365 DAYS…….


It has been popinted out that my stakes had been increased to £10 yesterday, not £8. So that was an extra £2×7 on the returns.
DAY 38
c/f today is now £277. stakes increased to £12. (When stakes reach £20 they will not increase further)
Coverholder 1.20 D won @ 4/1 – 48 £229
Close Touch 1.55 D lost + 12 £241
Midnight Oscar 3.05 D lost + 12 £253
Sacre Toi 4.35 D lost + 12 £265
Shuil Royal 2.40 H lost +12 £277
Flaming Gorge 4.15 H lost + 12 £289
Bright Abbey 2.15 T lost + 12 £301
Niki Royal 3.55 T lost + 12 £313
Norwegian Reward 5.05 W lost 12 £325

A lot of selections today, so expect a few winners among them. The secret to showing a profit is to control the price of the winners. I don’t normally lay anything over 4/1. Remember that a 5/1 winner wipes away all the profit from 5 losers.
Still on a roll! 8 from 9. stakes now increased to £15

Are England the new Brazil? After last night’s results they might be! All the newcomers – the likes of Cleverley, Walcott, Wiltshire, Welbeck etc proved that they have what it takes to mix with the best. And they showed no fear, which is what has been lacking in England teams of recent times. This could be the beginning of the best England team we have seen for many years.


chapter four
When Larry wasn’t stuck in the racing pages, he was plotting new ways of making money. We knew we were petty thieves – small fry in the world of crime – but, as, we kept telling ourselves, it was better than working for a living. Anyway, we could dream, couldn’t we? Today, knocking off market stalls; tomorrow the Great Train Robbery!
Lock-up premises became our speciality, and the railway line that ran behind our house was very convenient for the places we set out to rob. It traversed the Harrow Road and snaked round Scrubs Lane, where there were plenty of warehouses and factories suited to our purpose. We only selected places that had no night watchman; not that we felt cowardly or anything, but we didn’t want the added complication of assault included in our armoury. For one thing, it got the police more interested. For another, it was property we wanted to hit not people.
Between nine and eleven at night was the best time to be about our business; it was late enough for the premises to be empty, but not late enough to arouse the suspicions of the police if they spotted you in the vicinity.
Our initial efforts were purely speculative; taking what we hoped we could sell; typewriters, adding machines, offices chairs etc. These we lugged along the railway line, scampering up the embankment whenever a train was heard approaching. The following day we loaded them into Larry’s van, selling them to a guy that operated a second-hand office furniture business from a railway arch near Queens Park station.
Once, we broke into the lock-up petrol station along the Harrow Road from us, Larry being convinced that the takings were locked away in a filing cabinet every night. It backed onto the railway, so it was chicken feed to jemmy the back door open. We searched in vain for the money; all we found in the cabinet was lots of blank Green Shield books – and hundreds of sheets of stamps. We took the lot with us, then spent most of the night licking and sticking – something which Chris thought hilarious. Still, we managed to raise about thirty quid for our efforts.
Larry was mechanical- minded and liked messing about with old record players and other gadgets, repairing them then selling them on. He even rebuilt a juke-box once, and had it installed in the nearby café that we used, splitting the proceeds with the owner. Then he got hold of a high-powered air pistol, which he adapted to fire ball-bearings. Afterwards, we took a trip to the dump, found some old plate glass and tried it out. I was amazed at the results; a neat hole in the glass every time.
Armed with this contraption, we ventured out in the van in the evenings, seeking suitable lock-up jewellers. After we’d located one, we parked close by, and having made sure the street was clear, fired at the jewellers window through a hole we had made in the side of the van. The resultant hole in the glass was large enough to enable us to fish out small items of jewellery using a length of coat-hanger wire. We sold the proceeds from a briefcase down the Portobello Market on Saturday mornings, one of us keeping a sharp look-out for the law.
Ironically, the closest we came to the police was when a couple of thieving bastards snatched the briefcase and legged it in the direction of Ladbroke Grove. A nearby stall-holder gave chase, and somebody else went searching for a copper. We decided that discretion was the better part of valour and made ourselves scarce.
The operation gradually fizzled out, partly because of the publicity it received, but mainly due to technological advances. The new trembler alarms tended to go off if you as much as looked at them, and after we’d set a few of them ringing we decided to call it a day.
We got into the habit of frequenting the Ace café, an all-night dive that was more than an eating house for many who used it. It was a meeting place, a way of life, perhaps even a home for some. It looked as if it had fallen off the back of some passing lorry and had landed lopsidedly on the edge of the North Circular Road, near Stonebridge Park station. There it sat, it’s neon sign blazing, the jukebox blasting, attracting the flotsam and jetsam of the city just as easily as it absorbed the grime from the passing traffic
Inside, there were bikers, long-distance lorry drivers, small-time villains like ourselves, probably a few hookers, definitely a sprinkling of people of no fixed abode. Sometimes, we sat there drinking strong coffee, playing sad songs on the jukebox. And watching all the lonesome faces as ‘Take These Chains From My Heart’ and ‘Are You Lonesome Tonight?’ permeated the fried-bacon and dog-roll atmosphere. Some nights Eleanor Rigby turned up, pushing her worldly goods before her in a battered pram. We called her Eleanor because she said John Lennon had seen her there one night and written the song for her. She was about sixty, lived in a steel container near Wembley Stadium, and nearly always sported two bright red slashes of lipstick that never quite lined up with her lips. She invariably sang along in a high screeching voice whenever someone played the record on the jukebox;
‘All the lonely people / where do they all come from
All the lonely people / where do they all belong’
‘The Beatles in the Ace?’ said Larry. ‘I fucking doubt it’.
Looking around me, I wasn’t so sure.

extract from CRICKLEWOOD COWBOYS. ebook available from http://www.smashwords.com


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