The Great Train Robbery @ 50

Hail Mi Irieites,

There have been speculations as to the exact date, but I will put it that today, April 16th 2014 marks the 50th anniversary since 9 men were sentence to a period of 30 years for their part in one of the biggest robbery in British history.

The Great Train Robbery took place in the early hours on the 8th August 1963. The Royal Mail train was scheduled to travel between Glasgow and London and was attacked by about 15 men, spearheaded by Bruce Reynolds. Ultimately, 2.6million pounds (the equivalent to 73,000,000 dollars, today), was stolen from the transport, which started one of the most infamous manhunt in British history.

Although Bruce Reynolds was the ringleader and Buster Edwards went on to have films made of him, the name that everyone still brings to mind of this wild experience was Ronald Arthur Biggs. Ronald Biggs, who recently died last December, became legendary when he escaped from Wandsworth Prison, only serving just over two years of his 30-year sentence. From there he went on the run all over the world for at least 35 years, spending much of his time in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Steel Pulse was fortunate to link with Ronnie Biggs on quite a few occasions, in Brazil. “It is not often that one gets confronted with a legend.” It was at a time when Brazil was contemplating whether to extradite Biggs back to England, although they had no such treaty in place between the two countries. Biggs, being the father of a Brazillian citizen was given the rights to stay by the Brazillian authorities for that reason. But he was to lose those rights once the child, Michael (who went on to be a young celebrity), became an adult. Biggs went on to win his claim to remain in Brazil. So you can imagine how angry Britain was for not getting their way.

Mike, if you are out there, please make a link. It would be good to catch up on old times, bro….

2 thoughts on “The Great Train Robbery @ 50”

  1. Thanks for sharing this interesting tidbit! I’ve been meaning to read Piers Paul Read’s account for years. Bless-up! I guess you’re feeling better, Rhythm Man.
    In the morning light,
    Becky Charles

  2. Enjoyed meeting Mr. Biggs during our trip to Rio in 1997. I believe he invited us all to his home for a BBQ. What a gracious host. :)

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