Search

Ilford’s London Electricity Board robbery features in new crime book by Kent author

08:20 20 May 2014

George Davis leaves the High Court on the first day of his appeal. Photo credit: Ian Nicholson

George Davis leaves the High Court on the first day of his appeal. Photo credit: Ian Nicholson

PA Wire/Press Association Images

The incredible story of George Davis and the notorious 1974 armed robbery of Ilford’s London Electricity Board has been relived in a new crime book.

Mike GrayMike Gray

Part-time author Mike Gray, 56, of Rainham, Kent, vividly remembers the 1975 Ashes Test match being abandoned after Davis’ supporters dug up the pitch at Headingley cricket ground in Leeds.

After writing four previous crime books, the estate agent - a friend of Ronnie Biggs for more than 30 years - decided to chronicle the exploits of the most memorable crimes this nation has ever seen, including those of “The Wembley Mob”, led by Bertie Smalls, who robbed Barclays Bank in High Road, Ilford in 1970. The book is called 101 Interesting Facts on Britain’s True Life Crimes.

“With this book I just wanted to remember the crimes going on when I was growing up,” said cricket fan Mr Gray.

“With Davis I remember the pitch being dug up because of the George Davis campaign.

“Most of the facts I have had in my head over the years,” he added.

Each of Mr Gray’s books took him just a week to write, thanks to his knowledge of the crime.

Davis’ campaign became part of criminal folklore after he was jailed over a raid in April 1974 at the London Electricity Board.

In 2011, after a campaign lasting decades to try quash his conviction, Davis won an appeal at the Court of Appeal.

His case attracted attention from all levels of society and punk band Sham 69 even wrote a song about him.

However, he was arrested again in 1977 and pleaded guilty to involvement in an armed robbery at the Bank of Cyprus in London. He was sentenced to 15 years, reduced to 11 years on appeal.

“The Bank of Cyprus robbery made his wife, who had been campaigning too, and his loyal supporters look a bit stupid,” added Mr Gray.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Ilford Recorder visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Ilford Recorder staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Ilford Recorder account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Ilford News Stories

50 minutes ago
The Redbridge NUT rep said Zoe Brown was the third primary school teacher in the borough to resign since January. (Picture: PA Images)

Teachers are giving up because “the soul of teaching” has gone, a union representative has warned.

07:00
Florin Onea, of Hickling Road, Ilford, left, with son Arnold

The “shocked” son of a man who was knifed in the heart plans to launch an appeal against a court verdict after his killer was cleared of murder.

Yesterday, 17:51
An artists impression of outside the Exchange Shopping Centre car par, after the 200 flat development is completed. Picture: Meyer Bergman

Councillors will tonight decide whether to green light proposals to build three tower blocks above the Exchange Shopping Centre’s car park.

Yesterday, 17:26
Loxford Polyclinic

A commissioning group has reassured patients at an under-fire surgery that it would only close as a “last resort”.

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Competitions

Win a BMW 1 series

There are fewer cars currently on the market more stylish and exciting than the BMW. Known all over the world as one of the best car manufacturers, the BMW is renowned for sleek designs and fantastic high quality workmanship.

Kindle 7 inch tablet

Are you looking for a brand new gadget to help you stay connected on the go and make that long journey home a bit more entertaining? Look no further. MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Kindle Fire 7” Display Tablets! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Ilford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe