'They were amazing': Memories of when The Beatles came to Norfolk

This photo of the Beatles, taken in 1963 in Great Yarmouth.

This photo of The Beatles, taken in 1963 in Great Yarmouth. - Credit: Richard Harrison

With Peter Jackson's new Beatles documentary Get Back currently airing on Disney+, we've had a look at the times the Fab Four visited Norfolk.

The Beatles made both of their trips to Norfolk in 1963, the year they released their debut album Please Please Me, visiting screaming crowds in both Norwich and Great Yarmouth.

In Great Yarmouth, The Beatles played two nights at the ABC Cinema on June 30 and July 28.

On the July date the band played two sets at 6pm and 8.15pm, with tickets priced at four shillings and sixpence, and nine shillings and sixpence.

The ABC in Great Yarmouth in 1967.

The ABC in Great Yarmouth in 1967. - Credit: Archant

Also on the bill were The Kestrels, The Trebletones, Freddie Starr and The Midnighters, Barry Barnett and Glenda Collins, while the compere was comedian Alan Field.

A crew from Italian television network RAI filmed the band from the cinema balcony.

In Norwich, The Beatles played the Grosvenor Rooms in Prince of Wales Road, on Friday, May 17, and saw the band perform hits including Twist and Shout, Please Please Me and From Me To You.

Mary Jeeves, who was in the audience that night, said: “The Beatles were amazing. My friend Sandra and I went to their dressing room. My memory is Paul and John were very chatty and friendly. George was much quieter but lovely.

John Lennon, left with other members of The Beatles at the Grosvenor Rooms in Norwich in 1963.

John Lennon, left with other members of The Beatles at the Grosvenor Rooms in Norwich in 1963. - Credit: Archant

“At the end I got their autographs.”

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After the gig the Fab Four had fish and chips across the road in Valori's.

The Beatles at the Grosvenor in Norwich in 1963.

The Beatles at the Grosvenor in Norwich in 1963. - Credit: Archant

Another concert-goer, John Parramint, who now lives in St Cesaire, France, said: “From memory I recall John Lennon and Paul McCartney making the short walk unhindered from Norwich railway station to the Grosvenor while George and Ringo arrived in a van.

The Grosvenor Rooms where The Beatles played in 1963.  

The Grosvenor Rooms where The Beatles played in 1963. - Credit: Archant

“The next day at work all my workmate Trevor could talk about was that the Beatles smoked cheap [cigarettes]."

Just last year a flier from the concert signed by Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr went under the hammer where it was expected to fetch between £8,000 and £12,000.

A signer flier of when The Beatles performed in Norwich is to go under the hammer.

A signer flier of when The Beatles performed in Norwich is to go under the hammer. - Credit: Omega Auctions

A signer flier of when The Beatles performed in Norwich is to go under the hammer.

A signer flier of when The Beatles performed in Norwich is to go under the hammer. - Credit: Omega Auctions

Fewer than 80 of the 200-plus British venues The Beatles played between 1957 and 1966 remain today, including the Grosvenor Rooms.

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