There is sure to be great interest when a number of Ronnie Biggs' belongings go under the hammer soon, with an auction of the infamous late Great Train Robber's possessions to be held later this month. Biggs died in December 2013, but it is only now that a number of items such as a wristwatch and signet ring that he wore during the historic robbery are to be sold.
Northampton-based auctioneer JP Humbert have made it known that the sale will go ahead on 18th February, with additional items also likely to be of interest to those interested in criminal memorabilia being sold, such as original £1 and 10 shilling notes that were stolen during the robbery. Indeed, it seems that contrary to standard auction lots, the sale will include a number of rather bizarre items, such as ignition keys and petrol caps from the getaway vehicles that were used. Criminologists may also be interested in a length of wire that the robbers used to alter railway signals at the time, plus pieces from a Monopoly set that the robbers played with at their hideout.
It is planned for the initial sale to act as a forerunner to a further sale of around 1000 lots in June, which will include many items relating to the Great Train Robbery that have been personally authenticated by members of the gang. The auctioneers are banking on the enduring appeal of the historic robbery and the fact that items relating to it are rarely put up for auction.
Ronald ("Ronnie") Arthur Biggs became headline news in 1963 when he was involved in the Great Train Robbery, which reports suggested rewarded the robbers to the tune of £2.6million, of which Biggs' share of the heist was alleged to be around £147,000. Biggs was arrested by police after his fingerprints were found on a ketchup bottle that the police found at the gang's hideout at Leatherslade Farm.
He served 15 months in Wandsworth prison, but escaped in 1965 and lived for 36 years outside Britain as a fugitive, living in many places around the globe to escape further incarceration back in his home country.
By 2001, he decided that he wanted to return home and was re-incarcerated, but his health deteriorated while in prison, resulting in him being released on compassionate grounds in 2009. He died in 2013 while staying in a nursing home. #Celebrities