Tuesday, November 3, 2015

The Beatles go for a Wirral

On January 14, 1963 the Beatles played The Ellesmere Port Civic Hall to a very enthusiastic audience.   And while the band was still in the beginning stages of stardom, those who were there caught on quickly that the Beatles were special.  

Here are some memories from those who were there:

Patricia Greenhalgh: My friend Barbara Dickson and I had some great times following the Beatles before they became really big, in fact we were responsible for them playing Ellesmere Port Civic Hall. We knew the lads really well from the Cavern Club, so we contacted the manager of the Civic Hall and encouraged him to book them. We'd always have a chat with Paul, John and the band and have a bit of a laugh after the gigs but before they went onstage at the civic hall Paul came and invited us back stage with them. It was a really good gig. They even offered to play at my 21st birthday party but I said no because I was only having it at my brother's house in Blacon! I've still got signed records now. They were nice lads and they deserved their success. They were truly great days.
(Ellesmere Port & Neston Messenger Winter 2008)

Sue McClelland: My friend Angela and I took them tea in their dressing room. We got a kiss from each of them and their autographs. Angela's Mum organised it all and booked them.  

Lee Lucks: I'm barely 15 years, never been to a gig (a dance in those days!) and I've been invited by my friend Angela to a "do" to raise funds for the Carnival Queen in the Civic Hall at Ellesmere Port. "It's brilliant new group from Liverpool," she tells me. 'The Beatles, with an A." Along I go in my best - a straight skirt, daringly short, and a very prim white blouse with a high neck. The atmosphere is amazing and the performance electric.

The show finishes and we're waiting for Angela's mum to clear up and take us home when we're called over. "You can go backstage if you want to . . ." Wow! By now we're all in a frenzy and a little nervous but that disappears as soon as we walk into the dressing room. Four exuberant, noisy boys larking about and writing on the mirrors. It didn't matter who was who, they were all friendly, chatty and wild.
The only number I remember is Please Please Me but that started me on the collection - all my pocket money that year was spent on new releases. Most of my time that should have been spent revising for GCEs was spent listening to the records. Maybe that's why I can remember most of the words to the early hits but very little about the Battle of Hastings! 

Dennis Flavell: I was there and have an original ticket, plus the Beatles autographs, plus the receipt for the dance signed by Brian Epstein on a NEMS enterprises business card. They were paid forty pound and Please Please Me had just gone to #1 on the charts. Supporting orchestra was The Whitby Ward Trio who all (or at least 2) were at the Grammar School at the time. Roger Parrot was the keyboard player.  
Margaret Walmsley: It was my sister Joan Fairley that took them their tea in the break. George Harrison signed a cigarette for her and she smoked it! Could have been worth something now...

Pam Stout: I was at this dance and a friend (Carol Gorman) got Paul to sign a personalised autograph for me as her Mum was on the Wolverham Association who arranged the event. Happy Days! 

Gillian Campbell: I remember my Dad saying when he went to watch the Beatles at the Civic Hall John Lennon was "flirting" with one of his friend's girlfriends. There was a small fight (don't think it was a mass brawl or anything) with Lennon and my Dad, his friends and I remember him saying Screaming Lord Such (I think that's how you spell it) was involved!! 

I found all of this great information on the LiverpoolLocations blog.


  1. What a great photo, and what great memories!! Pre-fame fan stories are probably my favorite!!! Thank - as always - for posting this, Sara! Gave me a big smile.

  2. Hi Sara, That's from my blog, "There Are Places I Remember". Glad you enjoyed it.

    Best wishes, Mark Ashworth

  3. Hey Mark, I have John and George's autograph from that show! Do you have anything from that night?