Mystery of the Krays and Hartlepool legend Captain Cutlass

The Kray twins.

The Kray twins.

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The release of Legend – the story of twin gangsters Ronnie and Reggie Kray – has prompted one local historian to question a Hartlepool legend about the brothers.

“There is a story that Hartlepool’s own Captain Cutlass, of the Turquoise Gang, took it upon himself to sort out the Krays back in the 1960s,” said Bill Hawkins.

Brus Arms pub.

Brus Arms pub.

“I’ve heard three versions of the tale; in the first he apparently met the Krays and, deciding his knuckledusters were no match for guns, quickly left the scene.

“The second version claims the Krays were out when Cutlass called round, while in the third Cutlass was met at the train station by police and told to go home.

“If any of the stories are true, it would certainly be an interesting twist on all the film hype and publicity at the moment. Perhaps readers might know?”

Captain Cutlass and his right-hand man, Eddy the Gent, merit several mentions on the internet -– as do the Turquoise Gang and the Pink Domino Gang.

There is a story that Hartlepool’s own Captain Cutlass, of the Turquoise Gang, took it upon himself to sort out the Krays back in the 1960s.

Local historian Bill Hawkins.

Indeed, the Turquoise Gang was mentioned in the Mail back in March 1954, after a gang-related assault was dealt with by West Hartlepool Magistrates.

“The practice of boys going about in gangs must be stopped,” Alderman T. W. Pinkney told the hearing. His suggestions, however, fell on deaf ears.

“The gangs were linked to the Teddy Boy era and, during the 1950s and 60s, members drank at Nimmos pubs such as the Devon, Alma and Brus Arms,” said Bill.

“Hartlepool was certainly a lively place back then. Indeed, I’ve heard the area around the pubs of the Barbary Coast was nicknamed ‘Little Chicago’ for a while.”

* Can you solve the mystery of Cutlass and the Krays? Email sarah.stoner@jpress.co.uk