RIP, the infamous farmhouse of '63

THE MOST notorious farmhouse in the country is likely to be demolished.

Leatherslade Farm, near Oakley, Buckinghamshire, was the hideout of the Great Train Robbers. It was 29 years ago yesterday that Ronald Biggs, Buster Edwards, Roy 'The Weasel' James and co stopped the Glasgow-Euston Royal Mail train at Sears Crossing, near Linslade in Buckinghamshire, and stole pounds 2,631,684. Jack Mills, the driver, was hit over the head with an iron bar and later died from the injuries he received.

For the next two days the robbers holed up at Leatherslade, a secluded three-bedroom farmhouse. Police found the farmhouse five days later, empty except for one mailbag containing pounds 628 10s. The gang had obviously planned a long wait - the police found 200 eggs, supplies of canned food, and 34 toilet rolls. In the garage were two Land- Rovers and a three-ton lorry with a false bottom.

Now, Paul Morris, Leatherslade's owner, who according to a neighbour has lived at the farm for '15 to 20 years', has applied to the local council for permission to demolish the farm and build a red-brick house on the site. He would say only: 'It is entirely our business. No one's interested in it any more.'

Paul Maling, Mr Morris's surveyor, said the farmhouse was ' horrible, a mixture of everything - red brick, rendered, slates, felt, Roman tiles. We're going to knock it down before it falls down and rebuild it.' The replacement will be 'nothing too fancy. Plain tiles, brick, the same height as it is now - two storeys.'

Neighbours' recollections of the events of 29 years ago have become colourful as the years have passed. One said the robbers used to go to the Royal Oak pub in Oakley. 'They used to go in separately. They never spoke to each other and no one knew it was them until afterwards.' This came as a surprise to Buster Edwards, who now runs a flower stall outside Waterloo station in London. 'The only time we left the house was when we left,' he said.

He has returned to Leatherslade 'a few times', but met an icy reception from Mr Morris. 'I went up a few years ago when we were filming Buster. He wouldn't let us use it. He's built a big fence all the way round. He hates all the attention.'

(Photograph omitted)

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Voices
voices
News
general electionThis quiz matches undecided voters with the best party for them
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen starred in the big screen adaptation of Austen's novel in 2005
tvStar says studios are forcing actors to get buff for period roles
News
Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge show their newly-born daughter, their second child, to the media outside the Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital in central London, on 2 May 2015.
news
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey/ South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey / South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Recruitment Consultant / Account Manager - Surrey / SW London

£40000 per annum + realistic targets: Ashdown Group: A thriving recruitment co...

Ashdown Group: Part-time Payroll Officer - Yorkshire - Professional Services

£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful professional services firm is lo...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before