The Beatles’ Anniversary Mercury available now
- Credit: Archant
A SPECIAL edition of the Weston Mercury celebrating The Beatles’ visit to Weston in 1963 is now on sale, with exclusive photos and stories of the Fab Four, including a woman who snuck into their hotel room and rifled through their pants.
Sandra Woodruff was 16 years old when she and her friend saw the band live at The Odeon after having broken into their room at the (now defunct) Royal Pier Hotel on July 24, 1963.
Sandra and her friend seized their opportunity to get up close with the band’s bedroom when they noticed the hotel’s security guard was absent after waiting outside the hotel.
Sandra was told the room number of the band – 49 – by members of Gerry And The Pacemakers, who were also playing at The Odeon and staying at the hotel.
They poked around in the room, which had two beds in, and saw a Bible open on one of the beds, a record sleeve with John’s name on it and a letter for George on a bedside table.
The wardrobe was open and Sandra rifled through a pile of fresh pants and stole a card inlay from the packet.
Sandra said: “I don’t know how long we were in there, it must have been about five minutes. The manager came in and said ‘I am getting the police’ and we just rushed out.
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“We went to the concert that night and Paul waved at me.”
Two days later, Sandra returned with two different friends and stayed outside the band’s hotel the entire day before meeting them.
The group then came out and signed photographs and the pants card, before Paul told them: “Oh right, now we know who was in our bedroom.”
Sandra added: “I got the card signed by all of the band.
“They must have been getting exasperated with all the girls round them.
“But there were boys there too.
“It was absolutely fabulous. I was just mad about them. I never expected we could get that close to The Beatles.
“We bought the ghost train operators on the Grand Pier 10 woodbine cigarettes each to tell us where they were staying.
“We decided when we saw them all going out we would go up there. I have always been a bit of a devil and I decided we should do it.
“I never realised how big they would become at the time, if I had I would have got a picture with them as well, and would have written down everything straight away afterwards.
“I have always been a fan of theirs ever since. It’s great to have this amazing story to tell.”
A range of Beatles memorabilia by photographer Pete Brownett, who took the back-page cover photo used in this week’s Mercury, is available at The Frame Station in Walliscote Road.
To see all the photos and read all the stories about the band’s visit, pick up a copy of The Beatles 50th Anniversary special edition Weston Mercury, on sale now.