Sunday, 11 May 2014

All Things Blackpool

Having a look at searches made and logins to my blog, the name of Mitzi Walsh popped up a couple of times.  I do know a bit about him, but there are things that came from my former father-in-law, as he lived in Blackpool, and knew most of the Walsh family.  Many years back, he did work with one of them.  He said that "They were a rough lot" (He wasn't soft either!) and that most of them worked as doormen.  Mike Walsh was born around 1930/31 and according to London villain Eric Mason, around 1951/52 he had a go at three guys giving him and his wife a bit of hassle.  He battered them.  They in turn went to the Police and so six uniform went to arrest him and he battered them, earning him a spell in Dartmoor Prison, where he broke rocks with Mason.  The next mentioning was by Tony "Gang Boss" Lambrianou, who claimed he and his brother "Took over the town"  More like they ponced people around who let them get away with it.  Doormen in Blackpool have always had a tough reputation, so would they allowed a couple of Londoners to "rule the roost?"  I do not think so.  Lambrianou talked of Mason running up a huge bill that he could not pay.  The gang boss claimed that as it was not clear as to whether Mason was in with the Krays, Walsh could do nothing.  The Walsh family had interests in the club they were in.  More like, he wrote the bill off as Mason was an old friend.

    Walsh has maintained a long friendship with Mason, throwing one party for him after he came out of prison, and probably knew most of the big villains in the North of England. There is one photo of him with Mason and Jimmy "The Weed" Donnelly.  It has been said that Mason was helping him with his memoirs, which I think would be an interesting read.  But my former father-in-law told me that they were not the only people around the city.  There was a violent villain named Carl, who had his little mob, into all sorts.  There were a couple of rough families who took no messing off anybody.  But looking back at Blackpool, there was a major villain called Abe Tobias, who Frank Fraser says was situated there in the 50`s & 60`s.  Then there was the former Chief Constable of Blackpool, Stanley Parr, who years later was sacked because he used his position and influence to ensure his friends never faced any charges.  Glasgow Mr Big, Arthur Thompson, reportedly set up a drugs base there at the beginning of the 80`s.  There was a murder of a young man on the beach in the early 90`s and a young doorman named Gary Ward was jailed for it.  He pleaded guilty because he thought the person beaten to death, was a man he said he had a fight with, a quarter of a mile from the murder scene.  He believes the man he gave a serious beating to, was none other than Viv Graham.  

    Mr Ward`s case was taken up by investigative author Steve Richards but as of yet, it is unknown if his appeal was ever allowed.  At the beginning of the 70`s, a jewel robbery carried by Londoners went wrong when Freddie Sewell shot dead Superintendent Gerald Richardson(I remember this case)  Sewell spent a very long time in prison.  The big name Doorman in Blackpool over the last three decades is Steve Sinclair, who described his battles in his book "The Blackpool Rock" and clearly shows the level of violence that pissed up holidaymakers get up to there, and why the doormen needed to be able to handle anything.  Yes, it is the "Vegas" of England.