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Thread: The Herbert Balmer thread.

  1. #61
    Senior Member steveb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by laura anne View Post
    M' lord, my mother doesn't hate George Skelly. I don't think she has ever met him and as far as I know she's only ever heard him speak on the radio. George Skelly hated my grandfather.
    Hi, don't think so. His book just gives facts, and I'm sure George dosn't hate anyone

    Steve


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  2. #62
    Member Lord Dick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by laura anne View Post
    M' lord, my mother doesn't hate George Skelly. I don't think she has ever met him and as far as I know she's only ever heard him speak on the radio. George Skelly hated my grandfather.
    Laura Anne, I don't think it is rational for your mother to say The author hated your grandfather.
    As you say your mother never met him and presumably neither did Mr Balmer himself. If your mother told you this, then she might as well say that everyone who Mr Skelly exposed in his book as liars and villians - e.g. Sangster, Corrie, Dickson, Northam - he also personally hated! It is absurd. As Chris George has already said, in Mr Skelly's case it was more likely a question of "Hate the Sin and not the Sinner"!
    As a university trained professional writer and researcher, I doubt very much whether he would allow such petty, vindictive and subjective motives interfere with the proper objective research required in order to produce such a seminal work.
    On the other hand, It would be difficult for most of us ordinary mortals with feelings, NOT to hate a person who seemingly deliberately caused three men to be hanged knowing that they were not guilty of the crimes for which they were convicted.

  3. #63
    Flaccid Member Stanier's Avatar
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    I remember some years ago picking up a book on the Cameo murders in the library, it had it was wrote in "faction", a word that puzzled me. I was told that it meant a mix of fact and fiction, so not knowing what was which, I never read any further.
    Is this the book talked about here, or another one?
    There will always be people who take things the wrong way.
    Click HERE to hear a clicky sound.

  4. #64
    Newbie laura anne's Avatar
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    Am going to pluck up the courage and read book. Don't know what else to say, infact what can I say?

  5. #65
    Senior Member underworld's Avatar
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    There are 2 books.

    1. The Cameo Murders - Barry Shortall. Published in 1999 and was badly researched and poorly written. Shortall had approached George Skelly to jointly write a book and when he thought he had all the information that he needed, he split and went off on his own.

    2. The Cameo Conspiracy- George Skelly. Published before Shortalls book in 1998 and is the definitive account of the Cameo Case and went a long way towards assisting the successful appeal that turned the convictions of Kelly and Connolly on their head. Skelly spent years researching the book and had first hand accounts from eye witnesses as to what went on. I do not know where you would get this book without spending a fortune.

    George Skelly is a very nice man, very fair minded and Oxford educated.

    You may be lucky ordering it from the library.

  6. #66
    Captain Kong captain kong's Avatar
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    Charles Connolly did not trust Barry Shortall, he thought he was after making money out of the incident.
    It was only after George Skelly proved to Charles that he was genuine and trustworthy that Charles opened up to him.
    Even I had to do several `Tasks` to prove to Charles I was also trustworthy before I could become a friend.
    The sad thing was Charles died before George and Lou had the appeal that cleared their names.

  7. #67
    Senior Member underworld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by laura anne View Post
    Am going to pluck up the courage and read book. Don't know what else to say, infact what can I say?
    Don't say anything, you are just one of the people affected by it all , you were not responsible and you are very welcome here.

  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by captain kong View Post
    Charles Connolly did not trust Barry Shortall, he thought he was after making money out of the incident.
    It was only after George Skelly proved to Charles that he was genuine and trustworthy that Charles opened up to him.
    Even I had to do several `Tasks` to prove to Charles I was also trustworthy before I could become a friend.
    The sad thing was Charles died before George and Lou had the appeal that cleared their names.
    It was a "Vanity press" production. Shortall just wanted to write a book. Didnt matter what the subject was.

  9. #69
    Member Lord Dick's Avatar
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    Further to Underworld's information, there are two editions of Skelly's book. the 1998 version with a yellow cover. And the 2001 updated and revised version, which is on sale at Amazon U.K. There are several used copies available, the most expensive being 94! However, if Laura Anne has fond memories of her grandfather I would strongly advise her against reading this book because it is brutally frank about what happened and the primary role Mr Balmer played. We know it is the truth because the Court of Appeal in 2003 confirmed it.

  10. #70
    Senior Member steveb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Dick View Post
    Further to Underworld's information, there are two editions of Skelly's book. the 1998 version with a yellow cover. And the 2001 updated and revised version, which is on sale at Amazon U.K. There are several used copies available, the most expensive being 94! However, if Laura Anne has fond memories of her grandfather I would strongly advise her against reading this book because it is brutally frank about what happened and the primary role Mr Balmer played. We know it is the truth because the Court of Appeal in 2003 confirmed it.
    Having said that it maybe worth her reading the book to get an unbiased
    opinion.

    Steve

  11. #71
    Senior Member burkhilly's Avatar
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    Laura if you really want to read the book, you could borrow my copy. PM me and I'll pop it in the post to you. I trust you to return it.

  12. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by steveb View Post
    Having said that it maybe worth her reading the book to get an unbiased
    opinion.

    Steve
    I hope she doesnt!

  13. #73
    Newbie laura anne's Avatar
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    Gentlemen I may have a result. Visited my local library and although they have not got a copy in the county where I live, the librarian has assured me they can get it from another county. Very kind of you to offer yours Burkhilly and if my library can't get it, I take you up on your offer. The book will be the 2001 version. Now I just have to sit and wait and imagine the worst!

    Thank you for photo's Chris. Will contact you as I have a question for you.

  14. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by underworld View Post
    I hope she doesnt!
    Dont say we didn't warn you.

  15. #75
    Member Lord Dick's Avatar
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    It seems Skelly and the Appeal Court were right!
    On former Daily Post journalist, Ian Skidmore's Blog - Skidmoresisland (July24th) - he states that Balmer was a "Chum" of his but that the witness statements in the Cameo case bore evidence of "police coaching". He seems oblivious to the fact that, this being true, it must have been his "Chum" who did the coaching!
    He further states that he met Dickson & Northam after Kelly's execution. Northam had a gun and he and Dickson were on the run. They admitted to him that they had made up their evidence in the Cameo case. So he hawked them around various newspapers to sell their story but there were no takers. This journalist has admitted making up stories in the past. So make of it what you will. But if it is true, then he is just as bad as those two.

  16. #76
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    Any right minded person would have turned the pair of them in.

  17. #77
    Junior Member DRUFTER's Avatar
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    Can anyone help me, I am a proffesional artist, and the Cameo Cinema murder's have always bothered me, I was 12yrs old at the time of this terrible miscarriage of justice, can anyone remember what the weather was like on this fateful evening, was it very dark at 9pm, and also was it raining etc etc
    Thank You
    Drufter

  18. #78
    Member Lord Dick's Avatar
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    It would be interesting to learn whether Balmer's grandaughter did in fact obtain copies of the Cameo books, and having read them, what she now thinks of her Grandfather?

  19. #79
    Newbie laura anne's Avatar
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    Yes, I did indeed read the book. What do I think of my Grandpa now? Well....disappointed, ashamed and very angry at his cruel and shocking behaviour. Probably the same emotions you would feel had Bert been your grandfather. However, as they always say, there are two sides to every story and I would so like to have been able to hear his. I do not know why he did what he did and how he could live with himself. As a grandfather, I have to say, he was perfect, and I have very fond memories of him.

  20. #80
    Member Lord Dick's Avatar
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    Laura Anne, reading the book must have been a very painful experience for you. Your expressed sentiments about your grandfather however, mark you out as a noble woman. And in all fairness, I suppose, at the end of the day, it's true what they say about blood being thicker than water.

    By the way a message to "Serendipidy". I cannot open your private message.

  21. #81
    Senior Member steveb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Dick View Post
    Laura Anne, reading the book must have been a very painful experience for you. Your expressed sentiments about your grandfather however, mark you out as a noble woman. And in all fairness, I suppose, at the end of the day, it's true what they say about blood being thicker than water.

    By the way a message to "Serendipidy". I cannot open your private message.

    Yes she did well to read the book. The PM just delete it loads
    of people, including me, got the same message

  22. #82
    Newbie laura anne's Avatar
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    Thank you for your kind message. I don't think I've ever been called 'noble' before - been called lots of other things though!!

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    Member Lord Dick's Avatar
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    Laura Anne,
    I recall seeing your father (in civvies)in Liverpool city centre in the 60s and he struck me then as very tall. Yet I've seen a photo of him in uniform and he seemed quite small. How tall was he actually?
    Also, I have seen him in a documentary film aabout Liverpool in the 1960s called The Singing City, and his voice seemed to be quite nasal, light and rather "tinny". I do not mean anything derogatory by saying that, but am I right?

    ---------- Post added at 02:45 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:45 PM ----------

    Sorry, I meant your grandfather, Mr Balmer!

  24. #84
    Newbie laura anne's Avatar
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    Bert was tall, he must have been over 6 foot - maybe 6' 1. With regards to his voice, well I have seen the film that you are talking about as Chris sent me a copy. He certainly doesn't have a Liverpudlian accent but there is definately a northern 'burr'. I think he has quite a deep, reassuring voice, with a confident manner.

  25. #85
    Captain Kong captain kong's Avatar
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    Laura Anne.


    When I went to the Vindicatrix Reunion six weeks ago in Gloucestershire, I met a lady who said she is a relation of Bert Balmer, grand daughter or neice
    She lives with her husband, a Vindi Boy, ex Seaman, in Southport. Do you know her??

  26. #86
    Newbie laura anne's Avatar
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    Bert's only other grand-daughter lives in London, so the lady you spoke to probably would have been Bert's niece. I don't know her unfortunately. Thanks for the message though Brian. Do you mind me asking what a Vindi boy is?

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    VINDI BOYS.

    When we were sweet 16 and wanted to go away to sea in the Merchant Navy , we were sent to a training school and ship for three months to learn seamanship before being sent to our first ship.
    The training ship was called Vindicatrix, ex Arranmore an old Cape Horner.
    All boys who went there became known as `Vindi Boys` after the Vindicatrix.
    We now have an association and have a reunion every August at the site of the old Training school in Sharpness, Glos.where all the Vindi Boys meet up and swing the lamp. There are usually around 800 attending, One time 1500 turned up. That is one big reunion. Usually lasts for about four days.

    She would probably be around 50 or 60 years old so could be his neice. she is married to a Londoner who we call `Dell Boy`.

  28. #88
    Newbie laura anne's Avatar
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    Sounds like a great time is had by all Brian. My mum only kept in touch with one of Bert's sisters. Her name was Lucy and she did have a daughter, so the lady you met may have been her.

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