An Evening at El Morocco with the Kray Twins and Barbara Windsor

Frances Shea (1943 - 1967, far left) and her husband, English gangster Reggie Kray (1933 - 2000, far right) with actress Barbara Windsor and her husband Ronnie Knight, an associate of the Krays, at the El Morocco nightclub, owned by the Kray Twins in Soho, London, 30th April 1965. (Photo by Larry Ellis/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Frances Shea and her Reggie Kray with actress Barbara Windsor and her husband Ronnie Knight, an associate of the Krays, at the El Morocco nightclub, owned by the Kray Twins in Soho, London, 30th April 1965. (Photo by Larry Ellis/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

In 1964 a man called Hew McGowan, a wealthy baronet’s son, bought a nightclub in Gerrard Street (now the main part of Chinatown in London). Originally called the Bon Soir he hoped to refurbish it and that Christmas reopen it under the new name of the Hideaway. It was said that McGowan offered the Kray twins, who were wanting extend their influence into the West End, 20% percent of the venture. To the great displeasure of the two East End gangsters and a huge disregard for his own safety McGowan reneged on the deal. Not surprisingly it wasn’t long before the Twins were demanding money with menaces from the Hideaway’s owner. It was with surprise, however, that McGowan went to the police and the Twins were arrested. Despite the thirty-one year old twins offering sureties of £18,000, bail was refused and they were remanded in custody to Brixton prison.

After three trials and almost certain extensive jury nobbling the twins were eventually found not-guilty. This they celebrated by buying the Hideaway nightclub, changing its name to El Morocco and throwing a big party actually at the club.

British actor Edmund Purdom (1924 - 2009, left) with Frances Shea (1943 - 1967, right), wife of English gangster Reggie Kray, at the El Morocco, a nightclub owned by the Kray Twins, in Soho, London, 30th April 1965. The Kray twins' mother, Violet Kray, is at centre (in dark dress), sitting to her right is Dolly Kray, wife of Charlie. Actress Adrienne Corri is at far left. (Photo by Larry Ellis/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Frances Shea, wife of Reggie Kray, seems unimpressed with actor Edmund Purdom at the El Morocco, a nightclub owned by the Kray Twins, in Soho, London, 30th April 1965. She had married Reggie just ten days earlier. The Kray twins’ mother, Violet Kray, is at centre (in dark dress), sitting to her right is Dolly Kray, wife of Charlie. Actress Adrienne Corri is at far left. (Photo by Larry Ellis/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

 

Frances Shea (1943 - 1967, far right) with her husband, English gangster Reggie Kray (1933 - 2000, standing, third from left) and celebrity guests at the El Morocco, a nightclub owned by the Kray Twins, in Soho, London, 30th April 1965. Kray has his hand on the shoulder of British actor Edmund Purdom (1924 - 2009). Behind Reggie can be seen his brother Charlie (1926 - 2000). At centre is Actress Adrienne Corri with her arm around Welsh actor Victor Spinetti (1929 - 2012). On his left can be seen Charlie's wife Dolly who in turn sits next to the twins' mother, Violet Kray. (Photo by Larry Ellis/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Frances Shea with Reggie Kray (standing, third from left) and celebrity guests at the El Morocco, a nightclub owned by the Kray Twins, in Soho, London, 30th April 1965. Kray has his hand on the shoulder of British actor Edmund Purdom. Behind Reggie can be seen his brother Charlie. At centre is actress Adrienne Corri with her arm around Welsh actor Victor Spinetti. On his left can be seen Charlie’s wife Dolly who in turn sits next to the twins’ mother, Violet Kray. (Photo by Larry Ellis/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

 

British actor Edmund Purdom (1924 - 2009, left) with Frances Shea (1943 - 1967, right), wife of English gangster Reggie Kray, at the El Morocco, a nightclub owned by the Kray Twins, in Soho, London, 30th April 1965. The Kray twins' mother, Violet Kray, is at centre (in dark dress), sitting to her right is Dolly Kray, wife of Charlie. Actress Adrienne Corri is at far left. (Photo by Larry Ellis/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Edmund Purdom with Frances Shea at the El Morocco, a nightclub owned by the Kray Twins, in Soho, London, 30th April 1965. The Kray twins’ mother, Violet Kray, is at centre (in dark dress), sitting to her right is Dolly Kray, wife of Charlie. Actress Adrienne Corri is at far left. (Photo by Larry Ellis/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

12th May 1965:  From left to right, actor George Sewell, London gangster Reggie Kray, actress Barbara Windsor and Reggie's brother Ronnie Kray, at the El Morocco nightclub.  (Photo by Larry Ellis/Express/Getty Images)

From left to right, actor George Sewell, London gangster Reggie Kray, actress Barbara Windsor and Reggie’s brother Ronnie Kray, at the El Morocco nightclub. (Photo by Larry Ellis/Express/Getty Images)