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

Yesterday, 15:53
A plane making a final approach to land at City Airport (Pic: PA/Yui Mok)

The government today announced it has given City Airport the green light to expand.

Yesterday, 14:33
The M-eco Award was won by Mecca Bingo

Shoppers cast their votes and now staff from the Mercury Mall’s best shops have walked down the red carpet and received awards at a glitzy ceremony.

Yesterday, 14:02
Becci Smith, who has made it to the finals of Miss London City 2016

A part-time carer says she is delighted to be representing Romford as she bids to become Miss London City.

Yesterday, 10:17
Daniel Hancock. Picture: Met Police

A driver who ran over a father-of-one found dead at his home the following day has pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving.

Yesterday, 09:39
The Mercury Mall's McDonalds will soon have the option of table service.

Customers of McDonald’s in The Mercury Mall shopping centre will soon have the option of having food delivered to their tables.

Yesterday, 07:47
A burst water main has closed Upper Rainham Road this morning  (credit: @MPSHavering)

One lane on Upper Rainham Road is open now in both directions with two-way traffic light, after a 15-inch cast iron water main burst this morning, leading to traffic and diversions.

Yesterday, 07:00
Queen's Hospital's A&E department

A pioneering emergency care trial directed between 50 and 60 patients a day away from A&E in a bid to focus resources on those in need of urgent care.

Tue, 17:53
Jim Reynolds pictured with Stalkers Lily

It is understood that Romford dog track has terminated the contract of one of its top greyhound trainers yesterday.

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

Which book character do you share cleaning habits with?

Whether you have more in common with put-upon Cinderella, emotionally turbulent Jane Eyre, or easily distracted Mole, you’re sure to appreciate that one lucky winner will receive four sessions of free cleaning. Enter our quiz for your chance to win. All runners up will get £10 off their first clean when making a repeat booking.

£15k prize bundle

Imagine having the opportunity to win an incredible £15,000 bundle of some of the most amazing prizes available. Well, for one lucky contest entrant that dream could soon become a reality because we at MyOffers are offering an incredible free prize bundle that will make even the most hardened person wild with excitement.

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