MY BEATLES DAY OUT..
27th February 1983
By Bill Hart
The Sunday Times Magazine
This was a 1983 special feature looking back to the early golden years of The Beatles on Merseyside. A gathering at the equally world-famous Adelphi Hotel on a chilly January Sunday saw a good many fans report for duty as summonsed by The Sunday Time Magazine for a photo shoot somewhere in Liverpool. The STM's purpose was for the very first-time, to devote a full issue to just one single subject to celebrate another 'first-time'. The anniversary of The Beatles topping the pops with their first no 1 - 'Please Please Me' - twenty years ago in 1963.
Pilling onto a luxury coach after being suitably fed and watered together with travelling expences cheerfully paid, off we went on an unforgettable mystery tour. Headed out towards south Liverpool and the former stomping ground's of the childhood Beatles we were absolutly rapt with delight.
Aunt Mimi's house was first - Mendips in Menlove Ave. Parking outside for pictures, there was a lot of uncertainty in the gathering as to whose house we were actually looking at. We simply didn't know.
This was early 1983 remember. The 'old' Cavern Club was still filled-in with rubble, a new device called a Compact Disc would eventually replace vinyl records, the first liposuction plasic surgery was performed,
Chicago USA motorist's payed $3000 each to use a mobile phone in a car, the Sinclair Spectrum 16K personal computer was now a cool £125 plus P&P, the Cabbage Patch Doll was the hottest of Xmas gifts and a young lady calling herself Madonna - also from Chicago - released her first-ever record.
The Bus Shelter - Penny Lane - Liverpool - L18
'This is the single picture the STM had in mind for us..'
Not many Beatles tourist's made their pilgrimages to Liverpool in those days -and anyway there wasn't that much to see. Save for just one, struggling, but flag-waving visitor attraction - The Beatles Story Museum and that was about it.
However, our po-faced coach driver eventually put us out of our misery and confirmed to our embarrassing relief that indeed this was John Lennon's former home. Paul's house was next then on to George's and then - to our surprise - Ringo's place In Madryn Street was inexplicably omitted from the schedule. I think we must have been running out of time that day. Daylight was fast receding as it had gone past three-o-clock and we still had to reach the location of the shoot - where ever that was? Now the coach was pulling up yet again and before we really knew it - we had arrived..
Draped around the shelter in the middle of the roundabout we preened, pouted and posed. The air was beginning to freeze. What was left of the ever-decaying sun had begun to set far away behind the clouds and over the water on the other side of the Wirral. I had removed a heavy winter-warmer jacket and left it deliberately on the coach - so did some others. "We weren't going to look like an evicted Eskimo family just over from Greenland for this most important pic ever! Nahhh". Whilst some attempted to hide their top-coats behind them on the damp floor whilst many managed to kept themselves well and truly buttoned-up, insulated and cuddly-warm.
I think you'll agree with me that it's a cracking photograph, although my scanner
does not do the original a true enough justice.
The photographer set up a surprisingly 'old' Victorian-style tripod camera and slid into it a square black plate and pointed it at us. Lifting the covering shroud at the rear and almost disappeared beneath it, he unexpectedly re-emerged seconds later with a small shiny state-of-the-art professional Polaroid Camera. He arranged us - we; his subject matter - a little further. "Back a bit, turn a little to the left, sit down No 14" and so on. I was getting colder now as we had been standing there for at least ten minutes. 'No avail - he would be finished soon - wouldn't he?' I thought. More Polaroid shot's, more tripod shot's followed by more and more moving, shifting and shaping and then, "Got it!" he cried.
Taking forty-five minutes to get this shot, I had put my hands in my pocket's as a natural response to a long term injury in which my right hand has poor circulation to my index finger - particularly so in cold weather. From the looks of some of the others you'll see them trying to look cool too - and as matter of fact - we really we really were all well and truly chilled-out!
Reproduced by kind permission of The Sunday Times Magazine Ltd
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