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Krays’ henchmen plan East End ‘meet’ for Maureen Flanagan’s Macmillan Nurses fundraiser

PUBLISHED: 18:40 27 February 2019

Krays ex-gangster Freddie Foreman returning to East End to help Macmillan Nurses. Picture: John Blake Publishing

Krays ex-gangster Freddie Foreman returning to East End to help Macmillan Nurses. Picture: John Blake Publishing

John Blake Publishing

Some of the Krays’ former gangland henchmen are planning a ‘meet’ in the East End to help east London’s former Page 3 model Maureen Flanagan raise money for cancer care.

Maureen Flanagan with Chris Lambrianou and 'Legend' film star Tom Hardy who played the Kray twins on screen. Picture: Flanagan familyMaureen Flanagan with Chris Lambrianou and 'Legend' film star Tom Hardy who played the Kray twins on screen. Picture: Flanagan family

Among them are ageing Freddie Foreman and Chris Lambrianou who join Maureen for next Thursday’s fundraiser at the Marquis of Cornwallis pub in Bethnal Green Road.

The retired tabloid pin-up, who runs Hackney’s Paragon Trust charity shop in Well Street, is including Krays memorabilia along with donations of prizes from East End traders to go on sale, be raffled or go into a tombola.

The 78-year-old one-time star pin-up of the 1960s’ Fleet Street press has chosen the pub on the corner of Vallance Road where the infamous Kray family lived. It was the Krays’ local boozer before they bought their own pub.

Ex-model Flanagan at her Bethnal Green charity bash selling snaps of the Krays from the 1960s. Picture: Mike BrookeEx-model Flanagan at her Bethnal Green charity bash selling snaps of the Krays from the 1960s. Picture: Mike Brooke

But it’s not a ‘Kray twins theme’ event, Maureen insists. That’s her annual shindig at the Blind Beggar in Whitechapel where Ronnie Kray shot dead rival gangster George Cornell in 1966.

Next Thursday’s bash is solely for the Macmillan Nurses charity with 150 supporters expected to far.

It’s just that Maureen couldn’t resist inviting Foreman and Lambrianou, both associates of ‘the firm’ of extortion and protection racketeering the Krays operated from their mum Violet’s home 200 yards along Vallance Road from the Cornwallis. Both men are signing copies of their books at the fundraiser. Maureen was also Violet’s personal hairdresser for 20 years.

Chris Lambrianou at 2015 Mile End premier of Krays movie 'Legend' with the film's producer Brian Helgeland, Picture: Mike BrookeChris Lambrianou at 2015 Mile End premier of Krays movie 'Legend' with the film's producer Brian Helgeland, Picture: Mike Brooke

Freddie, now 85, disposed of small-time crook Jack ‘the hat’ McVittie’s body after Reggie Kray stabbed him to death in Stoke Newington in 1967, then served time as an accessory when the twins finally went down for life at the Old Bailey in 1969. Lambrianou works today with the Ley Community in Oxford helping young offenders go straight.

Also turning up for Thursday’s bash is John H Stracey, former welterweight world champ who grew up on the Collingwood estate in the 1960s behind the Blind Beggar and remembers the night Cornell was shot.

Prizes include ‘dinner for two’ at Pellicci’s in Bethnal Green, the café where the Krays notoriously held a ‘turf war armistice meet’ with the rival Richardsons south London mob.

Maureen with 10-year-old granddaughter Madison Cox at a Blind Beggar pub fundraiser in 2016. Picture: Mike BrookeMaureen with 10-year-old granddaughter Madison Cox at a Blind Beggar pub fundraiser in 2016. Picture: Mike Brooke

Maureen’s charity shop in Well Street raises funds for Bethnal Green’s Repton boxing club where the Krays learned to put on the gloves as teenagers, as well as funds for Hackney’s Victims Support project, St Joseph’s Hospice in South Hackney and the Holly Street gym in Dalston for the over 50s.

Her fundraiser at the Marquis of Cornwallis starts 1pm Thursday, March 7, till 10pm.