Late one night in 1951 a woman cleaner at London’s Waterloo Station buffet found a torn note left on a table. It read:

“Saki and me got clean away from that job. The driver has had it now. I held him down and Saki kicked the back of his head in. We dragged him into a hedge back and then drove the taxi to Middlesbro’. It was a good idea doing the job near the Blue Bell because…”

At this point the note was torn off. The cleaner took it home to her husband who, having read about the murder of a taxi driver in Middlesbrough, took it to the police.

The note clearly referred to the murder of popular Middlesbrough cabby Edwin Youll. Was it genuine, or a hoax? Curiously, the fact that two men were involved in the murder had not then been published, nor had any reference been made in the papers to the proximity of the Blue Bell Hotel. No one outside the investigating team knew, either, that the taxi-driver was attacked in the back of the head.

The note may well have been written by a Yorkshireman – the term “hedge back” is a Yorkshire name for the bottom of a hedge. Middlesbro’ is a popular spelling in the north-east for Middlesbrough.

The handwriting, with a ball-point pen on notepaper from an ordinary notepad, was never identified and the note failed to advance the investigation into the murder.

Mr. Youll, 43, known as Ted, worked for Hornigold’s Taxis. He picked up two men at Middlesbrough railway station between 6.20 and 6.25 p.m. on the evening of Friday, November 16th, 1951. They murdered him outside his taxi, dumped his body at the entrance to a farm, and then drove the taxi to a point four miles from where they left the body, before abandoning it. The motive was a mystery – Mr. Youll’s takings of £4 were still on him.