What,s Happened to Ladbrokes.?

March 12th, 2014

The battle that commenced a decade ago. in the Betting Industry, was lead by Bet365, offering a FREE bet if 2/1 or bigger in all Channel 4 events, after a reappraisal of the cost the Stoke Bookmaker changed to 4/1 but still gained a great edge,
FredDone (Betfred) remained the Bonus King, until Paddy Power publicity Gimmicks of Shock and Or. was launched,

Many of the Bookmakers failed to realize the art of Customer base theft, with the change of Gambling Debt laws, to lock a customer in with an account will generate a profit over time, making the give away when a selection is second minuscule,
A new account holder worth its weight in gold. There is no doubt in my mind that this is the most successful Bonus scheme, of the lot.
So Entered the Freebys Ladbrokes, one time leaders of BB (British Bookmaking) never mind what Hills told us,
My confidence in the ability of the Irish Greats, to only back winners, by purchasing shares in Laddys, has me confused .
I can only assume that Ladds wont wory about being a coppy cat, after all it was Hills who follwed Corals and Ladbrokes in the 1960s Licence to Print Period.

One thing I will claim is to have been the very first racecourse Bookmaker to have offered a Money Back if Horse is second. of the 25 racecourse pitches that I had during the first quarter of the 21st Century.
It was in deed a licence to print money, before the Rails Shattered the in course industry for off meetings, other than festivals.

The History of Money Back if second commenced in the 50s at Wolverhampton and other Midland Greyhound tracks. it became so popular Hall Green refused the Bookmaker to offer the concession.following complaints from the Bookmakers Track Maffia of Green,and Jack Woolf,

What made it such a winner for the Bookmaker was the fact that the bigger priced dogs, looked attractive were the short priced runners were ignored, by the public, ince the bookie had layed the 3 dogs that were ussually the non triers,

When I started offering the service at Bangor and Worcester, and Wolverhampton for starters, it was a massive, advantage, What had to be done was make sure that the professional traders, were curtailed the same as William Hill. do si by minimising stakes

Betting next to a Betting Without the Favourite Service, outstripped him, at once, the outsiders that were sure to drift, were offered the same price as the straight Bookmakers,
Gobbling up what little amount there was for these rags.

However Hills have a greater advantage than I ever had, that they are creating a massive customer base worth a fortune for what is a very minor bonus. even though it looks attractive.

It is my opinion that all UK Bookmakers will be offering the same service (Money Back if 2nd) for phone clients. by Derby Day, however they may find it two late for William Hill has jumped the gun.

Bonus if Horses fall etc are a waist of time, only a firm like Boyle and Corals, would be so out of touch with the game.

As for Corals with there over the odds, bonus,s with silly limits causes animosity with there regular minimum stake customers. A £25 bonus fe a even money chance offered at 4/1 that returns evens would have made surprised the Cincinnati Kid.

Ladbrokes have been left behind, and I am shocked. and requires a re think. or a new leader.

Watch this space, or better still watch, Daily Politics It will be interesting to see how the Bookmaking industry get them selves out of the changes about to be created in legislation. (Gambling)

The Self exclusion policies being discussed in Parliament if passed will make Great Britain the Illegal Gambling centre of the universe.

All it will require is one notification by a client, to the Licencing Authority, and the majority of Big Players, like footballers will lelf exclude until the change wives, and then bet trough there AGENT on a commission basis.

Unless of course the Betting shops start increasing there cash limits, the danger to this is the thieves that will be drawn to the shops,

Any Adivce required, just ask, like Hills did but unfortunately. they have failed to pay a fee for the advice.

Perhaps Judge Judy will clear the matter up.

Don Butler

Peaky Blinder Three.

January 5th, 2014

Now that the drama is all over. I would like to congratulate the team who produced the tale.

It was a little unfair for me to slag the attempt off, after all it was pure fiction,
The Fact that I know a little of the times and characters, having been given a tosheroon, ( 2 Shillings ans Sixpence ) when my parents, took me ro Ludlow a few months after my birth. and the leader of men,did what he always did when seeing a racing mans children. for the first time.

Just in case the producers wish to produce a new series for it appears that is there intention. they should at least sho the viewers a sight of what a Bookmakers operation was like.

The best advice I can offer is for them to purchase the book written by McDonald “Gangs of London”
In the book Kimber is given leading role, but the writer fails to confirm the death of the man,
He was given a role on the Greyhound Racing Association. I assume it would have been in the security division.
His success may I add was less than convincing, for during his watch there was more dog doping than at any time in the games history.

I would like to add a little annotate.

On the way back from uttoxeter a Bookmaker living at Lapworth Warwickshire, stopped off at a local pub were the Landlord struck up a conversation with the racing team,

“I hope you do not mind my intrusion in your conversation, but I have always been interested in the Racing Game, for during the 2 World Wars for my Grandmother used to tell tales of here brother Billy Kimber,”
In the company was a workman from the period. who stated yes I knew him well.

The owner bought every one a drink, hoping that the conversation would offer his family a greater insight. into what they had been told.that Billy was a very successful Land Owner, and Businessman.

The 72 year old clerk as sharp as the pencil he used for his occupation. joined in.

“Well he was as good looking as http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/d/d2/Paul_Newman_-_1963.jpg/220px-Paul_Newman_-_1963.jpghttp://i2.birminghammail.co.uk/incoming/article6114906.ece/BINARY/JS26561198.jpg

“And as smart as Clark Gable in fact I was told that Gamble shaped many of his maffia type roles, with Bill Kimber.

I don’t doubt Mr Mcdonald’s reference to Solomon, shooting Bill in the Buttok, for the family admit at least ome thimg that was true for he died with the bullet still just under the skin. never removed.

If anyone wishes to tell the story of BILLY, I can assure them that there would be no need for fiction.
And could be a best seller.



December 8th, 2013

In a recent article in the Betting Business Magazine “December Edition,” written by John Samuals for IBAS, “If you cant win you cant lose”
Fascinated me only because the writer seemed at a loss to understand gambling rights fully.

The 2005 Gambling Act states
A bet can be a wager on an event that has already taken place and were one party of the bet knows the result,
Many bets taken in running are not first past the post, doctrine, so a wager were a horse pulls up. still requires, a stewards interpretation of the weigh in, before all bets can be concluded.
So even if a horse does pull up. odds can still be offered, there are many other happenings were the race or event, is still active take for instance football were a team could have been relegated, and yet betting still occurs. for days, offering relegated teams, until it is clear that non of the teams safe from relegation, have not done some thing during the season that will not cause any FA enquiry and a point deduction. altering the original result.

Betting in running is a very technical transaction, certainly in many events too many to explain in this short, feature.

In the case of “The Great British Bake Off” the Bookmaker obviously knew the result along with 90% of his new customers created by leaving the betting up. on offer even though the result was known.

This in my opinion comes into a category known as “Punter Theft” a specialty being a well known Irish Bookmaker.prepared tp pay heavily shorty term to build long term customer base.

As every one must be aware during the past decade, internet and mobile technology has revolutionised off course betting the main reason is the removal of bad debts, owing to change of the Gambling Act for Debt Recovery. this and the fact that it is convenient, to bet using a debit or credit card.it is also compulsive.

These changes created a Diamond and Gold Rush, expedition, in creating as massive a customer base as possible once again William Hill was left behind, firms like Bet365.

The start of the period I call, The Bonus or Conscien War’s between Bookmakers, began in 2005 and has never eased. only a betting turnover tax, of 15% Point of Consumer being contemplated by foolish politicians, will alter the whole structure. but this will cost punters so much and will create the largest Illegal Gambling Industry since the American Roaring 20s that they will soon see the error of parliaments ways.
And the following poem will become popular once again.

Mother’s in the kitchen
Washing out the jugs;
Sister’s in the pantry
Bottling the suds;
Father’s in the cellar
Mixing up the hops;
Johnny’s on the front porch
Watching for the cops.

I am no poet so to alter the concept to Bookmaker and bets, Dope and Hope as against Hops and Cops. may be easy for some but not me.

Until this happens, It is continuous to see free bets, money back, so attractive that it is possible to be in a no lose only win state, but like smoke and mirrors, ot is only short term I am afraid. it is clearly a policy of enticement to bet.

Of course the paragraph “Some would argue that the Bookmaker offering bets after the result was known would make many say that they deserved to have there fingers burnt.”

Requires a response.

The Bookmaker in question certainly did not have his finger burnt, simply because he had created a large customer interest many of which would become hooked into a account , with the firm. the cost to the Bookmaker minimal. and no more than a Free Bet, concession. however as for those 10% who did not back the known winner will certainly get there losing wagers refunded, already I am sure of that.
I assume that of the bets taken and all refunded would place this Bookmaker in a short list of very clever operators.

I will explain the history of Money Back, is 2nd for I am the only racecourse Bookmaker who offered this concession during 2000 to 2004. and was better than Without the Favourite betting that made John Gillibrand a multi million£ before he died tragically in the early 2000s

In the 50s a Wolverhampton Greyhound Bookmaker offers this money back concession at the Dogs, so successfully that no Bookmaker has ever been allowed to do so since.

By way of offering an historic story, of why Bookmakers, would bet on an event were the result is known, is very simple,
The question is how many people know the result. ?

On 1960s I was betting at Royal Ascot, in the silver ring on the colour of Her Majesty the Queen.s Hat

I only had 12 different colours, on my list happy to use my own judgment if there were differing shades of opinion.

I had calculated that there was a window of opportunity for my offer, between the the Queens Hat becoming public knowledge, as she stepped out of the front door of Windsor Castle and when many race goers using large binoculars, as the Royal Cavalcade entered the course.
I guessed that a few insiders, like the Queen Mom, would have been told of the opportunity, to back a winner for after all everyone knew that the Old Dear loved a bet.

At 12.0 I started betting and at one time I had a crowd of over 500 people congregating, all of them being entertained like only a few racecourse Bookmakers know how to.

From time to time someone would request a wager so large that it would have placed the profitability that I demanded, for my work at jeopardy. His wager of £200 at 3/1 was quickly reduced to £10 at Evens. fortunately other did not follow his lead, even though he ranted and raved for 15 minutes, telling every one who were in the crowd that he had seen the Hat and it was Blue, before driving from Windsor, by fast motor bike.

I was entertaining the public so effectively that he was ignored when I called him a white mans Prince Monolulu.
When I commenced the betting it was obvious that no one knew the result. other than this man who just happened to be a fellow Bookmaker. from Tattersalls. I was happy to bet all wagers, maximum of £5, after all it was a wager known in the trade as a Fun Bet. more for entertainment than gambling,

In no time I had taken £200 and was a £30 over round meaning that I could not lose anything, but could win £30, minimum.

At approx, 1.30 a very well dressed man, with a members badge into the Royal Enclosure

I cant say that I was enlightened by the gents manner’s, after all the sign on the top of my joint (Board) clearly indicated my full christian name. as Donald.

I looked in to his pale blue eyes they were as cold as stone. he must have been 6ft 4 inch, I guessed a Guardsman working at Windsor or Buck House, I then noticed his wonderfully manicured nails I also was drawn to the size of the “Wad” he was waving about contained a minimum of £1,000

What colour ? do you want Sir. I questioned.

Blue had been shortened so much in 2 hours that it was now 4/6. from the ealey 3/1

Although I guessed an Eton Education,
He was out of his depth, in all gambling matters.it was then that he over played hiis hand. not by the way his hand shook, but the fact that instead of requesting Blue he asked for a £1000 on Cerulean.

i assumed that it was a shade of blue.
Having been educated not very well in a Small Heath Slum, Birmingham, I can assure you Cerulean had never been mentioned, during my spell there.

“If Cerulean is one of the many shades of Blue then you can have an even £10. I stated.

Standing next to the man was a punter who was indicating he required a £10 on Red. at 3/1. obviously
no royalist.
The Toff, was not amused by my indication that
“Its only a Fun Bet Mate”, but you can have £1000 on White of you wish.

I will not say report the Gentleman said next, although I understood what it meant. but not the particular phrase. I also remembered that if I had ever used the phrase in school. as a child I would have received minor capital punishment to my rear. on short sharp doses.

To conclude, The statement “If you cant lose you cant win.” may well apply and yet it is not factual.

For by opening an account you may well lose £1,000 at the end of the year.for the bet even if alreday known as a winner, was just a sprat to catch mackerel.

The Bookmaker has purchased for £5, a possible customer for life. with all that it entails. giving the lost stake back to the 10% would certainly created a nice customer base of guaranteed losers.

The Bookmaker will know the % of those who will draw there £5 winnings without ever placing a further wager, 0but thosr will be bettered over the next 12 months by those who have just found themselves a nice honest Bookmaker. to bet with.

This is just a further, part of the many Concessions and Free bets offered in the internet market.
Some just good value, others a guaranteed earner by the new gang of internet traders.

Paddy Power one of the leaders in what I now call no longer Fun bets but Daft bets. is happy to give quite a large Sprat, to catch even larger Mackerels. however if I see the customer base, of the many internet, firms. I will confirm that the period has been the greatest successful Trade War in History. and one of the most successful policies ever conducted in British Bookmaking.
What? you may say should IBAS do about this anomaly.

Take another quite that exists in Bookmaking parlance,

“Let the Buyer Beware”

That is fine as long as IBAS are satisfied that all markets being promoted, are honest and truthful.
IBAS should look at all markets on there merit, if it is clear that there is definitely no chance that the backer could have every drawn his winnings then they have a duty of care to the british public to have the stakes refunded.

There is nothing wrong with a Bookmaker offering odds in a market already known but what about the punters, who did not know that the result was known. are they entitled to there money back.

YES They ARE. and at Once.

The final problem with IBAS is that they are Bookmaker funded but that should give them an opportunity, to explain to the Bookmakers, that Enticement to bet abused will only result in a tightening of old enticement rules. 1961. not understood by politicians. now but were then.

Any further opinion, on punters rights,just ask

I would like to end by making a statement that should be understood, by all but I am afraid it is not.

Every betting coup. gambling con, Ringer, etc, through the ages, aimed at Bookmakers, in fact, steal the Bookmakers take not necessarily his own money, the money being held by the Bookmaker in the main will have been honest punter wagers filling the Bookmakers odd, by backing the other horses in the race, these are not always returned when in fact if the punters that organised the coup failed to get paid, the losing punters should certainly have done so.


a Slithering Snake.

November 15th, 2013

From 1945 Young Phillip and I would be taken to the city centre week ends, if there was no racing on and see all the sites of the Birmingham Bull Ring. were every thing would be sold we would then go to the Old Bull for lunch, I remeber having Fagotts and Pea’s ar a venue called Redferns people would que outside for a table although my father seems to have had a permanent one when required.
It was as early as this when he warned me that every thing was possible if you bunged (Payed)

Some nights we would stay up so late that the famous characters from the Birmingham Hippodrome would join the festivities, the Prince of Wales another famous venue would be full of the stars appearing that week
Tommy Trinder, Max Miller, would mix with the traders, were my Dad once told me that there were better comedians seen late at night, and probably the stars got there jokes.
and script from listening to the street grafters.

One particular, character would just get up in stage and the audience would go deadly silent,
What with the many Bookmakers and there staff who would also arrive back from the dogs at Perry Bar,
From tea time until 2 in the morning ir was a sea of laughter and back chat.
Even as a young Kid It was sad if I fell asleep and missed something.
On a few occasions my pal and I would wake up, and see every one having breakfast, for it was the next day. Sunday
Eggs, Bacon, Sausage, Fried bread and of course Black Pudding. Mushrooms, followed by toast. with many people in the midlands starving it was not possible to feel sorry,for them, it was clear that Dad was a great giver as well as taker, there seemed to be a knock on our door, on many occasions, and he would walk up stairs and come down followed by a great deal of thanks you’s,

At the end of 1940s Phil was 15 and I was 12. we were playing a great deal of football. for a team opersire Yardley Wood playing park called Westcroft FC It wasn’t long before I was being selected, over my brother I was sure that if he hadn’t been in the racing game, were he could earn £2 a day even at these ages, were a newspaper round would be the same for a week.

Both of us were in the Boys Brigade at Warstock. but we were facing disaster, for our fathers business had encountered massive change Ernest Fletcher, the Guardsman, who had been a Heo all through WW1, had Died, and although an application to the Bookmakers trade association required a change of ownership. because Dad had been working for the firm for so long he was allowed to take over the rights to trade, in the Fletcher pitches.

At first Dad seemed to manage the change although to be a wonderful tick tac was not actually Bookmaking, the change although subtle it was a disaster,
Dad was already a known hard drinker, but the stress of having to run the business was out of his comfort zone.
Firstly Bookmakers on course have to offer a certain amount of credit, Philip senior, offered to much credit, not only losing some great clients, but a great deal of cash in the process.

Phil left school and our mother had insisted that we had a trade as well as Bookmaking, and Phil became a apprentice Toolmaker and Die setter, of which must be stated he was good, when I left school there had been massive change as explained with the sale of our house at Warstock. sale of the Kings Heath grocers followed by a short period no more than 2 years in Shirley.

I was to young to understand but kniw it was clear that we were sliding down the snakes with no chance of connecting a ladder.

It was this period when I was offered the chance of being a stable Lad at Walter Millers training establishment, between Shirley and Solihull Miller was owner of Shirley Poneys a few miles down the Stratford road.

The only experience I had every had was when on holiday at Weston Super Mare and my favourite donkey Stella.

He had over 20 ponies in his table being got ready for the 1948/9 season.

“The day I turned up. it was January, and I was 13. and was offered the job as trainee stable hand, evenings and week ends.

As soon as I arrived I knew that this was no normal job. I was told to clear out the horse muck, or in this case Pony shit, and was told just keep the pony’s head nearest to you, don’t ever allow the Pony to get his back legs next to you.

With a great big broom in my freezing hands, I forgt the golden rule.

There was all of a sudden a great crash, and the Wooden Door, half open and closed, was sent flying off its hinges, I had allowed the Pony to get me the wrong side and he attempted to break every bony in my legs, with a serious amount of bucking and kicking, fortunately every one missed me by inches but showed what damage they could achieve.

This moment I lost the full ,love of the animal and although I never told Phillip who I am sure had dreams of me becoming a Gordon Richards, or perhaps Lester Piggott,

The next week, I was still carrying on the function of stable cleaner, the Trainers a old Irishman, I have forgotten his name was about to shave the surplus coat off the one particular Pony who was well thought of by both trainer and owner.

I was off school. and it was late february, spending the time at the stable, I was certainly no expert but this Pony had become a right bitch, with increased meanness, she certainly didn’t like me, the duty this day was to saddle up the pony, (Called Wizard not sure why.) and walk it to the racetrack a mile from the track.

At first it seemed fine but with traffic on the road the trainer advised me to walk it the rest of the way,
When we arrived at the stadium. there were many Pony,s, being trained on the course, ,

Standing at the Winning Post was Walter Miller, Trainer and I assume an owner, the way that Miller was promoting the ability of Wizard it was pretty obvious it was being sold.

I was told to get up on its back and trot out to the end away to the left, and follow Michael a Boy a little older than me, and he would show me what to do.

We both cantered our ponies to what I now realise was the 5 furlong post,

Mick told me to keep a hold of Wizard, and we would just canter past the winning post so that the owner and trainer could see Wizard’s action.

I had been taught to keep the reins, behind the Ponys neck so that if he pulled hard he was ony pulling against his own neck, and would be kept under control

The reins not new were badly worn, and the rubber on the reins that should have been similar to the back of a table tennis bat, was flat with was did I have any control if the pony bolted.
As we began to canter Wizard gave a buck pulling the reins out of my hands and bolted like a maniac. .

At first I thought I was out of the side but managed to keep my position, the Pony was dashing to the grandstand and the winning post were the visitors were watching .

As I passed the post instead of Wizard showing his paces he was showing Miller and the would be owner two things one that it was a nut case and twi I was no would be Richards.
Straight past the visitors, I vaguely remember the trainer attempting to stand in the way detracting the pony however it was clear that the pony not only hated me for he crashed into the old Irishman sending him head over heals.

All I could do was sit and pray, The only thing that I feel saved my life for the pony was approaching a 10 ft Hedge, that even Golden Miller a 5 times Gold Cup winner would have rejected.

Wizard had no such shrewdness, he was flying towards the hedge as if he was about to take it on.

My legs had always been over developed in the thigh area having played football. three times most week ends, so sitting like a clam, it may well have looked as If I was as crackers as the Pony, I had not moved. so although I was out of control with the Poy I was firmly in power in the saddle.

I had to make a quick decision, to fly though the hedge onto the busy A34. or jump off.
I decided on the later,
The Pony decided to jump the fence, running straight into the hedge as if it didnt exist. doing a somersault. I landed on my well honed back side, and slide for 25 yards on my back as for the Pony I never did quite find out.

As I got to my feet a red faced Walter Miller, was poking mr with his stick. as if he was testing the going.

“Dont bother to come back to the stable, I don’t know what your furure holds but it will not be anything to do with Horses, or even Ponies”.

When Philip found out what had happened he was as angry as Miller. for I am sure he had dreams of me being a jockey riding some odds on favourite,
And about to carry out his instructions to jump off during the race.

There was one chance and that was Phils obvious ability, to make a book. he was certainly shrewd and had befriended many of Das old pals, some of them successful Bookmakers, themselves and were happy to explain what Dad was doing wrong.

In a short time the last resemblance of a happy life for Mom and Gran.disintegrated when the house at Shirley was taken off us.

We were now potless homeless and chance less.

Half the time we never saw Dad, although he appeared from time to time with some cash, ussually after a festival meeting, so he was still hanging in there.our mother however made a move that I must give her all my respect,
“Well I lived there one before so whats wrong with moving there again” she said.

She took what little furniture she had and moved into a cousens back room and one bedroom, flat, In William Henry Street, only 100 yards from the house in Angelina Street, that she was born. talk about snakes and ladders,

We were now rock bottom.
Phil junior was working the two jobs, as Tool maker and part time Bookie one of the youngest at 17.
I had a job in Balsall Heath, making runner boards for cats a firm that had been doing so for 25 years but running boards were about to become outdated.

All of a sudden things began to change Philip Junior was making the game pay even Dad was pulling himself together, do the job he was expert at Tick Tak.

All though Mom and Diane a young sister and I were still living in a slum, things could never get any worse.

That was until a letter arrived with an official stamp on the envelope, (Conscript)
Conscription is the compulsory enlistment of people in some sort of national service, most often military service.

The only bread winner of note was now to be enlisted in the Army. at £3.50 a week. living accommodation, in a nissen hut, a uniform that gave you no chance of ever pulling a bird, and the chance of getting a crack on the chin if you ever spoke out if tern. this would make it inevitable that all we had was mothers, wages from working in a local factory.

Men were exempt from National Service if they worked in one of the three “essential services”: coal mining, farming and the merchant navy for a period of eight years.
So the letter to the Home Office that my mother sent, asking for lenience owing to the family’s plight and Phillip being the only bread winner. must have created a laugh in Parliament, when in the column What do you do for a living, “Bookmaker”

There was only one thing he could do and that was similat to murder in the Russell household,
When Mother was told she had a fit,

No the only way Phil was going top escape from 2 years in a make believe Army was to use the age old plan of Bunging.
But who would you Bung, after all the head of British forces is the Queen, I doubt a £50 in her back pocket,
For several months Phillip ignored the demand and carried on making a book all over the country.
Just before christmas when less expected the Military Police stepped in and took Phil to Caterisk.

After a few weeks in a Glass House, he was interviewed by the Provo Sargent, who seemed fasinated by the Kids job. for he loved a bet and went racing when ever he could.

This was the chance for Phil taking £50 out of his back pocket he placed it in the sarg’s had and squeezed it tight.

“What this for” can a very surprised NCO.
” I want you to find the best way for me to get out of this waste of time and quickly”

I will not divulge any more of the plan, but suffice to say that Phillip was back in civvy street within 2 months.

In 1952 a miracle took place, Dad in one of his Drinking Spree’s he found himself in the company of a Birmingham Council leader. who not only had been one of our customers he also had failked to pay and still owed £150.
I can only assume that Dad was in a story telling mood.
And all he had to do was tell the truth.
He was to repeat what took place to me many years later.

“When I got to the time that we lost every thing and Mother and the two my oungest Kids had to move to Balsall Heath”

The Council worker began to cry. not only did he pay the £150 he told Dad how he could guarantee a council house at a new over flow at West Heath.
All she had to do was get the police to give her a letter saying that she was homeless,

On monday my mother and I sat on an dingy old settee in the road opposite the flat.
When the Police arrived they were compassionate when we told them we were homeless,
Within 3 hours we had a pink slip that we took to the council offices and Mom was given a set of Keys, for a brand new Maisonette in West Heath
It was as if she had won the Football Pools.

With Philip junior making money it was not very long before the firm was having success. again.
In 1954 It was my turn to play for queen and country I say play because that is all I did during my 3 years in the RAF, One person who was happy was Edith, my Mother it had been seen as a criminal act, when Phill battled against doing his conscription, when I told her that I was going in the RAF. she was over joyed.

Arriving at West Kirby RAF.was strange loke a gang if kids at Boot Camp.
1954 was the time when we all had a Ducks Arse Haircut called a Tony Curtis. when I arrived for my sqaure bashing (Drill)
The CO (Commanding Officer) noticed my hair and placed me on report.

That night all the lad’s in my hut were getting me at it, telling me that I would get at least 14 days CB (confined to barracks) for having long hair.

I thought I would bet on it
Get away with it .evens
3 days evens
7 days 4/1
others 16/1

All the Airman who had been in the camp more than a week knew that it was a certainty that cialis comparison I would get 3 days for a first offence. and get my hair sheared. afterwards .

Within 1/2 hour I had taken over 40£ with people coming in from other huts to clean up. every bet 3 days.

As I walked in with the RS (Regimental Sargent) the CO gave me a right bollocking about my DA. before saying

“3 Day Confined to barracks.Take him out.Sargent.”

I never budged “What do you want? ” cried the CO.

” I don’t think its fair I only had it cut on Wednesday”

The CO had a fit, he had never been spoken to by a newbie since the war. “Sargent Take the fool out in quick time and make it 14 Days.”

You should have seen my comrades eyes when they found out. and a nice £40 Earner.

All through the my conscription I did nothing but play shove halfpenny and Football.
The RAF Stafford, MU15. had a great team. full of pro,s who were allowed to play for the Professional team saturday,
On wednesday they just messed about, passing great pass’s for me to score. after all we were only playing local kids,

I was the star scoring 2/3 goals a game.
However the best touch I had was when on Fire Duty and shine my torch on a women’s back side, followed by the scot gaurd in charge of camp discipline.

I was clever enough to know that I would have to ignore what I had seen,
This I did and for the remainder of my time I did what I wanted to do.

With 12 months to go I paid one of my visits back home were my mother was so proud of me, you would have thought I was a VC.

As I opened the door to the Maisonette, there was no one there but a great big piece of white paper..

“Your Mothers in Selly Oak Hospital me and Phil will see you Ward 18.”

She had suffered a few minor problems but never nothing serious.

I ran 1/2 a mile just in time to catch a bud to Selly Oak.
As I walked onto the car park I could see the Hospital entrance 200 yards away.

Standing by the door was Dad and Phil.
I whistled recognition. and they responded with a wave

It was then that my Dad, raised his hands in the very familiar stance when Tick Tacking at the races.

As he showed a not very well known sign.
Not well known because the odds of 1000/1 were never reached in bookmakers terms.

I only guessed it because it was shown as 2 x 500s, in fact two circles.

I gulped once then twice, what was he indicating .

All it could mean was My Mom was 1000/1

That meant Death or close to It.

My poor mother had passed away from a brain Hemorrhage. God Bless her.

At the very time when things were looking up. she had lost the fight,

Page 3. Rock and Roll.

The Whole World is a Stage..

November 15th, 2013

“All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,”

In 2004 after my retirement, I dabbled like many of us pensioners, dreaming, of our childhood, in my case racking my brains to remember all the things that my fathers, mother had told me, if Will Shakespeare was right, could what I had learned be a tale worth telling and would my sons Children be interested in what I had to say.

At an age when 8 hours in bed, is no longer a luxury but a complete waist of time, I began a Blog, after 65 years in the one trade, Gambling I was sure that my knowledge would be of benefit, to others Not so, for the very trade, that has given me a great life and secured for me, perhaps more than my fair share of happyness. this is were a problem arose, for what I learned in someone elses, hand can be toxic.
To invite those who do not have the right aptitude, for Gambling Success, it was better for me to gloss over much of the family trade, and just create the history that my great grand parents, built on from 1850s.through two of the worlds most terrible conflicts. It was my granddad Albert, who first informed me that Shakespeare missed a trick, in not stating that life is just a game of Snakes and Ladders. one minute climbing up. and the next slithering down.

But it was when I found Ancestry a genealogy page that the whispers, about family members, could be double checked. I thought I would spend the many hours I have at my disposal.on this project if every one was an actor on a world stage, I wanted to know what became of all my loved ones during the last 150 years what part were they given, and did they make good use of there place in the scheme of things.
For at the end of life, there is a long time to dwell on how good an act, a person had been.

Born into a Church of England religion through, sunday school. the boys brigade, singing in the church choir my mother had instilled in me to love my family above all else. and the first few years if my life shaped me for the future.

To be Kind, to all others, and treat every one certainly our elders with dignity the first thing I remembered was my manners, every one was treated with good morning, Sir or madam, and a great deal of thank you.
So from the very start of my life, I remembered my mother telling me, what great children we were. and how proud she was that strangers would comment,

Of course once we arrived at school. to act, the part of the Nice Boy didn’t always impress Kids my own age, having been placed in Highters Heath, Junior, I always sat next to a young girl same age, I couldn’t help notice she was sad,
Back home that night I mentioned this to my mother, whom told me to share my lunch box with her.
However I could not help her from shivering all day, even her shoes had been made by her mother out of card board.

However within a week at the senior school Yardley Wood, being a nice kid, was a massive disadvantage. for the biggest, shock was the amount of bullying, that took place, at school. in church or at the boys brigade.
I had enough confidence to keep out of trouble when ever I could. but one day for no reason I was informed that Evans wanted to fight me after school.
Why in earth would a relative stranger to me wish to engage in a battle. I was never a coward, but I was in my best suit for after school my Dad and Mom were to take me and my brother to the pictures and the last words , T remembered my mother saying was, stay clean. for we are going out straight after school.

The next day kids in my class were hooting coward, coward. I was confused, and that night, I nentioed the incident to my brother. 3 years older. hr didnt help by adding Evans is a strong Lad. with 5 brothers. not exactly what I wished to hear.

My mother, Edith, had explained why I was being bullied. it is because you are well behaved, and liked by the school teachers, when many of the pupils were not as fortunate as you are,
You have a clean shirt and tie, and polished shoes. when some of the Kids were wearing hand me downs, and even Birmingham Mail Boots, just ignore the bully.fortunately for me Evans had more than one in his sites and after school I was informed he had received a kicking by Bernard Jones, the school cock.

The people I remember as being a great influence, were my grand father on my mothers side Albert Sydney Russell, and certainly my father’s Mom, Charlotte Jessie, when ever I needed advice that was sensitive to a mother.

Albert like many of those born in 1877 were poor enough, to find it exiting to enlist, for WW1. and fight for a better world, by joining in the Great war 1914-1918. It appeared that whatever happened to him in the battles he came home a broken, old man, having seen things that he would whisper, when ever I enquired,
“You dont want to know Son”

He had joined as a fit man as strong as an ox and within 18 months, came out a broken old man, unfit for work, and a future, as near to Hell as possible.

His misfortune was being in a September battle 1915. when the The newly formed Special Gas Companies attacked German lines at Loos.
In the attack, the German’s had delivered their chlorine by using pressurised cylinders. the British also used chlorine gas that was released, from the British front line the plan was that the Gas would drift, over the enemy lines, and stop them in there tracks.Alberts platoon, went over the top. to attack however only a loving God, who enjoyed creating great but bloody story line’s would have planned a change in the wind. when the brits and Albert included, ran straight into there own Gas.
with over 2,000 casualties and seven fatalities. Albert was one of many bit actors, who stood to attention whilst clouds of Gas drifted over them as the change of wind direction delivering the poison blew back whence it came. a great scene, for any director, perhaps but it was a great pity that these 100s of thousand of men, were no matinee Idols with a chance of glory, but just part time actors. who wished they were home.

Jane Russell, Alberts loving wife, kept her home like a castle in a slum. Balsall Heath was the dumping ground for all the immigrants, of the day Irish in there droves, Jewish, all looking for a better world. It was this home where my brother and I would be dropped off every Saturday nights, so that my father and mother, could go to there favoured pub to meet there friends, and relations.
As soon as we arrived, Nanny Jane would send me for a pint of ale, covered in a tea towel so that the neighbours, would not know, that she drank every night, I was also given a small tot of whisky for Albert to sip. his only means of prescription.

Nans home, in 1930 was as clean as a brush, her cooking immaculate her love for her children, complete and that of her grand children, also.

It was during the blitz, of 1940. when I saw the danger that the family were in, although we were living in as safe an area as it was possible to find. only the very worst, german pilot. on a bombing raid on the Birmingham City Centre would be 7/8 miles out.but it didn’t stop my parents worrying about there loved ones stuck in the middle of bombing raids nightly.

It is worth spending time on Albert and his participation in the Great War, he did find his way home and for many years, sat gasping whilst sitting on his favourite chair, placed for him, outside the front door. his lungs, that had once supported his great runs from the defence, allowing him a strike at gaol. and football glory was no longer an option. the local team disbanded, those that returned, not enough for a 5 a side game.

It was pitiful to watch his pain and suffering, if he had been one of the families pets, he would have been dispatched, putting him out of his terrible misery.

As a young Kid of 8 It was a chore to travel. from our family home in the peaceful surrounding of Yardley Wood and Warstock, an area, only a bike ride from Earlswood lakes and not much further to Henley in Arden, we all had bikes, and would go fishing but spent a great deal of time, on the farmers, land, opposite our home. scrumping (Stealing Apples)

I can only guess that when my father purchased this house in 1933. perhaps he had foresight
that to be away from the city centre of the country’s 2nd city. was a good move perhaps he had seen the script.
But with internet I could go further back than Albert,

In 1869 there was an event, that was to be fundamental. in my upbringing, a birth of a beautiful girl.
I assume that giving this child two names Charlotte Jessie, may have been a hint that she was to play a significant role in this play. even though she was over 100 miles away from Birmingham.

Charlotte always called Jessie, was different in many ways to her brothers and sisters, at school, she was loved by every child and teachers, she was bubbly kind and loving, from her first moment singing in the church choir, confirmed her as a angel. awaiting an harp it was during a trip to Wilton’s Music Hall that she was seen outside the stage door, awaiting autographs of her favourite acts, at the same time she was heard giving her friends a rendition of one of the popular songs.of the period.

All though her school days and when she became a young lady the second lead, in my family plot born in a very busy area Islington. Middlesex. father George Hume and her mother Jane (Laurence) Hume both were in there mid 30s when Charlotte Jessie was born.

The only thing I can add to the girls early life was that she was certanly a great singer, of music that we can only imagine from a look at the Music Hall.s and Youtube, that were every were in the mid 19th century, http://www.musicals101.com/news/earlyhall.jpg

Music Hall British theatrical entertainment was very popular, It involved a mixture of song, comedy, speciality acts and variety entertainment. similar to American vaudeville, f

What ever “Jessie” loved about the Musical Hall. continued through to the 1920s, period, and was the leading actors, Marie Lloyd, Dan Leno, Little Tich and George Leybourne, were her favourite’s and being only a short distance from the action, she and a few of her friends would sit outside the stage door collecting autographs, before singing there way home.
Even after her marriage to Arthur Butler she never lost the love of songs.

Being a seamstress would have been in a boring existence, as she grew older she resented her lost opportunity. for every rime the young girl had asked her father if she could go for a rehearsal. he would
loch her in her room,

George her father although a printer by trade had been a soldier, in his time, and an order was never to be challenged. so Jessie and her life on the boards, singing and dancing were to be only a dream.

On her 21st Birth day, she met and married Arthur Butler, he soon joined Jesse’s father in the printing trade,, moving up to the art of Lithography this I guess was a
more skillful area, so I can assume he was a skilled man.

At some time Jessie and Arther moved in with the Hume family, at 37a Felix Terrace Islington, Middlesex. that must have been a large house for in no time Jessie was creating a large family. her self,
In the first years of 1900, it appears that Jane jesse’s mother died.

From the records available in 1905 jess had 5 children
Arthur Junior
There appeared to be a trauma, of some sort, bad enough for Arthur to move to Birmingham, were there was a great deal of work. especially in the printing trade.

After a few months Jessie was invited to move with all her children, to Birmingham, were I can only assume her husband had gained a good position. and had made provisions for there arrival.

George must have been distraught to lose not only two breadwinners, but a loving daughter. and 5 grand children.
Only hear say in that Jessie took all her children, and arrived at New Street Station, only to endure a 5 hour wait until. she was picked up by a cousin who lived at 185 Golden Hillock Road, Small Heath and was given a one room flat. until Jessie could sort her predicament out.

It is now that we find Jessie living with her Husband in 101 Cooksey Road, Small Heath Birmingham, at no time did Jessie ever mention her husband, but in a relative short time Arthur had disappeared. perhaps in the war. ?

What was known is that every child found who arrived on that train from Islington found happiness in loving arrangements, and left Cooksey Road, until only Phillip. remained. trmsinrd.remained.http://u.jimdo.com/www300/o/s0031f87db135fdc9/img/icf5aee13aa18ff52/1345396795/std/the-bsa-armoury-road-photograph-by-phyllis-nicklin-1953-see-acknowledgements-keith-berry.jpg

After leaving school;. Phillip gained work in the City Centre Markets, and what with Jessie having great ability to turn any old cloth to a respectable dress or coat, she had built a very important livelihood.

It was during the 1920s when Philip woke one morning to a snow drift, covering the whole of the Cooksey residence.
Although it was 6.30 Phillip walked to the fresh vegetable market were he worked part time,and arrived in good time to help one other to clear the gate of snow, and there particular stall. ready for start of business.
When the Stall Owner who Philip worked for, saw how conscientious.the 15 year old was, he offered him work at Perry Bar Greyhound stadium, giving change to the winning clients.
In a very little time he had been taught to Tick Tak the ancient Bookmakers skill of passing the price changes from cheap ring to main ring, within a short period one of the most leading midland greyhound Bookmakers “Patrick” offered Phillip a important role as top tick tak for the firm betting at all three Greyhound tracks.
Born uniquely with a photographic memory, Phillip was soon in great demand working for others at Hall Green and Kings Heath. it was during the time he was making a great deal of money,
Meeting Edith Russell. who lived in Balsall Heath, at 9 back of 22 Vincent Parade, they got married in 1933 and purchased a semi detached home at 5 Loxley Avenue, Warstock. and Philip junior was born in 1934 followed by yours truly Donald in 1937.

I can only assume that Jessie must have pinched herself every morning, for I know that Edith, his wife did,
Imagine within 5 years, from meeting, Edith the family, that included Jessie, wanted for nothing. By 1938 the role that Philip held in the midland Bookmaking industry was certainly a senior one even though he was very young for the role, all bets taken and conducted by a tick tak were in its nature at Credit, take as an example at Cheltenham, there would have been 5 tick tak firms all with there own twist card, with every number of the runners, in a particular race, in a different code, this was to make it impossible for any layman, to get a great feel for the true market.the advantage being with the Bookmaker and his workmen,

In the two main rings at Cheltenham there would be a tattersalls and Silver Ring plus outside (Cheap Enclosure)
Every transaction would as I have explained have been conducted on a credit basis, with the firms, offering a fee for the trist card and a commission given to Philip,
At the time there would have been over 100 bookmakers in the cheap enclosures, 60 and more in Tattersalls and 30 on the rails,

Phillip would use his own card to indicate the bet between bookmakers. and when he arrived home late at night he would carry out the winning and loss accounting. confirmed and paid in the following monday.

To do this it required every Bookmaker in the land trusting Philip even though he was still only in his mid twenties.

In a very short time on the run up to WW2. he was as well known in Bookmaking terms as anyone.

His dress sense was immaculate, his wife Edith beautiful. a normal day in the Butler household in the period 1937 to the start of WW2 in 1939 would consist of Philip and Edith travelling to the senior meetings, were several friends all Bookmakers would carry out a mornings fishing, before commencement of racing.
Jessie would be at home running the family.

One of the meetings were they always visited as a family was Ludlow were the fishing in the river Why and Lugg, was first class, catching trout and grayling, as well as the odd salmon. this was certainly a dream existence. One day a Bookmaker called Ernest Fletcher who held several number one sight’s in the important silver ring. offered Phillip a partnership deal. after a great deal of thought, Phil agreed,
Keeping his greyhound work independant as well as his trading at the main festivals.

This was the role that Philip had created for every one wanted his participation, even though many of the independants, purchased his card. without trading to do so was an extra fee,
Fletcher offered Phillip a partnership deal at 50/50 without affecting the Top tick tak service he had created.
Meetings like Epsom, Chester Cheltenham and York were a gold mine but Phil had seen the eventuality of horseracing becoming void if his belief that a world war was imminent.

Offered a Job during the day at the Austin Motor company, within 12 months, after 1937 he was a foreman a money lender, illegal Bookmaker, and although racing except at a very few venue was to stop,
He was one of the most popular workers at the plant.
It was during the week ends, after the dogs when Phillip and his close friends would meet up with all the stars of stage (Hippodrome) people like Tommy Trinder, Arthur Askey. would be in Phil’s company, and became great friends. of many of the stars. time.Ahttp://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/8/87/Tommy_Trinder.jpg/180px-Tommy_Trinder.jpg
Any one inside would have noticed one fault in the young man’s persona, he was a massive drinker.

Every night after the dogs had finished, all of the racing gang would travel to the city centre pubs, for a massive drinking session.

Dad had purchased an Austin Rube, not a big car, but very few people had a vehicle at the time
Whist the parents were out racing, Nan Butler Jessie would take full charge of the home, getting us ready for the days shopping, were we would be dressed like little sailors, .which didn’t go down very well with some of the rougher elements, in Daisey Farm.

After the war finished Phillip Junior was now in his teens, and was a part of the Bookmaking team. for he had also become a proficient tick tack. and floorman.

It was during this period when disaster struck with the death of Ernest Fletcher George Cross and French equivalent. hilder, although it should have been the end of his lucrative partnership deal with the two Fletcher brothers, he was so well liked, by the senior Bookmakers in the midlands trade association, that the pitches were changed into Phillips name.
But still betting as Ernest Fletcher. at first it didn’t appear to be a great change, success continued,
Phil was now the Bookie, with Ernest Fletchers brother clerking and Phil Junior tick tacking.

Within 12 months, there had been a fundamental shift to the finances of the Firm.

Phil had no ability as a Bookmaker offering credit to many of the old Fletchers customers, were before Ernests death they had no such service. cash only.

In no time the firm was owed fortunes, in turn losing the cash and the customer,s was a disaster.
The War was now over and the lax regime that allowed Phil time off at the Austin when the big meetings took place, was over his contact at the work no longer in power. through mutual agreement.
Phil left the works. with over 100 staff enjoying a great party at the Licky End. pub.

By 1950 the drinking habit, that had once made Philip attractive to his many friends had become an hindrance. having lost the massive cash flow, that he had built up from 1933 to 1945, had disappeared leaving only several empty shoe boxes in there place. his memory that had made him arguably the greatest tick tak in the land, had now diminished, his credit rating under pressure.

Phillip junior was now taking a bigger role in the firm for had had gained a feel for the Book Making art,he was certainly heir apparent. hr had also taken on an Apprenticeship, as a Die Sinker. but what was to become of the firm, for flouting over our world was
a big dark cloud. and although it was 2 years away. 1951 was to be the catalyst for a serious disaster.
One that would turn the whole family on its head.

Chapter 2, “A Slithering Snake”

Stan’s God,

October 21st, 2013

No one would have ever heard of Stan the man “Bailey” this Stan’s interest in doging was at Hall Green and Perry Bar greyhounds, other than sexual.

You guessed Stan was a compulsive gambler, when I was a teenager.in the 1960s, he was a bit older than me and every time he discussed the sport of kings, (horseracing) he highlighted some great bet’s he had once had, all of them of course winning one’s.

All his great bets seemed to have been with Joe Coral “Never a Quarrel”((Joseph Kagarlitsky)during Stan’s job in Stoke Nrwington. when he moved back to the Midlands he had failed to hit a great run of winners, and somehow he seemed to relate good luck with the London Bookmaker.http://www.thegoodgamblingguide.co.uk/images/people/joe_coral_registration_card.jpg

One week however whilst in the 2nd City, he had a Yankee off all 4 won at massive prices, winning over £30,000
Drawing the money in cash, he decided to be, “The man who broke the Bank in Birmingham” betting to his maximum,

When he requested a large bet.
£3,000 win please, ” No thank you Stan, you are to Hot for us” this seemed to confirm his greatness.
He seemed to be inspirational for over 6 month. every thing he did was right.and turned to Gold.

Within no time he had doubled his cash flow by going to the race courses were he could get any amount on.
But this had its problems when some of his horses were running at far off racecourses, that were to far adrift for him to attend. .
One day he was talking to a friend explaining that if he could get in no limit he would have won a fortune.
He was asked why he didn’t go to London and bet with Joe Coral. all the rime then.

After one particular day he asked for a £5,000 double with a Birmingham great called Cutler. as they were both short priced favourites he was very angry.
Only being allowed £1,000 it was to late to get to another shop. he was gutted when they both won.

The next day he got all his flout in ready cash. and caught a train to London. and camped up in lodgings close to Waterloo Station.

He found a Coral shop not far away, up two flights of stairs the day he went he backed 3 winners out of three but was restricted in the last event,

“Give me the phone I wish to talk to Joe”

Although he had never met the great bookie they found him at the head office and Stan was put through.

Explaining his predicament.

Joe stated that it was just local rules, but if he wished to operate at the shop he wished, he would send a more senior manager to handle his larger bets.

The next day he arrived with over £45,000 in ready cash, in a hold all.

The first bet was a 10/1 winner he just had £200 Eachway, not fancying it a great deal. leading all the way it appeared his great luck was holding firm.

From that moment on he never backed a winner all that week and the first 3 days of the following week.

By the Wednesday, Stan had £4015 left, he put £35, in his top pocket to get home if need be,

And placed the £4000 on a 9/4 certainty.

With a jump to go his selection was 5 lengths clear when he seemed to be wrong footed as he landed and was run out of it on the run in being beaten a short head.

Standing in a gaze he began to walk down the stairs, his foot gave way and he caught his toe on the step. ripping his soal off the right foot. Sitting on the stairs, he placed his head in his hands,

It seemed to have been age’s before he woke his eyes and looked up there was a bald headed man, dressed in a nice suit at first his shiny head looked like a halo.

At first Stan though it was God who was going to come to his rescue. after all the gambler had certainly cried out for divine intervention. more than once during his atrocious run.

“Are you sll right Son”

Ir was obviously no God, but he soon made himself known, as the next best thing as far as Stn ws concerned Joe Coral.

Helped to a seat on the top of the stairs

Stan explained what had happened, to him and his unbelievable bad luck, over the last week.

Mr Coral. seemed to be sympathetic and placed his hand in hs inside pocket and drew out what appeared to be at least £5,000 wrapped in a sturdy elastic band,

Taking the band off the wad. Joe gave it the poor punter,

“Here you are put this round your shoe until you get home.”


Peaky Blinder.

October 17th, 2013

Well for those who have watched the 6 episodes,I am sure that you will have found it riveting.
No doubt you will read a great deal in revues, from respected historians on the subject.

However the best report of the truth is the Gangs of London by Brian McDonald, his family were one of the powerful forces and partners with Billy Kimber, in the Racecourse Wars, Thomas Shelby,s, not mentioned so how he was going to take over the industry, (Bookmakers) but never showed us.how or when.

His pals the Lees were also Pikeys, have no mention in any sporting book on the subject, I feel that they were making enough running the fairs, never mind a game that they have never excelled. Bookmaking.at Cheltenham which resembled come dancing was kept quite by my dad, who it appears was a womaniser, under my mom’s noes.

As I have already stated Come Dancing before racing at Cheltenham, is laughable and Kimbers Mansion. and Rolls Royce a figment of the directors imagination.
My father born 1907 in Golden Hillock Road opposite the BSA. was operating on all the relevant courses, and certainly the two mentioned, Cheltenham and Worcester, as a 16 year old, Tick Tac, in 1925.

The firm he worked for my Uncle Ernest Fletcher who was in the Cold stream Gaurds’s in WW1 and won the George Cross and the French equivalent. http://www.forces-war-records.co.uk/Content/Img/LegacyProcessedImages/242_Coldstream-Guards-Cap-Badge.jpg

They arrived back in 1918 and were racecourse Bookmakers under the control of William Billy Kimber during the period this film depicts. 1919.

It is true that in several silver rings and cheap enclosures and certainly the open courses, like Brighton and Epsom Pikeys (The Lee,s) had a hand for they had all the fairs and dictated quite a bit of the land. required for Bookmaking unlike the pitches you see today Leading Bookmakers had very large joints and side flags, Fairs were a major earner for the Romany Guys, Bookmakers they never were.
There is a great deal of fact, that the Shelbys were a local Birmingham gang, but never ever broke into the racecourse set up. in fact I see no mention of there name on any of the 59 race courses during 1921 to the present day.

It is not for me to challenge some of the facts of the drama, it was certainly a period were the IRA and the Communists were causing mayhem, after WW1,and I assume the stolen Guns has some truth. about it.

The drama was set in 1919. and fortunately I have something that even Brian McDonald does not posses. not even Mr Chinn who I respect as a great writer on the subect and a Bookmakers Son (Buck Chinn) and what’s more he talks like a brummie.

I have all the midland racecourse lists, that were created based upon the seniority of all racecourse Bookmakers from 1900.

In 1921 the Jockey Club, decided that they would attempt to call a halt to on course villainy. that wasn’t as easy as expected.although Retired Copper Divall made a great effort to do so.

In fact The Jewish, Italians, and the Bummies Battled away, for a few more years, before the Backers were dropped off the trade name and become the BPA Bookmakers Protection Association’s.
Many of the villains and scoundrels, formed the BPA, rather Ironic, But even they found it difficult to keep the game free of trouble. until after the Spot, Billy Hill (Not William Hill) war, and the Twins thought it was a child’s game.

Kimber had been part of local villainy and imprisoned in Winson Green in 1900 for approx 3.5 years.
I assume he may have been part of the Peaky Blinders, until he had a brain wave. and became a copper’s nark, (Divel) followed by a more successful nark in Derby Sabini,(The Flying Squad)

To see Kimber shot and killed outside the Garrison, in 1919, was a shock for he was certainly shot in the buttocks by Mr Nasty Soloman. years later, Billy jumped out of the window and taken to hospital were Solomon was charged with attempted murder, until Kimber gave evidence that it was a accident.

He had a great deal of charisma did Billy but I do not remember ever being told he was a born again Christian.

All the leading Bookmakers had there own minders during this period, and we are talking about the outside rings not Tatersalls the main encloses, had been trouble free for years, with people like Thomas Dey, (Leaves from a Bookmakers Book)
I remember being told that Kimber would take on anyone and was a shrewd individual.
To see him standing in front of the Shelbys, who were armed with Tommy guns, and he had a little pistol makes me change my mind perhaps he was as big a prat as all the others, when they could have been at Worcester racecourse betting away. and making money,

These are the names operating in the midland silver and cheap enclosures, at the time.

J Hartland
J Randall
A Bowen
Apple Hale
T Williams
G Taylor Ernie Robinson)
Hak Walker
Alf Martin
Tom Lewis
Tas Parkes
Captian Fred.(F.Sansom)
Fred Binns (W,Cope Before, Sturman)
M Sweeney.
All these were given a 1921 date when the Bookmakers and Backers Association was formed. changed later to BPA.all in all at Cheltenham there would have been 60 Bookmakers, at Worcester not a lot less. .

Kimber born (Summer Lane) in 1982 lived no more than a short distance from the Shelbys Small Heath would have known all about the Peaky Blinders, and would have dropped them like a stone.
In fact for a ferocious gang there were a little light don’t you think. One car that would hold perhaps 6.

By 1919 Kimber had all ready hit the jackpot by seeing the trouble that loose cannons on course were creating,
Stealing the entrance fee, gate calling bets out not paying and claiming if they won, following any winning client to the bar and picking him up (6 Handed and taking the money off him)
About 3 teams of Pick Pockets, all getting drunk and fighting amongst them selves,

He pulled a master stroke, went to see several track owners and agreed a fee to run the pitches,
Several of the tracks jumped at the suggestion,
For there was no way a manager would attempt to collect fee,s before or during racing.without a Kimber there would have been no racing or a Tote monopoly, Bookmakers are no fools, they knew that it had to be cleaned up. and considering the money they were making the charges for Lists, Chalk, Water, Dots and Careful s, was a small fee to pay.

When Kimber called a meeting with all the minders, already looking after there own gaffers, they didn’t take any convincing that it needed a strong force, even 50. to clear all loonies out off the courses,
Even the police who were getting beaten up themselves, had lost any control. backed the plan.


A Very Cross Dot.

October 14th, 2013

When I was younger than I am today, I was always a thinker, my father was quick to point out that I had the makings of a successful gambler, for the main ingredients of all successful gamblers is there capacity to control and never chase there loss,s.

Dont take my word for it, just read comments by the best gambler’s over the last 65 years and at the end of there tale the last chapter always contains do’s and donts. in gambling.

No 12 Dont ever CHASE.

Watching my wife, shop in her super market, makes it clear that, the last thing she does is Chase, she looks about like a Waterloo Cup finalist. (Courser) ready for the slip.if there is no bonus she will ignore the object unril it is back on offer.

During the middle of the 1940s, as a 10 year old I was taken horse-racing when no school. at least once a week, at first just as a beer fetcher.

I had picked up the art of tick tac quickly, and I was allowed to go into tatt’s and show over to the silver ring to keep the family business up to date with the price moves. by he time I was 12.

As I would arrive at least an hour before the first I loved nothing better than scour the ring for faces.

After the war the rings were full of punters, many still in uniform, in fact bookmakers who had not even been in the conflict had changed there betting board to Captain, Fred or George, no doubt being a hero was no disadvantage.

During the period before the traders first shows, I was mesmerized by the famous people who went racing. at this time.

Prince Monolulu would hold court for what seemed ages, so confident, did his spiel appear that I admit having purchased one of his shilling specials.but after I told my father, the £2 wage I had received in silver from the many bookmakers who I fetched drinks for, was taken from me as a fine. making sure that my time as a Prince Monolulu client ended as quickly as it started.

The one thing I fully remember of the time was the constant smell of tobacco.

From the moment we left home either in our little Austin Rubie, or the Worthingtin Coach that we all joined opposite the Birmingham Hippodrome, smelt no different stale smoke.

On arrival I would go into tatts, and see the earliest odds were offered by Snuffie Long, a pure brummie, with a snuff habit, that must have created 100s of apprentices, every day for he used a large silver spoon, to actually shovel the brown powder,up his nostrils one after the other. any surplus would find itself covering his lapels. from rime to time he would slap the lapels and cause a cloud of poisonous powder, making every one of his punters dart for cover.
If you disliked his habit then Eli Bradley an ex Coventry Football star, did the same, catting you at the start of a different line.
Staying out of the ring, as long as possible I used to love picking out the stars, of Stage and Film, Jockeys, who all looked the same and of course the many aristocrats, who I did not know but could guess they were what it said on the tin. Aristocrats.

I felt sorry for my many school chums, who would at the same time monitoring train numbers, to put in a little book,
Those who could not afford a book would have been birds nesting, climbing tree,s to steal some in offensive birds of there offspring.

How privileged I felt.

One of the first aristocrats I remembered was Dot, for that is what I had been told http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2010/06/03/article-1283831-09E06BAC000005DC-560_233×382.jpg

That Lady there is Dot, if you see her backing a horse of someone with her backing a horse then let us know right away for her bets will collapse the ring.

It was months later when I was told that Dot was actually Dorothy Paget, the daughter if a Lord. and her standard bet was between £5000 and £10,000

Well in 1947 she had passed her glory days but still stood out as one of the very few women in the betting rings.

Always a very polite boy, it was at Kempton, one day when the temperature was in the 30s, and standing in front of me was Miss Paget now a middle aged women, dressed in a WW1 Trench Coat that must have been made to protect from bullets.

Surrounded by friends, two pretty young women, listening to her every word.

I turned to a Bookmaker fiend of my fathers and said “shall I ask her of she wants me to fetch them an ice cream of a bottle of pop”

All the Bookmakers staff began to laugh out load,

I knew that I had said something inappropriate.

But without having to ask,
The Bookmaker explained that Miss Dorothy Paget hated Men and any Boy who was on the way be becoming a man, was just as obnoxious in her eyes,

Well at least the smell was a vast improvement, that Snuffy could offer.

Watching for a move however was not as easy as I thought, it was clear that they had discussed any transactions on the way to the course but my father was right as soon as they placed there bets, usually with William Hill alL the Bookmakers tick tac’s standing around would show a sign representing a crown on your head.
This was all the ring wanted to know, the Queen of the ring, was on..

During the period I found that a there was a further women betting in the ring not a Dot but a Pat. who also bet in massive amounts, £10,000 at a time.
The difference was that Pat Rank http://www.irishwolfhounds.org/patsyfour.JPGwas a very attractive lady who unlike Dot, used all the muscles in her face by smiling a lot In fact I did once fetch her a glass of water, and was thanked graciously. were

There had been a further women but she was always right down the rails and not an area I often worked.

I would from time to time go and take a look at the Ladbroke site for there representative was Helen Vermet, I always wished I had seen her in the 20s for she was pure class,
Dressed like a film star, an although I never placed a bet with the firm, she never seemed flustered, everything under control.

The one thing that always impressed me was the smell that come from the site, a little like Pat and Dot, but a little more classy. ,

The first thing, I noticed that there were a few women racing than the glorious 3, but they all seemed to be in the members side of the rails, and all betting with Helen.
By 1949 I had been head hunted by Abe Burnard a Blackpool Icon who only bet on the away’s so if we were at Stratford and Kempton was on at the same time Abe would offer his service for Kempton. ,

This meant I was either on top of a 10 ft stool. or at the back of the grandstand missing out on star gazing.
It was during this time when I was offering a service from behind a Bookmaker called Gus Demmy as soon as I built my stool up the smell of the famous women, came flooding back again.

When I mentioned it on the way back to Birmingham I was told how yes that’s Puffy Gus.

Every time Doncaster November Handicap is on he and his wife are off on a cruise around the world.bringing back with him fragrance for men that are not available in the UK.

Us Brits having to be happy with Old Spice.

Pat, Dot and Helen all died between 1954 and 1960. ending what I describe as one of the classiest period,s of racing. certainly a little better than Aintree Ladies Day.

The other thing I missed after moving into the off course industry from 1962 was to see William Hill and his Tommy Gun skill. no one I have ever seen in the British rings during his reign could ever bet as fast.
Taking hundreds of bets, in minutes.
I was told from a member of his staff that although he had a clerk as good as any. William could tell the workmen, within a few £. what his liabilities.

It is a pitty that not more women, go racing. although it appears they like the internet and casino games much more than the Sport of Queens.


Mass Murder.

October 10th, 2013

When I parted company from my brother and went alone in the licensed betting trade, there was one thing that I excelled and that was promotion.

When ever I bet at the races my working tools were always the best, working on the old assumption that of a punter was expected, to give you money on a horses chance of winning you had to convince that they would be paid promptly if it was successful.
The old saying it is never a crime to be poor but it is ti look it.

I doubt a high street bank would do much business if it looked like a slum.

In 1970s the big three Bookmakers of Hills, Ladbrokes and Corals, were spending fortunes on there units, making them accessible.

Even though I had only one shop, it had to be the best that I could make it, in fact the moto included in my company badge was moro when County Bookmakers was in Latin, “Not the biggest but the best”

One day I was at home contemplating a move that would get me in the local news

I had created a trophy for the return of three of the country’s, most infamous, called the Welcome Home Cup.

It had been on the front page of the SUN. no less.

The three runners were for that is what they were having done a runner from our shores

JOHN STONEHOUSE. 4/5 Favourite.


It was obvious that none of them, wished to return, so when the SUN caught Stonehouse, they wanted me to be at Heathrow when he stepped onto British soil to present him with the winners trophy. never afraid of confrontation, but the Cup (Tin)which I had purchased from a fishing tackle shop for £2.50. may have given the winner the needle.

The letter,s I received all positive, having made the British laugh, surprised even the Suns feature expert.

I was due another promotion , that would cost nothing but give my Bilston betting shop.a needed boost.

Having lived in the country side 5 miles frim Eversham, and 3 from Henly in Arden, for 10 years I was getting a little bored. having always been a city centre chap.

The wife who was a born again Greene, had been badgering me about having some chickens, fed up with the pore quality of The British Egg. she longed for fresh new layed.

One day when she was in the local Post Office she had discussed an Hen Project.and the postman’s wife had told her that she should have some worn out Hens from the Inkberrow Batery Unit, befie the go to Mahamad Husains Curry House.
She told Pauline that every 3 months, they have a clear out after the Hens had layed twice a day, every day, they were feathless and almost dead.

Howver she said, take 2 dozen at 50 pence each and just drop then into the field behind your house they lye as if dead fro three days and then gradually begining to recover in a short time the feathers will return, and begin laying again, fresh new layed Eggs,

When we arrived at the Battery Unit, there were two big sacks, with not a movement inside.

I carried them home and placed them in a empty run, with there own shed, with golden straw. a foot deep. not before the wife noticed that 3 of them were in a terrible state, and required a little jumper each,

Ever morning I would go down to the bottom of the garden to see the expected recovery.

One morning there was blood everywhere, a Renhard, Myth & Legend / European Myth & Legend) a name for a fox, had appeared and although he could not get in the shed, he had caught three by the beak, and pulled them through the small space in the fence,

Not a great start, however within a week the remaining hens were beginning to recover with beautiful new feathers,
A short while and I would let them out into the fields and I could find eggs every morning.

Week ends friends and relations would come over for a chat a glass of wine and a dozen eggs each.
Like all good things, friends, began to have just a hold dizen and then 3. every one was getting fed up of Eggs.

It was here that I planned a new promotion for my shop.

Driving to W.H.Smiths in Bromsgrove I ordered a ink stamp,


I then purchased 10 small straw https://encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRoCMy1wGURswC7vTyyaZDFIIHnwMcP2zEEZD9U3m15z-t79xT1-g

Placing a dozen eggs in the container, with the advertisement, prominently displayed.

Phoning the Express and Star I told them as it was near to easter I would be giving the New Layed Eggs away free to my older customers. http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-54kogK-6KNY/TdZ4qdPHeBI/AAAAAAAAAQ8/KrTWA4V4ZIw/s1600/P1020961.JPG

In the shop was a regular punter of mine, Albert Swale a WW1 veteran, who was always complaining about the good old days, when the meat and vegetables tasted much better.

He was reaching a century, and looked as fit as a fiddle. Ladbrokes had even refused to bet him against receiving the Queens Post card.http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_4W9tM-RIaho/TA9q4uIKnbI/AAAAAAAAABI/Er7lEo9darQ/s1600/invite+the+queen.jpg

As I arrived at the shop. there was a reporter and camera man, the punter was a professional.

“Beutiful Fresh New layed Eggs, just like the olden days.

He was arranged to hold an egg up with the Advert in display “County Bookmakers will lay anything”

With the photos and comments completed both the old veteran and the reporter, dispersed.

I made a nice cup of tea to await the front page, report approx 4.30.

Within 30 minutes however the door to the Betting Shop flew open almost kicked off its hinges.

“Were is the Bookie, The Bastard ” came the cry, standing in the doorway was the old soldier who had came back from the Somme, intact,

In his hand was a newy boiled egg placed carefully on a round of buttered toast.

Albert had already cut the egg, in slices, and like a Blackpool rock, the advert, was on every slice.


When I looked the blue dye was beginning to run into the egg, and it didn’t look nice.

“I have phoned the Police about you. the soldier raged. If I had eaten this crap I would have had Salmonella BY NOW”.

Most fortunately the other 9 gifts were still in the car, and the police decided not to charge me with attempted murder.


A Bookmakers long Memory.

October 9th, 2013

It was In the 1980s when a Licensed Bookmaker from the Black Country town of Bilston, found that Ladbrokes his main competitor, had spent a fortune doing there shop up. as it was less than 400 yards away from his shop he thought he would have to make his own shop. a little more prominent, this however was not possible as he was limited in size,
The only way he could compete was by offering wagers that Ladbrokes could or would not wish to take.

The Bookmaker had for some time had a relationship with the local press, knowing the feature writer on first named terms,
It was about time he used up a little of the friendship. in creating a wager that would be of interest to the Express and Star reader.


It had been some time since there had been a good old fashioned STREAK so he decided to concoct an interest as it was only a week away from the F.A Cup
Out came his usual printing outfit that he used print fancy bets. outside of the normal. Horses, Dogs, Football.

With the headline “Money for Nothing”, he offered 10/1 if there was a streaker in the forthcoming Saturdays FA Cup Final. his slip also contained normal double odds for 2 streakers. 100/1.

Known in the trade as a Fun bet it was picked up by the paper and was a headline, on the Monday.

STREAKERS if you Bare.”

On the Tuesday, the Bookmaker was on a day off leaving his manager, to run the shop.

At dinner time sipping a glass of Spanish sherry, there was a phone call

“Gaffer we have a young chap in the shop he want’s a Streaker bet,”

“Just bet him you don’t have to phone me to take fancy bets, use your own initiative.

15 minutes later there was a further call “I have another lad he wants the same bet,

Getting a little more interested by now he asks what the bets were,

Both want £50 @ 10/1 One Streaker and a £10 on two or more. @ 100/1.

After a moment of reflection. the experienced Bookmaker decided he would drive to his shop. to coordinate, the bets. he was beginning to get a little agitated.
Phoning back. he began to quiz his staff.
“Who were the punters have you seen them before.?
“Do you think they knew each other,”

“Well they didn’t come in the ship together but they did have the same blazer on, said the manager.”

BLAZER , don’t tell me they were college boys from the same school.
By now the Bookmaker was having a fit.

“Try to remember what the badge looked like”
One of our regular punters said he saw them and they were from KEELE.


Before the Bookie had time to mull over a conspiracy, thievery the phone rang again this time from the Express and Star, Head Office.

The feature writer had been told something of importance, and wanted to know if he could also have a bet at 10/1. x 1. and 100/1 for 2. Streakers.

The Bookmaker had come through the ranks of the betting industry, being the son of Bookmakers as far back as the 1900s
“Im sorry I have had cancell the offer, it appears that there is an organised Con being conducted. by a team of Keele students.

The reporter was a little put out having missed what could have been a certain wager.

Bilston Police, were the next body to onquire what was going on. asking me if there had been some suspicious wagers for Ladbrokes had telephoned reporting something was up in the FA Cup.Final.

This was the fist time the local one shop man, (Bookie) had grinned at least it served Ladbrokes right for being a copy cat. allowing there customers to take bets offered by someone else.

This however didn’t get him out of a sizeable loss, himself,

When he arrived at his shop. the advert displaying the wager had been taken down but the manager informed him that several strangers had requested the bet. mostly strangers. but not all.

Although personally he had not been in touch with anyone for advice, it was obvious that Ladbrokes had been in touch with the Chief Inspector of Bilston, Police.

Within a short period however a detective from the same station came into the shop.

“Morning, Have you taken any bets on a streaker, operating a scam in Saturdays FA Cup Final.?

This was well over the head of a Sargent, but it wasn’t long before the Chief Inspector was on the phone.
Thank you for phoning we have the problem under control and will coordinate with the Wembley police,
accordingly.thank you for your help.

Not content, with making a few moves, to make the wager a little harder to land.
He walked to the inside of his shop to look at his own betting Rules, to see if Streaking had a mention.
When he realized that there was nothing to safeguard from such an organised fraud. he took the rules from the wall and carried them into his office.
In no time he had began to write a new rule under special circumstance. (Fancy Bets)

We may from time to time offer bets on the outcome of important sporting events, like he Toss of a https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTXrPWKchCgjnUUhR7Q5TUOER9Zr1Uy8etakmgLnZ152WfnXEUkYQcoin

or the amount of Corners, Throw Ins, (Football) we hold the right to cancel any wager were we feel a conspiracy has taken place.or is about to.

In the case of the amount of Streakers appearing during a sporting event. the streaker will have had to reach the centre circle (Football) or the crease (Cricket) he or she will also have had to have taken off every single item of clothing. to be deemed to have streaked. even footware.https://encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQCQYRhaI86N7IgfEsKH2ELB4eH9Ea04XNgC1y703womw9oE7cw

By Saturday the Bookie was a physical but he had to carry on his role working out any winning bets, for Saturday was a very busy day, however he could not keep his eyes off the TV, Cup coverage of the big game.

As the teams moved into there positions and the captains along with the referee tossed for ends,
Sweat was running off the tip of his noes onto the two betting sips.

£50 One Streaker 10/1 and £10 for Two.at 100/1 total return £3000.

All of a sudden their was an almighty cheer, as the camera moved into the corner right behind the corner flag.

The next second a posse of Police, had caught someone and the struggle was like a rugby scrum. the next time he could see anything it was the police were nit having it all there own way.

Catch Him he cried out, all of a suden he could see that the culprit had only a pair of black socks on, the yound lad, student with long hair, of some Rock and Roller, fortunately for the Bookmaker if there had been a multiple attempt to streak they had got cold feet. and the single streaker had once again been diwned before the corner flag had been reached.

At no time did the Bookmaker ever offer, bets on a Streaker again. and spent a great seal of his time convincing himself that he had not been unfair in reporting the matter.

At least he had been more noble than Ladbrokes, he had just made it difficult to win there bet, were the Big Bookmaker had just cancelled the wager on friday night.

It was at least 5 years after the incident when a still long haired man, but now in glasses, began a conversion with the Bookie,

Do you remember me, I lost £50 to you 5 years ago, on a FA Cup Streak.

It all came back, to the Bookie, who was now a little embarrassed.

“I was the streaker”

“What happened to you”

I got a black Eye and fined £40. but became the Hero at Keele.

Placing his hand in his pocket, the Bookie, gave the ex Student, £120 for the lost bet, and £40 for the fine,

“Thank you that’s very kind of you but what about the £120 it cost me to get into the game.”

“I have knocked off the rest for the stress that your outrageous plan caused me. ”