The Blind Beggar Pub

06 February 13

Posted at 10:18

Today I have been 'shooting' at The Blind Beggar pub in Whitechapel Road. No doubt Ronnie Kray said something simliar back in 1966. This semester's project at uni is Documentary Photography - the output is to produce 5 - 9 colour prints in the colour darkroom along with associated research files. I have chosen Crime Scenes as my project. I intend to photograph the scenes of infamous crimes as they are today. In due course I will no doubt broaden the project into a book with original images, my up to date shots and details from my research. I am shooting on medium format colour film using a Mamiya RB67.

I took along my DSLR as well today and took a couple of snaps with it. The outside of the pub has not changed dramatically since 1966. I shot a roll of film outside and then popped in and met the landlord Dave. What a diamond he is! He is a keen photographer himself so we had lots to talk about.

Blind Beggar Sign

The Blind Beggar is a traditional London pub. The current pub was built in 1894 on the site of a previous inn that had been there since before 1654. In 1865 William Booth gave a sermon outside the inn and from that the Salvation Army was born. The pub also fronted and was the brewery tap for Manns Brewery. But the pub is best known for the events of 9th March 1966 when Ronnie Kray walked into the pub and shot and killed George Cornell in front of a number of witnesses. Cornell was a member of the Kray's rival gang, the Richardsons.

Although the pub's interior has changed quite a bit Dave showed the spot at the bar where George Cornell was sitting when he was shot. We put a stool there and I photographed it (below). I've attempted to capture it on film as well but my experience with long exposures on medium format film cameras is zero so I'll find out how I've done tomorrow when I pick up my processed films from Metro Imaging  (very nice people).

The Stool

This was the second 'scene' I have photographed. Yesterday I shot the scene of the Great Train Robbery. By coincidence today I found out one of the train robbers occasionally drinks in the Blind Beggar. I think this will be an exciting project!