The Regal was a Billiard Hall in Eric Street, Mile End, and was the twins first career move when they acquired it in 1954, both aged twenty.
Initially very run down, the twins renovated it and turned it into not only their base for The Firm, but a moderately successful billiard hall.
History[edit | edit source]
Originally the 702-seater Forrest’s Electrodrome Cinema in 1910, it served as a cinema until June 1940. Shortly after it served time as a factory and a warehouse. It was a billiard hall for a while where the twins would visit with Dickie Morgan in 1953 after their release from the army, it was situated in a busy area just off the Mile End Road with many cafes and pubs around.
Ronnie and Reggie first came to know of the run-down hall, when news spread that local small-time gangs were meeting there. Unloved and unpainted, it was a meeting place for gangs who fought there and tried cadging money from the manager. The insurance companies were wary of ensuring it, and there were rumours of it closing down. The twins had recently left the army, and had more time on their hands they paid the hall a visit. The manager soon payed the twins five pounds a week to manage the hall. Weekly violence soon stopped, and the twins became the legal tenants of The Regal Billiard Hall in 1954.
The hall slowly became popular again after a smart refurbishment by Reggie. They soon became the main attraction to the hall, with local villains and ex-cons visiting them on a regular basis. Ronnie cutlassed members of a Maltese gang that tried to extract protection money from them. The Regal gave the twins a foothold and made money by being used as a storehouse for other criminals' knock-off gear and weapons. The hall has long since been demolished and an old people's home now stands peacefully on the site.