OUR recent feature looking back at the Beatles in Bradford - the Fab Four played at the Gaumont 60 years ago this month - has prompted readers to get in touch with their memories.

The Beatles’ first appearance in Bradford was on Saturday, February 2, 1963 when their first UK package tour came to the Gaumont. Back then pop groups toured regional venues across the UK with a line-up of other acts, for twice-nightly shows. Sixteen-year-old Helen Shapiro was the headliner that February night at the Gaumont. The Beatles were bottom of the bill.

In December that same year, the Beatles returned to the Gaumont. By this time they fast becoming pop mega stars.

Richard Fox was a Beatles fan but missed out on seeing them at the Gaumont. He recalls: “In December 1963 I turned 13 and received a record player as a birthday present, along with a copy of She Loves you and the Beatles Hits EP.

“From then on I was a committed Beatles fan and still am to this day, owning just about everything they recorded for commercial release.

“When it was announced that the group were due to headline at the Gaumont later in the month it was out of the question that my parents would allow me to queue all night outside the theatre for a ticket. Also at the time most of the fans seemed to be girls who went along to the show to scream so loud that you couldn’t hear the group.

“This is borne out when you see the pictures that appeared in the special edition of the T& A.I still have my copy of the paper and another issue when the Beatles played the Gaumont a year later.

“This was the song list from their concert of Saturday, December 21, 1963:

Roll over Beethoven

All my loving

This Boy

I Wanna Be Your Man

She Loves You

Till There Was You

I Want to Hold Your Hand

Money (That’s what I want)

Twist and Shout.”

Anna Walsh was at the December concert with her sister, Catherine. “I’d just turned 14 and my dad thought I was too young for a pop concert. He wasn’t happy about any of it - he only liked classical music and didn’t approve of the Beatles or any pop acts - but my older sister, who was 17, persuaded him that we’d be okay. I couldn’t believe it when we got tickets,” recalls Anna. “The one thing I really remember is all the screaming - I’d never heard anything so loud. Everyone went hysterical when they came on stage. We screamed our heads off. I was in love with Paul, my sister loved George.

“We were overjoyed to be there. I feel very proud that I can say: ‘I saw the Beatles’.”

By their third and final concert at the Gaumont, on October 9, 1964, the Beatles had conquered America. Thousands of excited kids queued around the venue, some overnight, for tickets. John Lennon turned 24 the day of the Gaumont gig and the audience sang Happy Birthday. The T&A’s entertainment correspondent Peter Holdsworth interviewed the group backstage. John reportedly whipped Peter’s cap off his head and larked about.

Memories of the Beatles’ three Bradford concerts - and all the other big name acts that played at the Gaumont - are part of the fabric of the old building. Its transformation by Bradford Live into a new music venue will create many more cherished memories for future generations.

Emma Clayton