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Help! Writer trying to find fans who saw The Beatles in Romford

PUBLISHED: 07:46 03 November 2015 | UPDATED: 07:47 03 November 2015

The Beatles rehearsing for the Royal Variety Performance at the Prince of Wales theatre in 1963, London. Left to right, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr (drums), George Harrison and John Lennon. Photo: PA

The Beatles rehearsing for the Royal Variety Performance at the Prince of Wales theatre in 1963, London. Left to right, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr (drums), George Harrison and John Lennon. Photo: PA

PA Archive/PA Images

An author is trying to track down fans of The Beatles who saw any of the Fab Four’s gigs in Romford in 1963.

The two shows occurred at the ABC cinema in March and the Odeon in Romford in June 1963.

Manchester author Richard Houghton is writing a “people’s history” of the group.

He said: “I’m looking to talk to people who were in the audience that night.

“Or even if you weren’t, possibly you hung out by the stage door or couldn’t get tickets.

“There have been lots of books about the band but I want to record what was going on for the British public.

“What outfit did you wear? Were your parents happy that you’re going? Did you skip an afternoon of school to go?”

The Beatles scored 17 number ones in the 1960s but were still relatively new when they visited Romford.

At the second concert in the Odeon, Romford was the venue for the top three acts in the country.

Richard said: “On the 16th June, The Beatles were number one in the charts with From Me To You.

“They were sharing the stage with Gerry and the Pacemakers, who were number two with their beat single I Like It.

“The opening act Billy J. Kramer & The Dakotas were number three with a Beatles cover.

“The chances of that happening today are much slimmer!”

Richard wrote You Had To Be There: The Rolling Stones Live 1962 - 69, which charts the bands rise to fame through the accounts of fans across the country.

He hopes to repeat the exercise with a similar account of The Beatles astronomical rise to fame through accounts from the British public.

He said: “It’s a history of Britain as much as it’s a history of The Beatles.

“Beatlemania was an incredible phenomena experienced by wide swathes of the British public - did it hit you?”

Share your Beatles memories with Richard at thebeatlesinthe60s@gmail.com or by writing to him at 7 Hartley Road, Manchester, M21 9NG.


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