Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Valentine Magazine

A  big thanks goes to Wizz at the Day by Day forum for scanning these photos and the text from the June 1963 issue of "Valentine" magazine.   I am not sure how totally true this story is, since teen magazine of the 1960's liked to make things up.   But nonetheless, the photo shoot did happen.   We are still trying to figure out the exact day that these photo were taken.   Anyone know?   It was a chilly day before June of 1963.   

The Most Fabulous Day of My Life
I must be one of the few girls who can say, “I’ve swum with the Beatles.”  And it was all part of my job on Valentine.  The thing was, I had to get some summer pictures, but you can’t take the Beatles to the seaside – they’d be mobbed by fans!  So I hired a swimming pool and asked if the Beatles could come along for a splash.

Mr. Brian Epstein agreed, only he explained that they wouldn’t be allowed to go in the water.  For one thing, he said, there’d be no time.  For another, he didn’t much approve of the idea anyway.
Back at our office everyone said it would look funny – the Beatles fully dressed and wearing their Mersey boots, standing round a swimming pool.  Readers would wonder why they didn’t go in.  But since I’d agreed that Valentine would hire the baths, I decided to stick my neck out and go through with it.

First I borrowed some men’s bathing trunks.  I asked our photographer to bring his and, of course, I looked out a fab swimsuit for myself.  

That memorable morning was very chilly.  I left home at 7:30 and went straight to the baths.  The place certainly looked great.  Dazzling blue water and, when I poked one toe in, it was surprisingly warm.    Gingerly I waded in, step by step.  I can’t swim and I don’t particularly like the water, but if the Beatles are going to be around I’ll risk anything.

I’d taken an airbed and while I waited, I paddled myself from end to end of the bath several times.  The boys were late.  Perhaps they wouldn’t turn up after all.

Eventually they appeared, complete in velvet and leather jackets, boots and jeans and stood on the side, looking at me and grinning.  Derek, the photographer, got them to put on some striped summery shirts I’d brought.  He lined them up on the diving boards and the camera clicked.
Then John asked, “Why can’t we come in?”

“Because Mr. Epstein says you haven’t time.”  I said.

“I brought my trunks,”  George said helpfully.

They all looked at me as if I had forbidden them to have any fun and I was the most hard-hearted person they’d ever met!

“Well, you have to be at London airport at 11:30.  It’ll take an hour from here.  There really isn’t time.”  I said helplessly.  

“But we thought we were going swimming.”

I pointed to the trunks on the side.  In two minutes flat the boys were in the changing rooms, out of their jeans and into the trunks, Ringo included – but he didn’t come in the water.  He just elected to  be life-saver.

After that things were a riot.  George, Paul and John towed me round the pool on the airbed.  WE all played water polo with a big spotted plastic ball.  They were like fishes – diving in, speeding down the bath and out at the other end.

Paul picked me up – yes, he actually did – and threatened to throw me in.  I’d probably have floated anyway, because I was up there on cloud number nine.

Then Paul and Ringo swung me between them on the side of the bath and said they’d let me go.  I was too excited to care.  When it came to it, George had the airbed ready in the water so I was okay.  Just breathless with the fab-ness of it all.

I got really worried about the time, though because by now it was nearly half past ten and I didn’t know how to get them out of the water.  Then the man in charge of the pool said our time was up and we had to get out.

When we got outside, I looked for the special limousine I’d ordered to take the boys to the airport (Earlier it had brought them from their hotel).  It was there at a parking meter – but no chauffeur.  I waited anxiously.  I didn’t dare let them miss that plane.

“We gave him the morning off,” Paul said innocently.

“I think he went shopping.”  This was George’s comment.

In the end we turned all the equipment and things out of our photographer’s tiny mini-car and managed t push all the boys in.  I waved them off-standing on the pavement surrounded by all the gear that had to be left behind.

It was a day to remember!

Incidentally they caught their plane.  Not that they were at the airport on time, but their manager had given them a much earlier time than he real one.  And all four of them had known this all the time!  But I still adore those gorgeous Beatles!


  1. I have given my rather vague assessment for possible dates on a earlier blog-entry regarding this session here:
    Unfortunatly no new clues here as far as I can see. February 12, 1963 is my best guess but I really have no evidence.

  2. So that's where that pic of the Beatles and the pool ladder is from :D

  3. these are totally fab, sara, i love them!

  4. I have found two pieces of Beatles memorabilia in a drawer recently. They must have been included in a VALENTINE magazine as they both have printed on them: Presented by VALENTINE. One is a separate picture of George and Ringo, the other is the same of Paul and John.

  5. A friend of mine who is in the photos with the Beatles has the original contact prints of all the photos you have shown