Author's bid for the record books as writer of the most works on Redhill's "Great Train Robber" (From Redhill And Reigate Life)
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Author's bid for the record books as writer of the most works on Redhill's "Great Train Robber"
9:18pm Monday 16th September 2013 in Local News
A close friend of the Redhill "Great Train Robber" Ronnie Biggs is hoping to get into the Guinness Book of Records as the author of the most books on him.
Mike Gray, from Epsom, who has known the 84-year-old for more than 25 years, will see his second and third books on him published over the next two months.
Mr Gray, whose first book, Ronnie Biggs – The Inside Story, published in 2009, was a best-seller, said he will be applying to the Guinness Book of Records for an entry as the author of the most books – printed and on Kindle – on the Great Train Robber.
Mr Gray's second book on Biggs, called The Ronnie Biggs Quiz Book, will be published by Apex Publishing on November 1.
He said: “The book is 200 very unusual and difficult quiz questions on the man I have personally known for over 25 years.”
A month later, on December 1, Apex Publishing (Essex) Limited is due to publish his third book on Biggs, called 101 Interesting Facts on Ronnie Biggs and The Great Train Robbery.
Both books will be available on Kindle.
Mr Gray said: “My current book - I am now writing and researching - is going to be my fourth book, again based on Ronnie Biggs, and will be called ' Ronnie Biggs - 85 Years.'
“This is to be an up-dated book on his whole life, telling his story to the present day, as no other publication covers the Train Robbery 50th Anniversary and his 84th birthday to the present day, and I am looking to have it published on his 85th birthday, next summer – August 8, 2014.
“The book title represents his age, and also the 50th Anniversary of The Great Train Robbery last month, and the representation of the heavy prison sentence of 30 years he received at the age of only 34.”
Mr Gray said: “As with anything 'Biggsy,' it always has interest around the globe, and within days of the press release being issued, The Ronnie Biggs Quiz book has already featured in a Costa Blanca ex-pat newspaper, and on an ex-pat radio station – Excite.fm - along Spain's Costa-Del-Crime.”
Biggs lived in Redhill from about 1961, working as a painter and decorator, until his arrest in the town for the Great Train Robbery of 1963.
At the Redhill book signing for Ronnie Biggs – The Inside Story in 2009, Mr Gray said he was approached by buyers who included Biggs' former postman in Alpine Road, Redhill, the son of one of the officers who arrested him, the son of one of his former workmates, a couple who had called their pets dogs Ronnie and Biggsy, and a buyer who told him the name of a man, now dead, who he said was an accomplice in the Great Train Robbery, but who was never arrested or charged. At the time, Mr Gray said: “Ronnie had only ever called this man Peter from Redhill, and this guy comes over and gives me his name, which I've now forgotten. “This guy said he used to know him and he was never arrested and was listed as the robber who got away.” The buyer told Mr Gray the man had worked on the railways and had lived in Redhill, but after they were caught, the gang had kept quiet about him. Website: www.Apexpublishing.co.uk