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    I have just acquired access to the relevant timetables for the trains operating out of London over the period in question and have uploaded the relevant timetable above.

    Foot says that there were three possible trains leaving Euston at 10.20, 10.35 and 12.15 which respectively arrived in Lime Street at 2.22pm, 3.25pm and 4.45pm.

    However the timetable above would indicate that the 10.20 would arrive at 2.30pm, the 10.35 would arrive at 3.25pm (but this could not be Hanratty's train as it was not a direct service) and the 12.15 would arrive at 4.15pm which would have given Hanratty an extra half hour to do his many and varied tasks before getting on the Rhyl bus at 6.30pm.

    I am aware that train timetables can be something of a work of fiction but in the absence of any evidence to the contrary we should assume that more or less the trains ran according to schedule.
    Attached Files

    Comment


    • Foot claims that he took the 10.20. Woffinden disputes this, estimating that he did not even arrive at Euston until about 10.45 (page 121).

      Hanratty goes into detail about how after he arrived at Euston he did lots of things waiting a long time for the train to arrive. This not only makes it even less possible for him to have got the 10.20, it also rules out the 10.35 because instead of waiting a long time for that he would have got the 10.20. Also (as Spitfire indicates) the 10.35 stopping train does not match his description - for example he remarked that they stopped at Crewe as if it were the only (or a rare) stop. Woffinden also points out that the 10.20 did not stop at Crewe.

      So this leaves the 12.15. But if he did not arrive in Liverpool until 4.45 he could not have done all the things he claimed to have done there before getting on the bus that left at 6.00. (Which of course is why Foot wanted to believe he got the 10.20.)
      Last edited by NickB; 05-26-2020, 10:04 AM.

      Comment


      • Nick, quite right that the bus for Rhyl left Liverpool at 6.00 pm (not 6.30pm as per my earlier post), but the timetable says that the 12.15 (The Red Rose) from Euston should arrive at Lime St at 4.15pm. Was there any evidence that this train was late and arrived at 4.45pm? If not, this would have given Hanratty an extra half hour to accomplish that which he said he did.

        Comment


        • I see what you mean - the 4.45 arrival in Foot should be 4.15.

          There is a further complication in Woffinden. On page 163 he plumps for a completely different train that leaves at 11.37 and arrives at 4.54.

          Comment


          • "The jury heard evidence about the train times from London Euston to Liverpool Lime Street (12.15pm arriving 4.45pm)"

            This is from Section 185 of the 2002 Appeal.

            Comment


            • Originally posted by NickB View Post
              "The jury heard evidence about the train times from London Euston to Liverpool Lime Street (12.15pm arriving 4.45pm)"

              This is from Section 185 of the 2002 Appeal.
              So the jury had to decide.’Was Hanratty working to a very tight schedule, ‘ or the more likely scenario, ‘ did Hanratty spend the 1/2 an hour or so hoping to find the road somewhere off Scotland road, before returning to the town centre ,having his wash and brush up , having a bite in the cafe, then spontaneously on a whim, jumping on a coach to Rhyl at 6 o clock , just in the nick of time.


              ‘The Comet’.‘ The Palatine’ The Mancunian’ WOW! Great train spotting memories.

              Comment


              • Originally posted by NickB View Post
                "The jury heard evidence about the train times from London Euston to Liverpool Lime Street (12.15pm arriving 4.45pm)"

                This is from Section 185 of the 2002 Appeal.
                Indeed it is Nick, but whether that is taken from the trial transcript directly is open to question.

                Hawser says the "relevant train would have arrived in Liverpool at 4.43 pm".(para 160).

                There is no mention of the train being late by anyone, nor any witness being called to prove that fact.

                Foot also mentions that Hanratty thought his train stopped at Crewe. The 10.35 am train from Euston stopped at Crewe but Hanratty would have had to change trains there to get to Lime Street, so we can rule that one out.

                I don't know where Woff has got his 11.37am train from.

                If Hanratty had travelled from Euston to Liverpool on Thursday 24th August, then there was a through train which left Euston at 2.15pm, stopped at Crewe, and then arrived at Liverpool at 6.50pm.

                Comment


                • If the defence accepted that the 12.15 arrived in Liverpool about half an hour late there would be no need for witness evidence on that point. Also at the trial Hanratty said his train arrived in Liverpool at about 4.30, so there could further have been a consensus on which train it was.

                  However it appears the prosecution did not reveal the 6.00 timing of the last bus to Rhyl, so did not ask the pertinent question: 'How did he do everything in the time?'. This is a question Woffinden completely ignores, though he goes for an even later arrival. Foot at least attempts to answer it for the period before 10.20, but it is interesting that when Woffinden makes an estimate of his arrival at Euston he comes up with 10.45. And that assumes that he did not visit Anderson that morning, as she testified.

                  Comment




                  • A 1951 poster for the Red Rose Euston to Liverpool train.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by NickB View Post
                      If the defence accepted that the 12.15 arrived in Liverpool about half an hour late there would be no need for witness evidence on that point. Also at the trial Hanratty said his train arrived in Liverpool at about 4.30, so there could further have been a consensus on which train it was.

                      However it appears the prosecution did not reveal the 6.00 timing of the last bus to Rhyl, so did not ask the pertinent question: 'How did he do everything in the time?'. This is a question Woffinden completely ignores, though he goes for an even later arrival. Foot at least attempts to answer it for the period before 10.20, but it is interesting that when Woffinden makes an estimate of his arrival at Euston he comes up with 10.45. And that assumes that he did not visit Anderson that morning, as she testified.
                      True. The prosecution at the trial was caught unaware as to how critical the timing of the trains might have been. The case would have been prepared on the basis that it did not really matter what time Hanratty arrived in Liverpool and it was only when Hanratty altered his alibi that it would have become of some importance.

                      However the Court of Appeal did take the point in para 188 of its judgement that Hanratty only had 75 minutes to accomplish that which he said he did, whereas the true amount of time was 105 minutes.

                      Comment


                      • Only if the 12.15 was not delayed. Foot also gives a different (earlier) arrival time for the 10.20, so may have been using actual arrival times.

                        Comment


                        • Foot (p. 403-4) lists 14 reasons to suspect Alphon of the crime. No 3 is: "Alphon spent much of his childhood in the Slough and Taplow area, and knows it very well."

                          Has anybody come across any evidence of this? I ask because Acott when interviewing Alphon asked him, "Do you know Slough?" and Alphon replied: "I know it a little. I was stationed in the Air Force at Marlow, and I used to go to the dogs at Slough."

                          Woffinden tells us that he was born in 1930 in Croydon, although his parents were living in Paddington at the time, and that he won a scholarship to Mercer's public school in Holborn - I presume aged 11, ie 1941. We learn that he went to Horsham, West Sussex, when the school was evacuated during the war. And that he finished his schooling at Quintin Kynaston state school in St John's Wood. Also, while looking into his background, the police interviewed people who lived at the same address as the Alphons did in Hammersmith, from 1942, when Alphon was aged 12, until the family left "three or four years ago", ie, in c.1957-8.

                          That leaves the years 1930-41 unaccounted for, but nowhere can I find anything to suggest he or his family spent them in the Slough and Taplow area.




                          Comment


                          • It’s an interesting observation. Most of us would subscribe to the notion that a criminal will prefer to act in area he is familiar with, but a 30 year old man will not feel so at home with a place he knew only from boyhood, if that. Wandering through corn fields as a boy is not quite the same as skulking through fields in the dusk with a revolver, especially after a 20 year gap.

                            Foot’s point does not support Alphon’s claim that he was approached to break up a relationship. If Alphon was approached, it could hardly have been for his knowledge of Taplow which was obsolete. At most it was merely another coincidence.

                            However I will add two points for the defence. Someone resembling Alphon was seen in the area prior to the murder by three separate witnesses. And whatever Alphon’s knowledge of Taplow was it could not have been less than that of Hanratty who was never known to have visited the area.

                            Comment


                            • I suppose that railway timetable will also show the overnight return journey. According to Hanratty it left just after midnight, stopped at every station and arrived at 5.20.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by cobalt View Post
                                It’s an interesting observation. Most of us would subscribe to the notion that a criminal will prefer to act in area he is familiar with, but a 30 year old man will not feel so at home with a place he knew only from boyhood, if that. Wandering through corn fields as a boy is not quite the same as skulking through fields in the dusk with a revolver, especially after a 20 year gap.

                                Foot’s point does not support Alphon’s claim that he was approached to break up a relationship. If Alphon was approached, it could hardly have been for his knowledge of Taplow which was obsolete. At most it was merely another coincidence.

                                However I will add two points for the defence. Someone resembling Alphon was seen in the area prior to the murder by three separate witnesses. And whatever Alphon’s knowledge of Taplow was it could not have been less than that of Hanratty who was never known to have visited the area.
                                Woffo goes to some length to describe Alphon's past - his parents seemed to move their always-rented accommodation every couple of weeks! But apart from his visits to the dog-track, it seems that Alphon had no knowledge of Slough, and in fact Woffo states this.

                                With regard to the 'someone' resembling Alphon seen in the area prior to the murder, Michael Fogarty-Waul said that this 'someone' resembled the-then popular actor Sidney Tafler. Now, it has to be said that there was a passing resemblance. But I wonder if Fogarty-Waul made this point before or after pictures of Alphon were published....? Two other people said that they saw someone in the area prior to the murder, but it seems that the poilce didn't take this seriously, as obviously anyone who felt like it was perfectly free to take a constitutional along Marsh Lane if he so wished. There really isn't any hard evidence to support (a) someone who might have been Alphon being seen in the area prior to the murder; and (b) that Alphon (or anyone else, for that matter) was aware that Gregsten and Valerie sometimes parked in the corn-field. As far as I'm aware, only Gregsten and Valerie knew that.

                                Foot eventually confessed that he had over-rated Alphon's claimed knowledge of the A6 crime both before, during and after its execution. At the same time he admitted that, once he had actually met her, Janet Gregsten was not the vengeful harpie he had once assumed her of being.
                                And as I mentioned earlier, Woffo does describe in some detail Alphon's troubled past and his unstable personality - no-one in their right mind would have trusted him with a box of Bonfire Night fireworks, let alone a revenge murder as a (presumably paid) assassin.

                                Graham
                                We are suffering from a plethora of surmise, conjecture and hypothesis. - Sherlock Holmes, The Adventure Of Silver Blaze

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