Revised: Untold story of when young Beatles annoyed Leeds Hotel staff!
Ripon woman Beryl Fletcher was just a teenager the night she had a cosy chat with The Beatles on Friday, March 8 1963 into the wee small hours of the following day.
The band weren’t much older at that point; George Harrison was only 19.
The Beatles at that point had only released two singles and had come to Harrogate during a year of non-stop touring.Beryl was a fan at the Royal Hall that night, a show which had only taken place because of Harrogate record shop owner Derek Arnold. He booked the then little-known Beatles in December 1962 to come to Harrogate even though he’d never heard of them because his customers kept asking for the single Love Me Do. Having hit number one a month or so before their Harrogate date with Please Please Me, the four Beatles had just recorded the follow-up From Me To You three days before the Royal Hall concert. These were the very earliest days of Beatlemania. The band were paid Â£75 for the gig with Â£25 going to their manager, Brian Epstein. The gig was sandwiched between concerts hundreds of miles away.Another key figure that night was George McCormick of support band Ricky Fenton and the Apaches.John Lennon told him that The Beatles were heading straight to London after the show but the Fab Four actually went to Leeds, the young Beryl Fletcher, Beryl said: “We sat in the car after the show waiting for The Beatles and followed them to Leeds. “George Harrison went home to Liverpool on the midnight train so there was John, Paul and Ringo in the hotel in Leeds. The entrance was on a corner. I’m not sure if it was the Metropole or the Majestic.“They didn’t go to bed or anything, they just sat around talking at a table in a dining room. It was wonderful.“I was sitting near Ringo who was lovely. John was nice, too. Ringo had the radio on very loud, playing it at full blast. An Italian waiter came across pointing his arms at them, telling them to turn it down.“Ringo just said calmly “it is Elvis you know.””Beryl adds: “I remember coming back to Ripon at around 6.50am wondering what I was going to tell my mum and dad.”