“Reg Kray’s Book of Slang”

Reg Kray“Although some of Reg’s relationships with other inmates were sexual, the majority were not. It was trust and loyalty that he sought most. At Parkhurst he found them in a young inmate called Steve Tully. They embarked on a project collecting Cockney, criminal and American slang words to make into a book. During the following months Reg dredged through his memory trying to recall all the common phrases of his childhood; he also wrote to everyone he knew. Between them, and in collaboration with his now-released old friend Patsy Manning, he and Steve Tully produced a manuscript. It was named simply Reg Kray’s Book of Slang. On its completion Reg felt a tremendous sense of achievement…

… By this time Slang had been published but, due to various problems, it met with little success. Distributed through Patsy Manning, major bookshops seemed reluctant to take the title, probably due in equal parts to its infamous author and its publishing origins– and unknown company called Wheel and Deal. In 1985 it was rare for a convicted criminal to write any kind of book. It wasn’t until 1988 when Our Story, compiled in conjunction with Fred Dinenage, was published that the floodgates opened and the public’s fascination with the world of crime revealed an entirely new career option for a number of ex-cons in search of a more comfortable retirement.”

Reg Kray: A Man Apart, Roberta Kray, Sidgwick & Jackson, 2002.

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