Charlie Seiga Weekly BLOG 19   ‘FROM RAGS TO RICHES’ 

27th September 2014                                                                     

Sometimes doing time in prison could have its funny moments; it wasn’t all gloom and doom.  Some of the stories you hear about prison life in some of the crime books others have written are mostly about the prisoners serving time for big robberies or murder and other types of violent crime.  Such as who was the biggest gangster and about people with big reputations etc and of other high profile cases you may have heard on the news.  However, what about the nondescripts the vagabonds of society, the tramps, the drunkards, the alcoholics; they never get a mention.  Well this is a true story about one of these lowlife culprits who had been charged with vagrancy in the heart of the city centre of Liverpool.  Basically, he would stand in a shop doorway begging for money. 

I remember this certain tramp coming in to the prison one day, I think he got sentenced to ten days or so, and my friends and I had the displeasure of having to relieve him of his tattered stinking clothes.  He smelt terrible and his clothes were crawling with lice. He was absolutely filthy! The staff in the reception used to have a long pole with a hook on the end, which was so that you could keep the tramp at bay so you wouldn’t get contaminated. The pole was made especially for this purpose. A big old sheet was put down on the floor and the tramps had to stand on it and strip off all their disgusting clothes. When they had done this, the clothes, or rags, were bundled up in the sheet by the tramp. Then the bundle would be hung on the end of the pole by one of us and taken to be burnt in the prison incinerator. 

The bath the prison provided was especially for tramps, containing loads of disinfectant.  It was like a fumigating, delousing bath.  On this occasion when this particular tramp was given fresh prison clothes to put on he protested and wanted to be given his own filthy clothes back, which by now were in the incinerator.  However, he kept insisting he wanted his own clothes. We explained what had happened to them and he then went stark raving mad, screaming his head off about all his money.  After we had got him under control, the truth came out.  He had a fortune sewn into the inside of his jacket. After being told this, a couple of pals and I headed right for the incinerator.  Hot on our heels were a couple of screws who obviously wanted their cut of the money too, but we were all too late.  By the time we got there all the tramp’s clothes along with his money had gone up in smoke. 

A real classic case of a tramp who had money to burn.  We were all gutted!

Charlie Seiga

Just one of many stories from my book ‘KILLER,’ available to download on Amazon and iTunes.

Read all Charlie’s blogs by clicking link below.

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