Tuesday, October 28, 2014


Exeter is another one of those stops on the 1964 UK tour that is a bit mysterious.   I do not have very many photos from this date in my files and the photos that I DO have from this date do not seem to actually match up very well and are full of doubt. 

Here is what we know:  On October 28, 1964, after two days away from the tour, the Beatles made the journey to Exeter from London.  However, they did not give themselves enough time to travel from London to Exeter (it is about 200 miles away) and they got lost along the way.   So by the time they arrived, the show was to begin in 5 minutes.  The guys were supposed to get into a decoy van before they arrived at the cinema where they were to perform.  However, the driver turned down the wrong road and instead of arriving at the cinema, they had a meal at a fish and chip shop in the area!  But they did make in time for their portion of the first show and no one even knew the difference.

This looks more like Bournemouth to me than Exeter

The Beatle fans in Exeter were especially a loud audience.   One fan named Ann said, "I cried all the way through.  Someone put their arm around me and I didn't know who it was.   We coudn't really hear the music because of all the screaming."  

The bobbies on guard that night had more to look for than just Beatlemaniacs.   It was during this time that the 13 year old runaway from Boston, Elizabeth, had been reported missing and her mother believed that she had ran away from home to see the Beatles in concert.   So the police were scouring the audience during the mayhem for a tall blonde haired American girl with glasses.  

Three of the Exeter officers that were on duty that night
At the end of the last show, the Beatles were set to escape, but there was a lot of traffic and people walking around the cinema in hopes of catching one last glimpse of the Beatles.   Many of the fans had taken buses home, and one young fan recalls,
"I remember as a 6 year old being on a bus going to Countess Wear having to crawl past crowds outside the ABC after the Beatles had played there. The bus was full of excited girls, some crying. Quite strange and confusing for a 6 year old."

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