Search

The day I met The Beatles - Romford woman’s amazing story

15:00 28 March 2013

The Beatles in June 1963

The Beatles in June 1963

PA Wire/Press Association Images

She may be a sensible grandmother-of-nine now, but 50 years ago last week, Val Taylor, 64, along with pal Pip Smith, 63, were star-seeking schoolgirls who had heard about a concert at Romford’s ABC Cinema.

Pip, left, and best friend Val met the Beatles just before they were famous.Pip, left, and best friend Val met the Beatles just before they were famous.

The gig was after school on Wednesday, March 20, 1963, and the friends, along with another two teens they had just met, casually boarded the entertainers’ bus, in South Street. They got three autographs from a band of four - John, Paul and Ringo - but the names meant nothing to them. Just three months later the group, known as The Beatles, returned to play the Odeon Cinema, in Romford. Here Val, from Mawney Road, Romford, recalls the events, and the day she helped Paul McCartney carry his bags to the backstage door.

“My friend, Pip, and I were 14 years-old at the time and attended Chase Cross Girls’ School (now Bower Park). We decided to catch a bus into Romford after school and wait outside the ABC Cinema to try and get a glimpse of some of the “stars” and maybe some autographs. We werent allowed to go to the show, however, as our parents thought we were too young!

Val during the Swinging SixtiesVal during the Swinging Sixties

“We duly waited outside the ABC cinema, with two other girls who I think were from Petits Lane School (now Marshalls Park). Eventually, a coach pulled up and all the performing artists were on it (not that we knew who any of them were!). The four of us girls were allowed to get on the coach and we went up and down, asking for autographs. There was no hysteria, no screaming, and none of us really knew who was who.

“For this reason, I ended up with two autographs from Paul McCartney, along with John Lennon and Ringo Starr. I missed George somehow or I would have had the whole set! I still have the autographs in my autograph book, which I treasure.

“Pip and I helped Paul carry his bags off the coach and up to the stage door. We asked him if we could come in and he said he didn’t think the doorman would allow it!

Girls went crazy for the original boybandGirls went crazy for the original boyband

“The next time The Beatles came to Romford was a totally different matter. I queued outside the Odeon from 5.30am for tickets and a photo of us was featured in the Recorder I believe. I was wearing a black and white check “jockeys cap” (cringe!) We had front row seats and I remember Ringo nodding and smiling at us, which of course, sent us into fits of screaming!

“In those days, there were numerous tours featuring all the pop groups performing at the same gig. I think we saw just about everyone who was popular in the 60s ranging from The Stones, Johnny Kid & The Pirates, The Hollies, Gerry & The Pacemakers, The Searchers, Billy J Kramer & The Dakotas and of course, The Beatles.

“Pip and I both still live in Romford and meet up regularly. We clearly remember that afternoon after school when we met the Beatles and I think we both secretly were annoyed we were in our school uniforms!”

0 comments

Latest Romford News Stories

Miley, seven, and  India, 18-months, withTaylor Chalk, far right, who helped his mum's ex-partner Nicholas to safety after a house fire.

A 12-year-old boy has been hailed a hero after saving his stepdad from a fire which engulfed the family home.

10:28
Romford Magistrates' Court

A father threatened to “kill” his ex-girlfriend after she ignored his calls and didn’t pay him back money owed.

07:00
Rainham resident Colin Nickless is angered by the rise in energy bills

An investigation has been launched into energy costs at an affordable housing estate after residents received “extortionate” bills.

Yesterday, 17:40
Residents staging a protest against plans to dump waste on Ingrebourne Hill at the opening of the public inquiry.

“This will send a strong message our green belt is not for sale,” a councillor has said after finding out a public inquiry dismissed today an appeal to dump inert waste on green belt land.

Yesterday, 15:33
Michel Charles and Hayley Anderson with the cake

Move over Mary and Paul, it’s time for the Great Havering Bake-Off!

Yesterday, 13:16
An artist impression of Lidl's plans for the former Mecca Bingo building, Hornchurch   /Credit: Lidl

Supermarket chain Lidl has submitted a planning application to build a new store on the site of a historic cinema and former bingo hall.

Yesterday, 11:50
Cousins Mark Juby,Tom Bowman, Tony Boyton and Andy Rushmer cycled from Romford to Dorset in memory of their fireman grandad, Michael Green.

The memory of a much-loved grandad was honoured as four cousins completed a marathon cycle ride to raise money for charity.

Yesterday, 09:55
Havering Police is investigating after a video shows a boy being beaten up by a group of boys.

Thousands of pounds have been raised for an anti-bullying charity after a video showing a violent assault on a 15-year-old boy in a park went viral.

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

News from your area

WW100

Click on the banner above for full coverage of the centenary commemorations of the outbreak of the First World War.

Competitions

Kit yourself out and go Apple mad!

If you’re obsessed with Apple or just love a good gadget, this is a prize that will blow you away! An incredible £3,333 to spend on Apple goodies! How would you like to be the proud new owner of the Apple Watch?

VW Golf Estate

As we grow older it becomes more and more important to have means to travel about safely and quickly. Our friendship groups and families grow and the need to have a car that is not only safe but also fast and big enough for all our needs is ever more important. There are many cars on the market for such needs but none deals with them as efficiently or as neatly as a VW Golf Estate. These cars are build strong, long lasting and spacious for a reason. They cater to the needs of many and are some of the most popular cars currently on the market.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now