Fox and Grapes 1963 - murder


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I was thinking about the infamous Fox and Grapes murder of 1963 and wondered if I could find out more about it. A 'google' revealed the following article in truecrimelibrary.com. does anyone else remember it?

Quote:

"In Nottingham, the locals at the Fox and Grapes were in good spirits. Forest had beaten Wolves 3-0 that day, Saturday, September 7th, 1963, and were soon to head the First Division table. The Beatles were at No. 1 with “She Loves You,” and everyone was having a good old sing-song before 10.30 chucking-out time.

When the doors finally closed, landlord George Wilson and his wife Betty poured themselves a quiet winding-down drink together. After that George took his pub dog Blackie, a rough-haired mongrel, for a walk. He never came back.

It is doubtful whether George ever saw his attacker, for the first of 14 savage stabs with a bowie knife penetrated the base of his skull. Pieces of slate from a nearby low roof suggested that the killer had jumped down before the attack, but no money was taken from George’s wallet.

Blackie, speckled with his master’s blood, ran back to the pub and scratched frantically at the door. But by the time an ambulance arrived the landlord of the Fox and Grapes was dead.

A witness described a man running down Longden Street at 12.50 a.m. He was wearing a green Robin Hood type of hat, a light-coloured raincoat and appeared to have a chisel in his hand. “The running man,” as he came to be known, was never traced.

A month later the murder knife was found in its sheath in a ditch on the road between Nottingham and Radcliffe-on-Trent, probably thrown from a passing car. Faint traces of blood on the weapon matched those of the victim.

The blade was bent at its tip and when it was extracted from the body it acted like a hook on the landlord’s clothes, picking up strands from his shirt and jacket. When it was put back in its sheath after the murder, the strands became detached and locked in the sheath until they were discovered by forensic scientists.

But there was no motive. George Wilson had no enemies, although two months earlier he had received an anonymous death threat.

The police had been tipped off that the Fox and Grapes was on the hit-list of a gang of Nottingham burglars. The gang and their associates were questioned, but nothing came of it.

At least five people confessed to the killing. One of them was a Dartmoor prisoner who said he got into an argument with George Wilson when the landlord made a few jokes at the expense of Nottingham Forest in their game that day with Wolves. He, like the other four, couldn’t identify either the murder weapon or pictures of the victim and they were dismissed from the inquiry." End quote

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I have finally given birth!      

At last! No more avenues to explore, no more waiting for emails from the National Archives to tell me, "No, you can't have a look!" My short work on the Pretty Windows murder is finally finished!

It's because of this so called snowflake culture we have these problems in todays society, we were all warned by a certain Mr Powel in his "rivers of blood" speech, it was the snowflake culture then t

The knife could never have been connected with the murder by blood staining.

There was no DNA in those days. It could only identify blood by type.

Which could belong to millions of people. Hence the fibre evidence

If I remember right those were the days when provincial forces called in the Met to investigate undetected murders and

that this was done.

Though I believe the first Forensic Science Lab in the country, per Chief Athelstone Popkess ,was located at the back of the Mechanics Institute opposite Nottingham Central Police Station.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Interesting... Am i right in thinking that the Fox & Grapes was the Fox & Hounds (netherfield) previous name??

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This particular Fox and Grapes was in Sneinton Market, opposite the Parliament Street bus depot.

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NO FOX AND HOUNDS HAS ALWAYS BEEN CALLED THAT. JACKIE BELLS USED TO BE THE RAILWAY HOTEL UNTILL QUITE RECENT TIME WHEN IT WAS REFURED AND WAS GIVEN ITS LOCAL NAME ALWAYS USED BY THE LOCAL PEOPLE NAMED AFTER THE LANDLORD IN THE 1930S AND 40S , IT BECAME KNOWN AS JACKIE BELLS AND SO IT STOOK EVEN AFTER HE LEFT AND WHEN IT WAS REFURBED A VOTE WAS TAKEN LOCALLY AS TO ITS NAME WHEN IT REOPENED AND LOCALS WONE WITH THIS NAME BY ABOUT 90 PERCENT

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Nobody local called it the Fox and Grapes...it was always known as Pretty Windows because of the stained glass.The knife was found shortly afterwards on the Radcliffe By Pass.Shortly afterwards a caravan on a site in Radcliffe was burned out.There were rumours at the time that the local plod linked this to the murder.There was talk of the caravan being linked to a group of homosexuals which was a big no no in those days.The local gay community were very tight knit and further information was not forthcoming...the leads dried up.

I heard in later years that a couple of detectives involved in the case had a good idea of the motive, and had a prime suspect for the murder.But they just couldn't gain enough solid evidence to bring the case to court.

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I had read the murder was linked to "a Scottish gang" who were known for robbing pubs? wonder what caravan site at Radcliffe it refers to? As far as I am aware the one at bottom of Wharf Lane was not in existance in 1963? and the one on the bypass not there till much later.

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Now it's funny that Pixie raises the name "Fox and Grapes" for the pub now known as the "Fox and Hounds" near Carlton Station, as I referred to it by that name in another thread and got shouted down !!

I'm probably wrong but can some body find out if it ever was known by that name?

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  • 11 months later...

I remember the fox and grapes pup well don't want to upset you but my father in law who was much older than me told me that it was called Pretty windows because when all the notts poachers went for a drink they used to hang all the rabbits, hares,etc.on the railings of the windows. mary 1947

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Re the quote, Great, now you're telling me I live on some gay site, thought I was getting some funny looks,lol! Re the burning of caravan, it does happen, re the that murder (there was another one at the pub not that long ago) I have an alibi, was in Mablethorpe on holiday

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The only caravan park that I ever knew of in RoT was at the end of Wharf Lane back in the 50s and at least upi to early 62 when we left RoT. I never knew of any other caravan park in RoT.

The folk that lived down there in the caravan park were a strange lot and we used to avoid them or, take the p**s out of them and then depart fast...very fast.

You would never go down there after dark and we would even give it a wide berth during daylight hours.

Never knew or saw any kids from down there, either at school or joining our lot up on the Rec.

Ashley states that the caravan park was not there in 63 so the authorities must have done the right thing and cleaned it out. It was nothing but a shanty town anyway with old early model caravans (the plywood type) and shacks and was always cold and damp down there and had a strange smell and air about the place!

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I too lived in a caravan in my early years. I was about 11.

We lived in the New Forest on a very nice site in a place called Dibden Purlieu.

Before moving it to a small site in Bucknall Lincolnshire (bad winter of 62-63!)

I have a friend who lives on one in D*rby. These sites are very nice nowadays,

and not to be confused with Travellers sites, Gay or otherwise.

Thanks for the updates on F&G Murder :)

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The Radcliffe site still exists, lived here 10 years, though now called a park home site with top of range new ones on there going for over £140,00 and a push to get as many on as they can (legally) were even putting some bases in last week, by mid week they were under water! not sure whether they will go ahead now though, re children down there not sure re !960's etc but for years have had to be 40 or 50, to live there

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I remember the Fox & Grapes murder. As a school lad at the time I remember seeing posters all over the place with the picture of a Bowie knife. What really stuck in my mind was the poster was put on all Co-op milk floats, first time I had seen this. Strange how some things stay in your mind.

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i remember harold well and as you say always in my lifetime called fox and hounds and my mum always called it that and she lived in netherfield from 1915 to 1963 still using the fox and hounds untill after my dads death in 1989 in fact the day he died they had been drinking in there at the lunch time and were on there way back to arnold with my sister when he collapsed and later died at tea time.

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  • 2 years later...

I was questioned about the " pretty windows murder" Had to go to the police station opposite Victoria Baths. I had been at my girlfriends,and was reported as not at home by my dads partner!! About my only claim to fame!

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  • 1 year later...

Well the windows & frames were certainly decorative, I can see why it was known as the "Pretty Windows:crazy:

 

 

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I was there on the night of the murder! and about the same time. A friend and I were standing on the front steps waiting for the late night bus after a night out in Nottingham. Whilst there a young guy in an unusual 'mini' pulled up, it was unusual because it had a boot, (the Riley and Wolseley variants hadn't come out at the time) Young guy, very short hair and wearing what was called an Italian box jacket mohair suit. Said he was from Portsmouth and had hired the car from Swan car hire. He asked could we direct him towards the A1. Reading what you guys said about the knife being found around RoT is something new to me and I'm now wondering about him as we told him to follow the signs for West Bridgford and on to Radcliffe then just keep going. The friend I was with went to the police and gave a statement but as we neither saw nor heard anything untoward I didn't bother.

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Might have seen you Brew, i passed in a taxi that night about the time the landlord was walking his dog,

Went to skeg next day where i heard about it,

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Wonder if they checked up on bus drivers & conductors having a swift on from the Stanhope depot next door? 

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

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