AN AUTOGRAPH book signed by The Beatles just months before Beatlemania made them megastars could fetch £4,000 at auction.
Gran Pamela Timson was aged 12 when she waited for hours outside a stage door for one of her idols to have a cigarette break so she could ask them to sign her book.
Earlier she had been one of only 100 people to watch them perform at the Granada Theatre in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, on March 26, 1963.
Her patience was finally rewarded when her red autograph book was among a few whisked away by one of the Fab Four, although Pamela was unable to identify who it was.
Minutes later it was returned to her with the signatures of Paul McCartney, George Harrison, John Lennon and Ringo Starr.
Her autograph book, which also contains the signatures of 1960s music legends Adam Faith, Roy Orbison and The Walker Brothers, is going under the hammer with a guide price of between £3,000 and £4,000.
Pamela, 69, a retired building society customer advisor and gran from Worksop, said: ‘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, someone else brought it back.
‘Thank you, whichever Beatle you were, for taking my book and getting it signed by the Fab Four.
‘Only later, as their success grew, did I realise I was the owner of something very special.
‘I’m now approaching my 70th birthday and, as I look at my autograph book, I realise how lucky I was to be a teenager at that time.
‘In 1962, at the age of 12, 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 six shillings and sixpence 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.
‘I saw Little Richard in October 1962. I had tickets for the early evening show, thankfully, as when he came on stage for the late evening show fans stormed the stage and he never got to perform his set.
‘I also met Adam Faith after his show at the Arcadia Theatre in Skegness in June 1965.’
Pamela’s most poignant autograph was from Roy Orbison just weeks before his wife Claudette, whom she also met, died in a motorbike crash.
She said: ‘The final autographs I collected were at Sheffield City Hall in April, 1966.
‘A friend and I were allowed backstage after the show to meet The Walker Brothers and Roy Orbison. Roy was a gentleman, happy to speak to us.
‘He was there with his wife, Claudette, who was tragically killed a few weeks later.
‘His dark glasses must have concealed much sadness as he also lost his two sons in a house fire whilst away on tour.
‘His voice and his music were unique and I still enjoy listening to Roy today.
‘The autographs have been stuck in my safe for years. I’ve always wondered just how much they would make at auction.
‘As I approach 70, I feel It’s time for someone else to enjoy them. I hope whoever buys my book of nostalgia and memories will treasure and appreciate it as I have done for the past 60 years.’
The autograph book will be sold at Hansons Auctioneers next Tuesday.