How it all started? I put a post out on my social media page asking if anyone could print me some stickers of the graffiti mural on the wall, that could be seen behind the West Ham supporters club? Three days later, I received them while I was sitting in my local (pub). I gave my pal, for the sake of giving credit where credit is deservingly due, Vernon, the sticker as he had a printing company. So, with my idea in his hand, he went away and printed up more stickers with a brick wall effect. I’d like to point out that I’d not really brainstormed on what it was I was thinking of doing or where I wanted to go with the original idea, I was simply trying to get an idea, or put something together, as many West Ham fans saw our former ground as more than just a meeting place. But, honestly even if there wasn't a thought or feeling of loss on a large scale, a few of us 'old heads' weren't going to simply let our old girl's (the Boleyn ground) memory 'fade and die', no pun intended! I put them finished stickers onto my friends page and there was an immediate interest, as soon as word got out, just within the local West Ham Fans, the stickers went like hot cakes. This was quite heart warming if I'm being quite honest!
Still, no real idea or business plan, but a few of us took what we thought was a good idea to the next level - the whole, ‘been there, done that, got the t shirt’. We then came up with an idea to print plain claret colored shirts with our logo in blue printed across the front. From there, I then set up another page to promote the stickers and the shirts called, Long Live The Boleyn memorabilia and merchandise page. The t-shirts became popular, so we added colours and then polo shirts. Another friend got some scarves done and we then had a make shift stall outside the Carpenters Arms pub, selling scarves, hats and our small range of shirts. Unfortunately, the East End’s once true and famous practice of, ‘there for each other’, was no longer a common practice or belief, as we had to move from the pub - someone reported us. Jealousy always raises its ugly head; I just laughed it off really, I’m sure we have some opposing fans in the community. We then found another location for our stall and cracked on. Since the original idea and stall, we’ve done what we believe is more than just knocking out a few t-shirts and pieces of memorabilia. We no longer have a stall, but we’ve trademarked the logo and now sell a range of 17 different design shirts Also hats, scarves, towels and accessories, but it’s mainly shirts.
Keeping it ‘local’ - Not long after starting the site, we heard of a local girl that was in need of some much needed life saving help. Being who we are and what we stand for, we started a launch bringing awareness and support for a local girl in the community. Three-year-old Isla Caton, from Hornchurch in East London, was diagnosed with neuroblastoma and needed urgent treatment to save her life. I’d read that she was originally only given about a 40% chance of surviving if left untreated. We started with 400 or so West Ham badges with team Isla on in pink - all money from sales went to the Isla Caton fund; a charity we have proudly supported for over 2 years since she was diagnosed. We regularly donate money through auctions and towel sales. Other charities have benefited from LLTB, including those diagnosed with prostate cancer and a couple of hospices and donations made to individuals in need with a ‘West Ham connection’. We are proud that we support charities, especially little Isla. Also, I'll promote any West Ham boxers with ticket sales etc. We’re big believers and supporters of the whole ‘Home grown and local community’ belief. The page has grown now and has almost 13500 members, with various functions re –unions, and get togethers have also been arranged through the page. Primarily the page was for our merchandise, but I believe in respecting everyone’s opinions on topical West Ham events, so we all encourage debate and old pictures.
Me, on a personal level? I've supported West Ham since 1968, met many good people over the years and it's a pleasure to run a page like LLTB. I'm looking to expand the name to be more generic and appeal to all, as football has and always be the best sport, and being born, bread and raised in the heart of the East End, along with West Ham, I believe it’s a moral responsibility of those like minded supporters and fans of the beloved game to always build and maintain that platform - giving light to the English mans game. Just an alternative opinion and much needed and shared belief as a side note to West Ham; I was gutted to see the club move. I lived opposite the old ground and have many good memories from the gaff. I've supported the local people with their quest to keep the old statue where it belongs opposite the Boleyn pub.
Mean Machine includes many, previously untold, tales from Roy's colorful life.
Roy Shaw 'Mean Machine!'
Best Selling Author Jamie Boyle with Roy's son Gary Shaw
Pre-order on Kindle now: https://amzn.to/2UMTeOS
Official Release Date: 12th May 2019
The definitive story of East End Hard Man Roy Shaw, as told by the Shaw family.
Mean Machine includes many, previously untold, tales from Roy's colourful life.
This explosive first novel from a reformed career criminal comes with authenticity stamped throughout and blows all the other so-called crime books out of the water. 'The Essex Boys ' Don't make Horace laugh. Sounds like one of them knock-off Chippendale striptease acts that performs in working mens clubs and bingo halls. Some Muscle-Marys drive to a supposed drug meet on an unlit country road and get their nuts blown off. JUDAS PIG is the real deal, written by someone who lived the life, not the lie. This is a man who has had a contract hanging over him for twenty years and ain't dead yet. By contrast his enemies seem cursed. One has not long ago been publicly humilated having lost a multi-million pound lawsuit and now faces financial ruin. The same man's former solicitor was also struck off by The Law Society. Also, two men hired to kill the author are both dead. One by 'natural causes' while another was shot dead outside a pub in east London. Meanwhile, a third man, a treacherous little toerag by the name of Gary 'Tichy' Oxley, will probably die in prison after being sentenced to life for the gangland murder of Joey Oliffe in 2009. The author awaits with expectant anticipation to see what tragedy or misfortune befalls the remaining bottom-feeding scavangers feasting on the leftovers in this sordid swamp. And unlike other supposed gangsters, you won't ever catch Horace Silver standing on nightclub doors in a penguin suit, or following criminals around with his tongue hanging out, and a bulge in his trousers. Fact: Having your picture taken with gangsters don't make you a gangster. If it did then surely Barbara Windsor would be the most feared woman in London.
The follow up to Judas Pig; The Charity Committee was banned for years because of legal action from a person it featured in the book, but finally a high court judge ruled against him because there wasn't enough evidence to show he was a crime lord and the book has reappeared. Although printed for a limited run, it reached the hardened fans of the first book.
A rare interview with the author
THE CHARITY COMMITTE WAS RE-WRITTEN BY THE AUTHOR IN JULY 2013, USING THE REAL NAMES OF THE BOOK'S MAIN PROTAGONISTS. THE RIGHTS WERE THEN SOLD TO AN AMERICAN PUBLISHING COMPANY IN THE SAME MONTH. IT IS BELIEVED THAT AROUND 3750 PAPERBACK COPIES WERE PRINTED. SINCE THAT DATE THE AUTHOR HAS HAD NO FINANCIAL OR OTHER INTEREST IN THE CHARITY COMMITTEE, AND THEREFORE IS UNABLE TO COMMENT ON RUMOURS, THAT THE PAPERBACK VERSION OF THE BOOK IS NOW AVAILABLE IN BOOKSHOPS IN LONDON AND DUBLIN.
A THIRD BOOK BY THE AUTHOR WILL BE RELEASED SOMETIME IN THE FUTURE.
Danny “Longdog” O’Halloran, in some trusted circles also known as Skinny Dan, born in 1936 , died in July 2005 is the subject of this play. He was a member of London gangland. A personal friend of Charlie Wilson and a mate of “Mad” Frankie Fraser. A contemporary of the Great Train Robbers and during the time of the Krays.
This play is by his son Ryan Simms. A young man who, to his father’s horror decided to go into acting. Dan was very much against him following in his father’s footsteps and becoming a villain. He wanted his son to be respectable - a straight goer, working a trade or even in an office.
But Ryan was fascinated in the life story of his father and wanted to play the role of his father and tell the story without making him a hero. Danny may have been a thief and a murderer, but he was a thief and a murderer with a high level of old school values - integrity and a sense of morals. But, even with the tools of his trade being shot guns and knives, to his son Ryan, he was just Dad.
Danny got into crime at a very early age, making his way robbing banks, fighting with his contemporaries, leading into murder. He knew the Krays and the first few minutes of the show outlines his experiences with them. However, unlike the infamous Kray twins, he was not part of the glamorous gangster set. He robbed banks for a living and kept out of the limelight. As a family friend once said, “The limelight is for those that are either too tired or didn’t get the job done right”.
Prairie Flower is what “Longdog” called his wife, Ryan’s mother, fashioned after his love of western pictures. Indeed, he refers to Clint Eastwood’s spaghetti westerns including The Good, The Bad and the Ugly – which could easily be the title of this piece.
The show is in two parts and the second part is about his experiences in prison serving a ten year sentence and in solitary for three months. That meant living with electric light on night and day, sleeping in a cold cell ridden with cockroaches, no books, no paper to write on no pens. All he could do was sit and think and later to tell his tale to his son Ryan.
In two hours we learn of Ryan’s old man’s life of – sometimes violent – crime. Although he was a family man and loved his wife, we discover he also had a dark side and the last thing he wanted was his son to become was a poncey actor.
The secret of storytelling is to engage your audience, and, unlike in the States, it’s not always about winning. As any Irish storyteller worth their Guinness will tell you, it’s the way you tell ’em. And Ryan with his director have developed a style that not only engages the audience but also takes them on a journey to yesterday.This is theatrical performance produced and shown as it was meant to be - raw, edgy, realistic and above all - truthful. It’s just two chairs and lights that can only be on or off.
Ryan learnt his acting skills from the poor School and Paul Caister, the founder of this institution helped Ryan to develop the script and directs the play. Caister shares the stage playing himself, sitting on another chair.
Many have said it’s a loss to the community as the Poor School has since closed – especially since we seem to be going back to the pre-Angry Young Man days of “posh” actors. Or perhaps that’s just a trend.
Ryan Simms, son of Danny O'Halloran
Rarely in the long history of British rock’n’roll has there been a story of such depth, magnitude and sheer turbulence as that of the Cockney Rejects.
"We're from East London - born 'n bred!"
The band were formed in the late Seventies in East London as an answer to the art school punk that had dominated the scene up until then.
Fiercely working class in stance and attitude, the band eschewed the political ramblings of punk’s first wave and sang about the circumstances that surrounded them and millions of street kids in Britain’s inner cities- Police harassment, street battles and football to name three.
Signed by EMI after playing four local gigs (less than the pistols!) they found themselves playing sell out tours the length and breadth of the UK and seeing their debut album storm the charts.
Top of the pops appearances followed, which became the stuff of legend as the band generally ran amok in the hallowed White city studios, finally getting banned from the show for their boisterous behavior.
In 1980 the band recorded a riotous version of ‘I’m forever blowing bubbles’ to celebrate the fact that their beloved West Ham United had reached the FA cup final that year, but their devotion to all things claret and blue proved to be their downfall as the gigs became battlegrounds between the band and rival supporters, culminating in the vicious ‘Battle of Birmingham’ that led to serious criminal charges that in turn led to the band being finished as a touring unit.
With the band’s first phase being over, in the interim they were discovered by a brand new fanbase such as US bands Rancid and Green Day, who cherished the Rejects and their terrace punk singalong anthems which, in turn, inspired a new generation of kids to check them out.
Due to overwhelming demand, the band returned to the live circuit in 2000, and have since gone from strength to strength, playing to hundreds of thousands of people across the globe with a live set that is so energetic that it has to be seen to be believed.
With the fractionalization of the late ‘70’s and early ‘80’s now gone for good, with every gig becoming a party for fans and band alike, the Cockney Rejects go from strength to strength.
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