Tag Archives: Billy Frost

What “a little reception party” meant in the 1960s if you knew The Kray Twins

Krayzy Days by Micky Fawcett

Micky Fawcett’s Krayzy Days memories

In a blog last June, I mentioned that, in the ‘Revised and Updated’ 3rd Edition of John Pearson’s highly-respected book The Profession of Violence: The Rise and Fall of the Kray Twins. it was implied that legendary London gangsters the Kray Twins had killed their driver Billy Frost in the 1960s but, in fact, I had tea with Billy Frost in 2009 and we had exchanged Christmas cards ever since.

Micky Fawcett’s book Krayzy Days clears up many myths and misconceptions about the Kray Twins. I was chatting to him this week at his regular haunt The May Fair Hotel in London.

“I know how that strange story about Frostie got round,” he told me.

“Is it in your book?” I asked.

“I don’t think so,” he told me. “There are so many things. I could have written two books.”

“I hope you will,” I said.

“A fellow I know named Willie…” Micky told me. “He’s from Aldgate – his real name is Wolf – and he was brought up round Petticoat Lane. He was a very shrewd guy – a sharp Yiddisher guy – and he used to make a few quid, which attracted The Twins and he was terrified of them.

Micky Fawcett experienced Krayzy Days

Micky Fawcett at the May Fair Hotel in London

“One day, there was a knock on his door and a couple of fellers asked for him. He wasn’t there, but his wife got him on the phone and they said to him: The Twins want to see you. 

Well, I can’t drop everything and go and see them now, he told ‘em. He said: I’ll meet you outside The Beehive – a pub nearby. They’ve got a car park there and, if you pull in, I’ll come with you then.

“We was having trouble with The Twins at the time and Willie was a good friend of mine. A good friend. He told me and two other guys what had happened.

“We told Willie: We’ll give ‘em a little reception party when they arrive at The Beehive.

“So we go there and wait and, when they come along, we make our presence known and we’ve got guns, which we show ‘em and they run – jump in their car – and, as they pulled away, I took a shot at one of ‘em through the back window just to let ‘em know we were serious. Nothing more than that.

“I turned round and said to Willie: Well, THEY won’t come back, will they?

“And he said to me: You’ve hit him, you know – That hit him!

“I said: No it didn’t – It missed!

“And he said: Mick. I’m telling you that hit him. I saw him slump.

“I told him: I’m sure it didn’t.

“It took a little bit of time – no-one heard nothing. Willie lived over in Essex, but his brother Davey still lived in Aldgate. So he told him: Have a listen round. See what you can hear about it.

Billy Frost - Dead men don’t drink tea

Billy Frost – still sending Christmas cards

“So, a bit later, Willie got in touch and told me: I’ve found out who that was. David said there’s a geezer called Frostie. He’s disappeared. No-one knows where he is. 

“And it went on from there and Willie would still probably think The Twins had disposed of him out of embarrassment.”

“Even to this day?” I asked.

“I think he would,” Micky told me.

“Are you on Billy Frost’s Christmas card list?” I asked.

“I’ve never met him,” said Micky.

Leave a comment

Filed under 1960s, Crime

Two men ‘killed’ by the Kray Twins who were never killed and are still alive

Micky Fawcett experienced Krayzy Days

Micky Fawcett experienced some Krayzy Days

Regular readers may find this hard to believe, but I do cut a lot out of my blogs to shorten them.

Yesterday’s blog was about a chat I had with Mickey Fawcett, an associate of those ever-iconic gangsters the Kray Twins.

I cut several pieces out of our conversation about his book Krayzy Days.

But the joy of writing a daily blog is that you can correct omissions.

Today’s blog takes up roughly where yesterday’s conversation finished…

“Reading all the rubbish that had been written, motivated me to write my book,” I quoted Micky as saying yesterday. “I wanted to write a book saying what idiots the Twins really were,” he added. “And how amusing.”

“Has it been cathartic, writing the book?” I then asked him.

“It’s enabled me to re-live it,” Micky told me. “You’d have to read the book to understand how amused I was by the Twins.”

“You said they were idiots,” I prompted him.

Monty Python and Michael Palin,” said Mickey, “did a brilliant… That nail-the-head-to-the-floor thing came from headlines in the Daily Mirror. But it was a foot that was nailed to the floor and it was the Richardsons. They did it with a knife to a feller. But the Krays were getting the blame for it.”

Arthur Thompson, ‘kind hearted' Glaswegian

Arthur Thompson had a ‘heart of gold’

I cut the rest of the conversation, but it went on:

“In Glasgow,” I said, “Arthur Thompson had a habit of crucifying people but he was said to have a heart of gold, because he once had a man nailed to the floor in front of the man’s wife, but left behind a claw hammer so she could take out the nails.”

“Oh,” said Micky, “Arthur Thompson. They came down to London once. I got on very well with the Scotsmen I met. And, in the Army, you find the Cockneys and the Scousers and the Jocks from Glasgow all seem to get on OK with each other.”

Micky then went back to talking about the legend of the Krays.

I mentioned that, in the ‘Revised and Updated’ 3rd Edition of John Pearson’s highly-respected book The Profession of Violence: The Rise and Fall of the Kray Twins. it was implied that the Krays killed their driver Billy Frost in the 1960s.

Billy Frost - Dead men don’t drink tea

Billy Frost – Dead men don’t drink tea

In fact, I had tea with Billy Frost in 2009, during the filming of Killer Bitch and we have exchanged Christmas cards ever since. I think he was happily living at home in the East End of London when The Profession of Violence was first published in 1972.

There is a 2008 interview with Billy on YouTube and he was interviewed in a February 2010 issue of Spitalfields Life

In a blog in June 2011, I wrote: “It’s amazing how people allegedly killed by the Krays over forty years ago can be so lively.”

This came to mind when I chatted with Mickey Fawcett this week and I mentioned the fact that it was in print in various places that the Krays had killed Billy Frost in the 1960s, yet I had met him in the 2000s.

“That rumour didn’t half go around a lot,” said Micky, “and there’s Teddy Smith. Have you come across that one?”

I certainly had. It has been widely reported over the last 40 years that Teddy Smith was killed by the Krays. A very good article in the Daily Mail in August 2010 headlined SEX, LIES, DOWNING STREET AND THE COVER-UP THAT LEFT THE KRAYS FREE TO KILL repeats the story that Teddy Smith “died at their hands”.

“I knew Teddy Smith quite well,” Micky Fawcett told me this week, “and I saw him in King’s Road.”

Teddy Smith in the 1960s, shortly before he did not die

Teddy Smith in the 1960s, shortly before he did not die

“When?” I asked.

“Since his death,” said Micky. “I think he’d just had enough. I would think he’s in Australia or somewhere like that.”

“Can I print that?” I asked.

“Yes,” said Micky.

“He might get uppity,” I said.

“Teddy Smith? No, he’s alright.”

“I suppose,” I said, “once you’ve been dead for over 40 years, it doesn’t matter much.”

And I suppose, unlike much written about the Kray Twins before Micky Fawcett’s book Krayzy Days, that is true.

2 Comments

Filed under Celebrity, Crime, Urban myths

The Kray Twins killed him… ?

Yesterday, I had a chat with my chum ‘Lou’, armourer and death consultant on the infamous and much-reviled Killer Bitch movie.

He had recently read an old copy of the ‘Revised and Updated’ 3rd Edition of John Pearson’s highly-respected book The Profession of Violence: The Rise and Fall of the Kray Twins.

The book had given him a few laughs, principal among which were several references to the Kray Twins’ driver Billy Frost (referred to in the index by his 1960s nickname ‘Jack Frost’).

The Profession of Violence says:

“The comradeship within the Firm was not improved when two of its members disappeared after trouble with Ronnie. One was his driver, a talkative young man called Frost…To this day, Frost (remains) on Scotland Yard’s missing persons list” and later the book says: “the great (Scotland Yard) investigation, for all its thoroughness, seemed to have missed the biggest crimes… there was no hint of what happened to Jack Frost”.

Well, I can tell you the only great mystery surrounding the ‘death’ of Billy Frost is why it is implied that the Kray Twins killed him. He did take a journey North after a couple of killings committed by the Krays (the second being the murder by the Krays of his friend Jack ‘The Hat’ McVitie) but he certainly did not look dead when he talked to me in 2009 during the filming of Killer Bitch and, if he was killed in the 1960s, his ghost successfully managed the neat trick of posting me a Christmas card that same year. I think he was happily living at home in the East End of London when The Profession of Violence was first published in 1972.

Lou laughed: “I’ve seen John Pearson in the same room as Billy Frost, standing about ten feet from him!”

There is a 2008 interview with Billy on YouTube and he was interviewed in a February 2010 issue of Spitalfields Life.

It’s amazing how people allegedly killed by the Krays over forty years ago can be so lively.

It perhaps goes to show you should never believe anything you read about the Krays.

3 Comments

Filed under Books, Movies