Saturday, 30 December 2017

It really did happen ...... Boy Jones and Millie the Mole ........ The story of one house in Lausanne Road no. 52

Now the story of Millie the Mole and Boy Boy Jones has lived with me ever since I was told about the pair.

The back of Lausanne Road, circa 1955
They  lived in our house in the 1950s and according to cousin Mary he drove the getaway car for a smash and grab gang.

I first featured them in The story of one house in Lausanne Road over a century and half, and of one family who lived there in the 1950s.*

I was too young to remember them but they were just some of the people who rented rooms in my parent’s house on Lausanne Road.

Now this was the period just after the last world war and housing was still in short supply, and most people lived in rented accommodation.

It was the age of the private landlord and “living in rooms” was commonplace.

Ours was a tall terraced house built sometime in the last quarter of the 19th century. It had nine rooms spread out over three floors, with cellars and a long garden.

I don’t know how many lodgers we had at any one time, but until the arrival of my twin sisters in 1955, there was just mum dad and me. So after accounting for the three downstairs rooms and the bath room, this still left enough for a collection of paying customers.

The back in 2010
But back dear reader to Millie the Mole and Boy Boy Jones. Now smash and grab raids were at the cutting edge of big time crime.

The gang would choose a suitable jewellers and using a brick and pick axe handle smash the window, grab the loot and escape in the waiting car. Boy Boy Jones was the driver.

A career which came to an abrupt end when he drove off during a raid, leaving the gang to struggle along a crowded Peckham High Street, with assorted diamond rings, a necklace and several watches.

Needless to say their progress was somewhat hampered by the loot and the Saturday shoppers and they were caught.

Boy Boy Jones remained free which was not necessarily a good thing for Millie, who according to cousin Mary their relationship  was tempestuous at the best of times and led on "one occasion to Boy Boy arousing the street as he dangled her out of one of the upstairs windows by her wrists".

From the front, 2007
As stories go it caught my imagination and has fascinated me ever since.

But with all good stories there is always that nagging doubt about the veracity of the tale which with the
passage of over sixty years is now lost in time.

Or so I thought until Gerry responding to the story yesterday commented, "I knew BoyBoy Jones he was my mates older brother their family home was Tustin Street. 

He always drove a big American car. He was the only person I'd ever seen with an old white fiver. 

Wasn't around much as he spent some time at Her Majesty's Pleasure. If it's the same one, and it seems to be, his name was Arthur, I know he was infamous as a getaway driver and he was a nice bloke to us kids ”**

And that is that.

Picture; Lausanne Road circa 1955 and in 2010 and in 2007, from the collections of Andrew Simpson and  Elizabeth and Colin Fitzpatrick

*The story of one house in Lausanne Road,

**Gerry Gough, 2017

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