Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The marriage of the year

It was 50 years ago today-- on February 11, 1965 that Richard Starkey married Maureen Cox.   This was a time of mixed feelings for many Beatle fans.    Quite a few Ringo fans were heartbroken over the news of Ringo and Mo's marriage.    Girls were seen crying, wearing black arm bands for weeks afterwards and one fan I spoke to said that she had bought a wedding band to give to Ringo, and wore it every day.  Once he got married, she took it off and put it on her case Ringo and Maureen didn't work out.     And she still had it on her key chain to show me!   

But I believe that most fans were accepting of Ringo's marriage.   They were sad but Maureen was living their dream.....a Beatles fan who married one of the Beatles!    And Maureen  came across as very likable and a good match for Ringo.    One thing was obvious:   fans might have not been happy that one less Beatle was available to marry, but it did not hinder the Beatles popularity one bit. 

I would think that most fans felt the way things are depicted in this song, "Treat him Tender, Maureen."

Here is an article written by Cheryl Hillman for The Beatles Charlton Publication in 1965.

The marriage of the year
By Cheryl Hillman

One night in 1962, a girl called Mary Cox was in the Cavern Club.  She was an apprentice hairdresser in a local salon and a Cavern "regular."   A boy asked her to dance and she found out that his name was Richard Starkey -- "Ringo" to his friends and that he lived in Dingle.   He had been with the Beatles for just a week and was finding a lot of opposition from Pete Best fans who were up in arms against his dismissal from the group.  He asked Maureen (as she was known to her friends) for a date, and she accepted.   That was the start of a serious but short romance.   Short because within weeks The Beatles had hit number one position in the charts and England had gone Beatle crazy.

When the Beatles left Liverpool to go on a mad whirl of one-night stands and television shows, Maureen thought that she had seen the last of the boy she loved.  Ringo had had other girlfriends, and now that millions of girls were screaming over him she didn't expect him to do anything but forget her.  She realized that the only thing to do was to carry on as if she had never met him.  But, of course, she didn't forget him.

Maureen lived with her parents in a tiny terrace house in Boundary street, in the poor dockside area of Liverpool.   Probably nobody was more surprised than her when at the first opportunity Ringo sought her out and dated her again.   He saw her as often as he could after that, ringing up the hairdressing salon where they soon found out who her mysterious boyfriend was, but they kept her secret for her.  the cloak and dagger romance must have been a hard, but exciting secret for the girls in the salon to keep.

At one point news of the romance did leak out, but both Ringo and Maureen denied it so emphatically and seem so hurt by the "rumor" that most people soon dismissed it as being another piece of slanderous Beatle gossip.  When Maureen joined Ringo (she has always called him Richie) on a Caribbean cruise with Paul and Jane Asher, the talk started again.  Would Ringo and Maureen marry?

One morning Ringo and Maureen were at London's famous Ad Lib Club.  It was 2a.m. and in the romantic atmosphere Ringo asked her to marry him.   Maureen's a petite, shy, dark-haired beauty, accepted.  Ringo wanted a quiet wedding.  not because he had wedding nerves (he had made too many entrances on stage to worry about walking down the aisle),  but because he knew that if his marriage was given a great deal of publicity he, being a Beatle, would get nearly all the limelight on their wedding day.   Ringo, being the person he is, was determined that it was going to Maureen's day.  so their wedding, like their romance, was carried out under the heading Top Secret.

At 8:15 on the morning of Thursday 11th February a small group of people filed into a London Register office.  24 year old Ringo and 18 year old Maureen became Mr. & Mrs. Richard Starkey.  The ceremony was performed by the Registrar Mr. Barry Digweed in a large room with red curtains and pale grey, red-patterned wallpaper, at Caxton Hall, Westminster.   the couple exchanged rings.  Ringo gave Maureen a heavily ornamented ring.  Maureen, a sky, quiet person slipped onto Ringo's finger a simple plain gold band.  as might have been expected, Brian Epstein, whom the Beatles look upon as a real friend and advisor was best man.   John Lennon and George Harrison witnessed the marriage certificate.  Cynthia Lennon, Maureen's parents and Ringo's mother and step-father made up the rest of the wedding party.   And so, while most of England was having breakfast, Ringo married the girl he had met back home in Liverpool's cellar club in Mathew Street.

*Many of these photos were found on the Maureen Starr Tribute yahoo group. 


  1. loved Maureen and Ringo together - what a pity it ended

  2. Any idea where Paul was on that wedding day?

  3. remember when Ringo and then George got married - loved Mo and Pattie