Janie & the Clash

Caroline Coon is holding an exhibition of her amazing photographs, including the classic shot of Janie in 1977 outside Holloway Prison. She invited her to the opening. JJ replied:

Dear Caroline,

Thank you very much indeed for your kind invitation to your exhibition.

Unfortunately due to my age and health and my ongoing hospital appointments, I am unable to attend. I am however very grateful for your invitation.

On 7th May 1977, on my release from Holloway, the governor of the prison and the officers had a meeting with me and did not know how to get me out and told me I might be upset as I was on all the front pages. So she showed it to me and it said Vice Queen Janie to be freed and I said Madam, that is a misprint, they meant Nice Queen Janie to be freed and she and the officers laughed and she said You’re a natural comedian but we don’t know how to get you out. So I said my long-time friend David Yallop could be phoned to come to Holloway Prison in his battered mini car to get me out. She said yes so we phoned him and he agreed but he had to come in as an officer. He came in, hid me in the back of his car under a blanket and I peeped out to see all of the Press down the road. They had camped out all night.

So when we got down the road he turned on his radio and I could not believe a group singing We’re in love with the world of Janie Jones and I said I’ve just got out the gate and they’ve started on me already and David said it is The Clash and they love you so I was delighted. Hence the photograph with Caroline Coon and I became a very big friend of Joe Strummer and The Clash and I asked him to write me a song and he wrote House of the Juju Queen which is on my website. If the above can help you and The Clash, I’m very willing to let you use it. As David Yallop started to write my 1966 trial which I wanted to entitle The Trials and Tribulations of a coal miner’s daughter by Janie Jones and David Yallop but also in my 7th May 1977 it was Mike Mansfield who wanted me to do a full hour on the Russell Harty show as a favour and I mentioned all David Yallop and my book on the show. If this can help in any way, the late Joe Strummer I would be very pleased to promote you. Many thanks for the invite.


Family photos

When my brother Harold Mitchell was a young boy, my father had permission to take him down the coal mine in Seaham County Durham to see him on his knees putting in pit props and because of the shock of this to my brother, he put his nose in his books and became the President of the Coal Miners Union and a big friend of Harold Wilson, the Prime Minister and Mr Callaghan, as you see in the photograph. In the photograph, Mr Callaghan has a hand round my brother and Mr Harold Wilson, the Prime Minister, is next to Mr Callaghan.

On the second photograph, my brother became the mayor of Durham City and councillor and a photo of my brother with the Duchess of Kent shaking hands at one of the Queen’s Garden Parties.