Thursday, May 19, 2016

The school girl at Chiswick

This story was found at

Annie Evans (now Welburn) not only got to meet the Fab Four but was photographed with them and ended up on the front cover of the News of the World. 

And last week her two daughters visited Chiswick House to walk in their mother's footsteps and recall the day that catapulted her to national fame. Jessica and Laura, went on a trip down memory lane where their mother met the Beatles 50 years ago on May 20th.

Annie became a nurse, married Mick who was in the army and is mum to eight children. She is at present in a holiday home in Crete and this is her version of the story, as told to Lucinda Mac Pherson who is in charge of the project for the Chiswick House archives.

“The classroom in the girls school faced Chiswick House Gardens .... maybe there was a commotion out the front or someone ran and told us but the news was that the Beatles were in the park filming.

A few of us didn't need to be told twice ....We weren't phased by the consequences of running out of school; we were hysterical so that’s exactly what we did! Judy (Kenton,now Mcguire) was definitely with me...Im not sure who else but there was a handful of us totally excited! 

I think we ran through the Park gate that faced the boys school and headed for the open area near the conservatory. We were screaming at each other, on a mission to find where they were. We came to the open area near the conservatory. A wall ran alongside the conservatory at the back. We couldn't see anyone. I shouted out that I would climb the wall to have a better view. We were hyped up and whoever was still with me ran off.
So I climbed the wall!

From the top there seemed to be an allotment/vegetable garden behind the conservatory, (which was to my right) a sort of shed type building on my left and a pile of rubbish, (probably manure) directly beneath me.

I jumped down on to it anyway and headed for the veg garden in front of me........As I passed the shed the garden opened out and there ( about 8-10 yards away) play fighting and posing were Paul and Ringo. I think they were having photos taken but I was so shocked I wasn’t really concentrating!

I have no idea what face I was pulling. I know my legs felt like jelly and I wondered what to do.
I remember feeling sort of shy and silly at the same time and I really hated the fact I was in school uniform! but anyway they hadn't noticed me .

I started walking towards them wishing I had a friend with me to share such an unreal experience! Through the middle of the vegetable garden was a path that led towards the back of the conservatory and as I was probably taking my next step I saw George and John walking down the path. Another guy was in the background in dark glasses - they were all wearing those - I thought he was Brian Epstein. Anyway I also thought he may tell me to get out.
Then John saw me and called me over.

From that moment on I was in a dream world. John and George were really lovely. John did the talking. George put his arm round me and grinned. John asked me if I was at school which was obvious, I suppose. He asked me what I wanted to take for ‘O’ levels! He said he liked art and I did too. I told him I was taking it as an extra as my dad thought it was more sensible to choose chemistry! yuk! Paul and Ringo came over ... Paul said “Hiya” I was amazed how normal they were as I knew I would look weird as I was in a daze.

Whilst we were talking ...well they were, I just enjoyed walking with them and not being asked to leave. We were heading for the back of the conservatory....As we entered George asked would I like to stay and watch them play for a bit! Silly question really....He and John settled me in the corner of the room and they you know I'm not sure what, maybe Paperback Writer or Rain.... but I was on another planet seriously!

I couldn't believe I was there!!! John even came over at one point to check I was alright!
It seems like I was there ages.... Ringo said he was hungry and they sent out for food. He sat in the back of the car with fish and chips (and peas I think )and asked me if i would like some....
I’m not sure when.... but they were aware schools were out and that loads of fans were out on the grass in front so they planned to go outside to play for everyone. Before they went. I think it was John or maybe Ringo who asked me where I lived. I told them near Heathrow. They asked if I needed a lift home! I CANT BELIEVE I said I was fine and that I didn't ask for any autographs either! but I DIDNT.

Instead I went outside with them. It was many of us!!! I sat on the lawn with some of my friends and heard them play....still in an absolute daze!!!

I had the best memory! But that wasn't all....... My photo..... I hadn't got a clue that one, well several, had been taken..... came out in the Beatles fan club magazine....and the following month fans were even asking if I was Jane Asher’s sister!

Even better, years and years later Whitaker who had stored photos in a barn in Australia, published his book which was promoted by Richard and Judy and included in the SUNDAY Express Supplement and seen by my dad (who had been mad at me at the time...He was going to phone the police as I got home late - 8PM....late in those days!)

Best of all my friend Judy, who I had lost contact with, saw the photos and published them in The News of the World and we met up again after many many years! " 


  1. Sara - this is what your site is all about. This is a fantastic story! What a dream come true!

  2. Great story, Sara, loved reading it!

  3. I was responsible for getting all of us into trouble that day. I was in the 6th form at Chiswick Grammar and had free periods on the afternoon of 20th May. I always went to and from school through the park. When I went with two other 6th form mates through the Chertsey road gate and saw a van drawn up in front of the great House, with wires and lots of long leads going round to the front. As we had never seen any vehicle in the park before we were intrigued. when we walked around the corner we saw the boys filming and ran back to school to spread the word. Annie, Judy and several other girls were all friends of ours and pretty soon half the school had bunked off and gone into the park. I talked to John and Ringo because Paul and George were completely surrounded by girls. A few of us attended the 50th anniversary gathering in 2016 and Annie's daughters came along. I am glad to say we still occasionally get together for the odd "old school" gatherings at the school and the park, although we could not do so this year because of lockdown. Needless to say, the Video of Paperback Writer was one of the first great music film clips (later to become video), although they had been invented in 1960 to promote French singers like Jaques Brel and similar artists. The Moody Blues also had a short promotional film clip made for "Go Now".

    1. That there is what anybody would call a priceless memory.