Was this Yorkshire’s biggest Beatles fan?

Whilst searching through our vast archives recently, I stumbled upon this little gem. A fantastic image of a Miss Marilyn Roberts from Pudsey. According to the brief caption on the back dated March 5, 1964, Miss Roberts, aged 15 at the time, was a ‘Great Beatles fan’. And looking at all the fan merchandise surrounding Miss Roberts, that could have certainly been the case.

With no further information on the image we can only assume that the reason for Miss Roberts having her picture taken by a staff photographer could have been the timely announcement of the bands impending British Tour, due to start on October 9, 1964, with their first gig taking place at Bradford’s Gaumont.

By March 1964 Beatlemania had really taken hold. The Beatles had rocketed from bill fillers to show-stoppers and chart-toppers to hit-makers no longer needing to be part of the package tours alongside stars such as Helen Shapiro, Kenny Lynch, and Danny Williams.

After a string of chart hits such as From Me To You, She Loves You, and I Wanna Hold Your Hand, Lennon and McCartney were pouring out instant classics, either for themselves or other artists, as fast as they could write them.

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As their popularity grew so did their fan base. On Valentines day, the headquarters of the Beatles Fan club had been in undated with sacks filled with cards and love letters from the group’s adoring fans, and in 1966, hundreds of rain-soaked fans screamed farewell as they left a London airport.

As well as tracking the groups where abouts, fans could also purchase a whole manner of Beatles memorabilia during the sixties, anything from jigsaw’s, dinner trays, to authentic Beatle wigs. If all that was a little too boring for the avid collector then across the sea’s fans could get their hands a little something more unusual, perhaps a pair of plastic Beatles Bongos, a Beatles Kaboodle Kit or maybe an animatronic caricature of your favourite Beatle.

And the fans didn’t just stop there. According to justcollecting.com - ten of the most weird and wonderful items of Beatles memorabilia to ever cross the auction block included Paul McCartney’s childhood front door, John Lennon’s toilet which sold at auction for £9,500 and even John Lennon’s tooth which managed to sell for a whopping £23,000.

Formed in 1960 the boys from Liverpool, John, Paul, George and Ringo certainly caused a stir in the music industry, regarded as the most influential band of all time, integral to the development of the 1960s counterculture and popular music’s recognition as an art form.

And just like Marilyn I’m sure that amongst the 6,000 ecstatic fans that greeted the Beatles during their 1964 visit to Bradford, there will have been many more who had collected anything and everything Beatles related, cherishing their prized collectables.