Thursday 11 July 2013

The real Francis 'Tanky' Smith

Hey guys;

I was interested to find a fairly new article by a local writer and blogger, giving a more pictorially supported summary of Francis 'Tanky' Smith, who features in my current 'Borough Boys' series of novels.

I have attached a link below, which is a lovely view of the images from Top Hat Terrace, 119 London Road, Leicester, which Tanky commissioned his son to build with the proceeds from Tank's investigation into the infamous 'Winstanley case'...

Given the time that Tanky was active, both as a detective within the Borough Force and then later, as a private detective, and viewing some of the variations of hats, caps and beards that he wore whilst going under cover, it begs the question 'how long could he have remained disguised?'.

Given a population of about 64,000 at the time, and a small and hard town centre 'clientelle', riddled with crime gangs, he must have become quite recogniseable to villains.

That being said, many of those that he and his partner Thomas 'Black Tommy' Haynes arrested and had convicted, were either subjected to long and harsh terms of imprisonment, transportation or execution! So, probably, every time one went down, his chances were increased of a little longer time 'incognito'.

What I do appreciate is the professionalism and courage that it must have taken to even place himself in such a situation, with so little support...

Brave guys!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the link to my blog. I've had several hits from your blog and had to look in to see where they were coming from. Tanky Smith seems to have quite a character with full confidence in his own abilities. You may have got yourself a new reader here.


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