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  #4971  
Old 08-02-2018, 06:10 AM
Sherlock Houses Sherlock Houses is offline
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Default Gas-meter job, eh Baz ?

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Originally Posted by Pcdunn View Post
To Sherlock Houses: I'm intrigued by your comment that Gregsten was afraid something would happen, due to his "sailing too close"-- do you think he was in debt to loan sharks, given that he seemed to spend a bit overmuch? Was he almost expecting an armed man to come calling?


I cant escape the feeling, PC, that Mike Gregsten had been living on his wits for quite some time prior to his murder. It is quite apparent, according to the meagre evidence at our disposal, that Mike often found himself in financial difficulties even though his salary as a research scientist/physicist must have been considerably higher than the average wage of the UK worker in the early sixties. For some reason he was living above his means. Much lesser paid men back then were able to provide for their often larger families without getting into money problems. It would very much seem that the cost of looking after his family and simultaneously carrying on his love affair with his mistress Val proved too high. He may even as you suggest, and for all we know, have been in debt to loan sharks, or may even have been a gambler.

Val was certainly not the first affair he had engaged in, evidently he had had a bit of a history of being unfaithful to his wife Janet. For quite some time Mike had been having his cake and eating it, to coin a well used phrase. According to his [never averse to telling porkies] brother-in-law William Ewer [not his namesake William N Ewer who wrote that Daily Herald front page JFK article of August 25th 1961 which I posted a couple of days ago] Mike had guilt feelings about his cheating on Janet with his lover Val. Ewer in his first statement to the police on September 11th 1961 stated amongst other things that "Gregsten had a guilt complex about his association with Valerie, and on occasions said that he wondered why he had not been struck down" A few years earlier, in November 1957, Mike, who had been suffering from depression and other mentally related problems had been examined by Dr John Sutherland, the director of The Tavistock Institute in London. In his report Dr Sutherland stated that Mike was worried by his financial matters and that he "had a general feeling that he ought to be dead." It would seem, judging from what both Ewer and Dr Sutherland had to say, that Mike Gregsten was probably fearing some very concerned third party/parties to come along at some uncertain future date and maybe strike him down or apply some shock treatment to help cure his unfaithful ways. Who knows, perhaps he had already been warned or threatened in the months leading up to August 22nd 1961.
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  #4972  
Old 08-02-2018, 07:39 AM
Spitfire Spitfire is offline
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Gregsten did not die penniless as is evidenced by his estate sworn to probate at over three grand, not a fortune but at least evidence that he was solvent.
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  #4973  
Old 08-02-2018, 08:49 AM
Graham Graham is offline
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3269 was a tidy sum back in 1961, when you could buy a perfectly-good semi-detached house for less than 3000, even in the Home Counties. I find this a little odd, to be honest, because Woffo's pen-picture of Gregsten has him as an ill-disciplined man who was forever running up debts, many of which were paid off by his mother. He even draws attention to the fact that Gregsten turned down an invite to a 'bottle party' because he couldn't afford to buy a bottle of booze! He was also described by a friend as someone who if he had 10 pence in his pocket, would spend a shilling.......

As a civil-servant he would have been due a good pension had he survived until retirement, and I wonder if at least some of that three grand might have been a widow's lump-sum. Or maybe a life-insurance payment?

I honestly don't think he was going in fear of his life because of bad debts - if his mother took care of many of them they couldn't have been that heavy.

Graham
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  #4974  
Old 08-02-2018, 11:27 AM
moste moste is offline
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Also,SH . Mikes call into the office ,that he will be taking an additional two days off is interesting ,and I wonder how carefully followed up?
He hadn’t notified the office until the Friday before his death, so it sounds like some kind of after plan to his 2 week holiday. Then we only learn from the journalists that he ‘talked to a girl at reception,who assumed he was just taking a couple of extra days holiday. We are only left to guess what Mikes boss(es) made of this. We have Mike fully expecting to be back in work Wednesday morning ,with an excuse for his additional days off ,and presumably (knowing their attitude towards his personal situation )would not be mentioning moving into new accommodations after leaving Janet, or anything about further involvement with Valerie.I think something was afoot ,but too little information ,that’s for sure.
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  #4975  
Old 08-02-2018, 12:37 PM
moste moste is offline
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Just recalling,( further to my mentioning Mikes bosses concerns ,) it should be remembered that the Sabine house flat was a result of a government housing scheme, which had apparently been carefully thought out ,and included ,with some prearranged inconveniences,very reasonable rental payments, firstly offered, if I remember correctly to government employees.
As a result of this I would assume it would be very much in Mikes interest for the people at the RRL. to know nothing of his new,pending ,living arrangements .
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  #4976  
Old 08-05-2018, 04:02 AM
Sherlock Houses Sherlock Houses is offline
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Even the hard up Charles France's effects came to 1300 when he died aged 42. Michael Gregsten was just 6 years younger than France and what may surprise a few folk is that both these men deemed it fit to make a will before reaching such relatively young ages. Both living on the edge ??
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"Justice is an ideal which transcends the expedience of the State, or the sensitivities of Government officials, or private individuals. IT HAS TO BE PURSUED WHATEVER THE COST IN PEACE OF MIND TO THOSE CONCERNED." --'Justice of the Peace' [July 12th 1975]
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  #4977  
Old 08-05-2018, 04:26 AM
Spitfire Spitfire is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sherlock Houses View Post
Even the hard up Charles France's effects came to 1300 when he died aged 42. Michael Gregsten was just 6 years younger than France and what may surprise a few folk is that both these men deemed it fit to make a will before reaching such relatively young ages. Both living on the edge ??
The records would indicate that neither Gregsten nor France made a will and that both died intestate with grants of administration taken by their respective widows.
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  #4978  
Old 08-07-2018, 06:04 AM
Alfie Alfie is offline
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Default The milkman's mnemonics

I've read that the Bedford milkman Charles Drayton was able to memorize the Morris Minor's registration number after his near-collision with it through some rather complicated form of mnemonics. Anyone know what it was?
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  #4979  
Old 08-07-2018, 12:26 PM
Graham Graham is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alfie View Post
I've read that the Bedford milkman Charles Drayton was able to memorize the Morris Minor's registration number after his near-collision with it through some rather complicated form of mnemonics. Anyone know what it was?
According to Woffinden, Drayton said that he memorized the car's number because: "8 is my lucky number, and 47 was my round number as a milkman in Norwich. The letters BHN stuck in my mind because of a racehorse called Bahrain which I used to back". There you have it.....

The questions to ask are: 1) just when did Drayton make his statement to the police? and 2) just when was the registration number of the Minor first made public via the media? I ask, because it is not impossible that Drayton heard the number of the car on radio or TV news. I don't know the answers to these questions, but have always felt that Woffo was just slightly too eager to give total credence to Drayton.

Graham
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  #4980  
Old 08-07-2018, 12:50 PM
Graham Graham is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spitfire View Post
The records would indicate that neither Gregsten nor France made a will and that both died intestate with grants of administration taken by their respective widows.
It was not uncommon in those days for 'ordinary' people to die intestate. We had to constantly remind my father to make a will, which he did only a year or so before he died. Unless a large sum of money, or valuable property, had been left by the deceased, it was relatively straightforward for survivors of the deceased to be granted full rights to monies and property.

Graham
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