Nottingham

'Forgotten' Beatles autographs from Nottingham gig to be auctioned

Beatles autographs Image copyright Hansons
Image caption The diary contains the autographs of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and George Harrison

A 1963 diary containing autographs of The Beatles is expected to sell for thousands at auction.

Liz Webster, 74, from Hampshire, collected the signatures after a gig in Nottingham when she barged her way into their dressing room.

The book, containing the names of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and George Harrison, laid forgotten in a filing cabinet for 30 years.

The autographs have a guide price of between £4,000 and £6,000.

Ms Webster, a retired insurance clerk, said the band gave her and her friend Judy a warm welcome following their gig at the Elizabethan Ballroom in the Co-Op Building, in Nottingham, on 7 March 1963.

Image copyright Hansons
Image caption Liz Webster with auctioneer Charles Hanson and her autographs

"We were giggly 17-year-olds back then," she said.

"Please Please Me was in the charts but the ballroom was half empty. There must have been about 100 people there.

"There were about a dozen girls hanging around outside their dressing room.

"Judy was the forceful one and she led the way as we barged our way through saying 'excuse me, excuse me'. There was no security."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The Fab Four toured the UK in 1963 and visited Nottingham in March, May and December
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption "Beatlemania" was in full swing across the UK by the end of 1963

That night the band lugged their own equipment from the back of an old van and took the lift up to ballroom, she said.

However, when they returned in December, to play at the Nottingham Odeon, "Beatlemania" was in full swing and all police leave was cancelled, according to auctioneer Charles Hanson.

He said: "These autographs have tremendous provenance thanks to Liz's story.

"As time went on and The Beatles became more famous, it became impossible for fans to get so close to their musical heroes."

The autographs are set to be sold at Hansons Auctioneers in Etwall, Derbyshire, on 19 November.

Image copyright Hansons

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