I first met the Kray twins in the mid-fifties at Grey’s Dance Academy in Seven Sisters Road, Finsbury Park. I had made the dreadful mistake of dancing with Reggie’s young lady (later his wife); I was puzzled why the young lady had asked me “Are you sure?” Then, before a ‘humped up’ Reginald could have a few words with me, I sussed my mistake. Before you could say ‘Linford Christie’ I was out the door and passing buses and cars in my flight down the dreaded Seven Sisters on foot! That Shank’s Pony could have won the Derby. The Kray brothers didn’t take prisoners or administer Chinese burns. Years later I became quite friendly with the chaps (Thank God Reg didn’t recognise the flash little twerp who’d danced with his wife-to-be) In fact over the last few years of Reggie’s incarceration before his death, he would ‘phone me every Sunday from prison. I tried to get into Her Majesty’s home for naughty persons to take a portrait of Reg, but the governor wouldn’t allow it.
I eventually made my portrait of Mr Kray by taking sections of pictures (Christmas cards and letters) that Reg sent me, via his charming wife Roberta, and re-arranging them as well as filling in by brush and pen.