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Scrap of paper from 1963 sells for thousands at auction thanks to the power of music

Posted on 22/07/2020 in Press Coverage

A scrap of paper bearing Beatles autographs from the 1960s sold for thousands of pounds at auction - and gave its owner a welcome windfall just before her birthday.

In 1963, then aged just 12, Pamela Timson was hanging out by the backstage door at the Granada Theatre in Mansfield, Notts, when a mystery Beatle stepped outside.

She was among a huddle of young music fans who thrust their autograph books into the air. Pamela’s was returned to her with a full set of Beatles signatures - Paul McCartney, George Harrison, John Lennon and Ringo Starr.

Her autograph book, which also contained other 60s musical legends including Adam Faith, Roy Orbison and The Walker Brothers, sold at Hansons Auctioneers (July 21) for a hammer price of £3,400. With buyer’s premium and VAT, the total price paid by a private international buyer was £4,420.

It was a timely windfall for Pamela, a retired building society customer advisor and grandmother from Worksop, Notts, as she is celebrating her 70th birthday this week. She said: “I’m pleased someone will now get to enjoy them, just as I have.

“I was standing outside the stage door at the Granada on March 26, 1963, with friends, hoping against hope that someone would pop outside for a cigarette break.

“It happened that night when one of The Beatles appeared. Sadly, I hadn’t worked out who was who at that time and it all happened so quickly. They’d only just released Please Please Me and were yet to have a number one hit. And though one of the Beatles took the book away to be signed, someone else brought it back.

“Thank you, whichever Beatle you were, for taking my book and getting it signed. Only later as their success grew did I realise I was the owner of something very special.

“Now as I mark my 70th birthday and look at my autograph book, I realise how lucky I was to be a teenager at that time.

“In 1962, I discovered the Granada Theatre in Mansfield. It was a few miles from my home and regularly presented live music shows. I could now see my favourites in person for the princely sum of 6 shillings and 6 pence in old money.

“These were the days before large stadiums packed in thousands of fans to enjoy the sights and sounds of the famous. It was tough on the road in those early days for both up-and-coming and established artists. They played small venues in front of a few hundred fans. They’d go to a different town every night and weren’t earning megabucks.

“I was lucky. I got to see many of my favourites and some of their autographs are in my book including Del Shannon, Brian Hyland and Dion DiMucci. Dion and The Belmonts were on the bill for Buddy Holly’s final concert at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa, in 1959.

“The autographs have been stuck in my safe for years. I’ve always wondered just how much they would make at auction.”

Charles Hanson, owner of Hansons Auctioneers, said: “I’m delighted a moment of kindness from a mystery member of the Fab Four has led to a successful result for Pamela. Music memorabilia is a booming sector with keen collectors worldwide.”

Pamela’s autograph book was sold on July 21 by Hansons Auctioneers. To arrange a free valuation of music memorabilia, email: [email protected]