Friday, 24 August 2012

Mugshots




The background to these 1930s police mugshots is that they turned up in a junk shop in north east England and were donated to the Tyne and Wear Archives and Museum who uploaded them to Flickr whence they have gone viral. There's something morbidly fascinating about this collection of down at heel - and presumably long dead - petty criminals. The guy above should have been told that if you are going to wear a tie then a collar as well is a good idea.



The one above is very strange. One thing the mugshots have in common is that the subjects are downright hideous and this guy is no exception. The manuscript note is very odd though: 'Died in action Benwell Hotel'. Now of course 'died in action' would suggest dying in combat but our man was born in 1878 and would have been much to old to see action in World War Ii which would have been the only candidate. The Benwell Hotel, Mr Google tells me, is a pub in Newcastle upon Tyne. The only sense I can make of the note is that our man was killed either committing a crime at the Benwell Hotel or died in a pub fight and black police humour has taken over.



Most of the subjects just look rather crushed but this guy looks cocky. Presumably pleased as his sad nickname the 'Sunderland Kid'. It's notable how many were tattooed (see 'Marks'), which would have been relatively rare then, I think.



This guy looks like the young Peter Hitchens. Perhaps he is - follow the link to see Hitchens having a hilarious - erm - difference of opinion with Russell Brand. I like 'general thief and bad character'.





This guy cracks me up. He looks such a wide-boy. Probably not too good at crime though. Maybe should have stuck to gardening. And who was Evelyn and how did she feel about his bad life? Okay that's enough long dead villains ...


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