins were distinctive characters and were well-known in the local area. The twins paternal grandfather, ‘Mad’ Jimmy Kray, was renowned for his incredible ability as a bar fighter as well as his drinking prowess.
The twins favourite relation however was Aunty Rose who stepped in when Ronnie was reportedly teased at school due to his eyebrows. Although there is much suspicion as to when Ronnie’s madness began, Aunty Rose’s death was indeed the catalyst that drove him to insanity in his adult years.
Growing up, the bond between the Kray twins could be described as a dicephalous body and from birth the two were ironically as thick as thieves and were never found to spend even a moment apart.
To find out more about the twins childhood, please join us on the East End Walks Kray’s tour today.