A day in the life of a Beatles collection

- The Beatles At 'Big Night Out' ABC Theatre, Blackpool 19th July 1964 (copyright Tracks Ltd)
- The Beatles At 'Big Night Out' ABC Theatre, Blackpool 19th July 1964 (copyright Tracks Ltd)
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All You Need Is Love but if you don’t want to work Eight Days A Week your cherished memorabilia of The Beatles could provide A Ticket To Ride ... all the way to the bank.

And while it Can’t Buy You Love it could make you feel Glad All Over.

All you have to do is take the Magical Mystery Tour to your old scrapbooks or attic for your store of treasured concert tickets, posters and pictures of the fab four in Blackpool.

Yesterday is gone. A recession is on. And Every Little Thing matters unless Baby, You’re A Rich Man. Most of us need Help.

OK, enough of the puns 

Sunday marks the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ first concert in Blackpool. To commemorate the occasion Tracks Ltd, the Chorley-based world market leader in Beatles and other rock ‘n’ roll memorabilia, is offering locals a free valuation of their Beatles collections.

Specialist valuation staff reckon there’s a rich stash of stuff to be found here. A concert poster from Blackpool in decent nick can bring in £4,000 to £8,000 – compared with £2000 a few years ago.

A small ticket stub can sell for £80, a larger more elaborate ticket for around £150. Beatles programmes bring between £25 and £35, with handbills between £300 and £500.

Signatures have soared in value – with all four on a page of an autograph album worth up to £2,500 – as opposed to £1,000 five years ago.

A signed programme is worth between £3,000-£4,000. A signed copy of the Please Please Me LP could bring between £6,000 and £9,000 depending on condition.

As for the holy grail of the lot – long after their Blackpool appearances? A copy of Sgt Pepper’s signed by all four Beatles commands more than £60,000 - £55,000 more than it was worth five years ago.

Back in the swinging sixties, as our own Lost Archives have shown, Blackpool was at the heart of Beatlemania when the lads had just made it big.

One local impresario left kicking himself was Central Pier impresario Peter Webster who turned them down for the 1963 summer season because he didn’t “think much of them.”

Blackpool showbusiness historian Barry Band says a few weeks later the group reached number two in the charts with Please Please Me – and followed it up with two number ones From Me To You and She Loves You.

“It was the biggest mistake I ever made,” Webster told Barry.

Not that The Beatles held it against Blackpool. As Liverpool lads they had made the childhood rite of passage visits here for the Lights and knew the resort well. And none more so than John Lennon who had lived here for two months with his dad. It’s been suggested he was given the ultimatum “me your dad” by his mum here too.

Lennon also regularly visited a cousin who lived in Fleetwood. The group played the Marine Hall Ballroom in Fleetwood in August 1962 – just 
before they made it big.

They played five Sundays in 1963 at the ABC Theatre – part of the heritage in the fabric of a building campaigners still hope to save from demolition. The compere was Carry On 
actor Jack Gordon.

They played two Sundays at the Queen’s Theatre (where TK Maxx now stands). Historian Barry says the theatre, a cinderella on the entertainments scene, snapped the lads up for the only two vacant Sundays in their diary. “They couldn’t believe their luck.”

By way of reminder, the Tracks team offers this breakdown of The Beatles’ Blackpool performances.

July 7 1963 – ABC Theatre, Blackpool. The Beatles had just topped the charts for the first time.

July 14 1963 – ABC Theatre, Blackpool.

July 21 1963 – Queen’s Theatre, Blackpool.

August 4 1963 – Queen’s Theatre, Blackpool. Tracks reports that so many fans blocked the entrances front and back The Beatles had to go through a builder’s yard, across some scaffolding and the roof of the theatre, from which they were lowered into the wings of the theatre via a trap door.

August 11, August 25 and September 8, 1963 – ABC Theatre, Blackpool.

July 19 1964 – ABC Theatre, Blackpool. This time for live variety programme ‘Blackpool Night Out’ – the summer edition of ‘Big Night Out’ – shown across the ITV network at 8:25pm. The show was hosted by Mike and Bernie Winters. As well as perform five songs the group took part in comedy sketches.

July 26 and August 16, 1964, Opera House, Blackpool. One of the support acts at the second concert were the High Numbers, billed a “new R&B group”. They would later become known as The Who.

The Beatles returned to the resort in 1965, for one televised appearance at the ABC, when Paul mesmerised the 
audience with his stunning solo Yesterday.

Lynsey Wilkins of Tracks Ltd says: “ Our service is an opportunity for people to have an item of memorabilia that they own appraised – free.

“Sometimes people want to know the history of the items they have had stored in their attics for the last 30 or 40 years. Bands and artists left behind a plethora of superb mementos from their visits to Blackpool and most of this material has risen steadily in value over the last 20 years.

The last five years has seen a significant increase in the price of Beatles memorabilia, in particular.

“Many other famous artists of the 1960s and 1970s also played in Blackpool including the Rolling Stones who performed at the Opera House just once on March 3 1964 after which they were banned due to rioting at the show.

“The Who performed at the Queen’s Theatre on August 30 and September 6, 1964 – as well as supported The Beatles on August 16. They also played two shows at the South Pier in 1966 and at the Opera House in 1971. Jimi Hendrix performed at the Odeon Theatre on April 14 and 15 1967 and at the Opera House on November 25 - when he was joined by Pink Floyd!”

For more information visit www.tracks.co.uk; write (but do not send original memorabilia) to Tracks Ltd, PO Box 117, Chorley, Lancashire, PR6 OQR, call (01257) 269726 or email sales@tracks.co.uk