Four of them were never caught.
While mastermind Bruce Reynolds, Ronnie Biggs et al became household names after the Great Train Robbery, four members of the gang slipped into the shadows.
They could still be alive today, living off the profits of one of the most daring heists in history.
After all, only £400,000 of the £2.6m stolen that August morning in 1963 was ever recovered.
The daring of the raid, the subsequent manhunt and the high profile escapes have long fascinated me – and countless others…
It’s why an original wanted poster for the train robbers auctioned for £4,500 ($7,500) earlier this year. It’s why the railway sign from Sears Crossing, where the plan was put into action, has a £10,000 ($16,700) estimate ahead of its sale next month.
I’m firmly of the opinion that that estimate will be smashed, such is the public’s affection (yes “affection”) for the event.
“Am I one of a minority in feeling admiration for the skill and courage behind the Great Train Robbery?” wrote author Graham Greene in the Telegraph newspaper at the time.
We don’t have to look far for examples of memorabilia from other infamous crimes and criminals performing well at auction.
A wanted poster for Jesse James sold for $57,475 in 2012, the same year two guns found on the dead bodies of Bonnie and Clyde made $504,000, while we recently sold the personal collection of Britain’s most prolific hangman, Albert Pierrepoint.
And if you’re considering dipping a toe into the world of criminal collectibles, or “murderabilia”, do give us a call. We’re experts at sourcing the world’s rarest collectibles, although tracking down Jack the Ripper’s disembowelling knife may be beyond even our investigate powers…
Call +44 (0)117 933 9500 or email firstname.lastname@example.org