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Photographer

Ron McCormick, 77

Jimmy Cross is his Real NameLeigh Davies
00:00 / 03:56

He’s nearly had me in jail. I didn’t do anything wrong, but I just happened to drop in to the Duke of Wellington pub in Spitalfields when he comes along with a skull and he places it on the bar. The landlord went and quietly called the police, because he knew that he was an alcoholic and a meths drinker. The next thing I know he’s disappeared! So I’m sitting in the bar having a pint, and the police turn up, and they’re wanting to know what this skull is all about… Apparently, he had stolen it from a secure chest in the graveyard at Christchurch where the graves were being exhumed.

Another time I was in court with him because he had been done for busking - he gets arrested time and time again - anyway, this time he ends up in court and I go along out of sympathy and go “alright Banjo?” - Jimmy Cross is his real name but we all called him Banjo because he played the Banjo. A great musician, he played grand piano too, he could play any fucking instrument… squeeze box, the whole lot. Anyway, so he’s up in the dock in the magistrates’ court, and the magistrate’s going “you have been accused of begging and vagrancy” and he said “No! I said I’m a musician…………. and I’ve got a witness here who will prove it!” and he went down into his vest and pulled out all of these photographs that I’d taken of him busking and playing instruments. Total panic in the court. The judge says “Hold it there, hold it there”. Security guards came in for me saying “he’s got to be removed, he can’t be in the court if he’s going to be a witness.” So the next thing I know I’ve been pulled out of the bloody court right, and then I have to come back in as a witness, to testify that he was a genuine working musician!

He got off with a caution.

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