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Friday, 13 April, 2001, 09:28 GMT 10:28 UK
Beatles fans' anger at stage sell off
Paul McCartney and John Lennon
McCartney and Lennon met in 1957
A Liverpool clergyman has received hate mail after deciding to sell the church hall stage where John Lennon and Paul McCartney first met.

Canon John Roberts is having to sell the stage at St Peter's Church to help fund a renovation of the church hall.

Most of the people complaining are old Beatles fans who never darken the door of the place

Canon John Roberts
Paul McCartney was introduced to John Lennon in 1957 in the hall after Lennon and his band The Quarrymen had performed a concert.

Canon Roberts said: "I have received hate mail.

"These people are just ignorant. I have gone out of my way over the years to welcome Beatles fans."

'Overseas buyer'

He said he had sought to find a way to preserve the stage but had not been able to raise the money needed.

He said: "If the conversion does go ahead, the famous stage will be sold off, with the most likely destination an overseas buyer."

The Beatles
The Beatles in their prime
Tourists often visit the church as part of the official Beatles' tour in Liverpool.

Jean Catharell, the secretary of the official Liverpool Beatles Fan Club, said she could not understand why the stage could not be incorporated into the plans for renovation.

She said: "To rip it out takes away its whole reason for being there.

"It will then be stuck in a big museum and people will have to pay to see it - that's not right."

Canon Roberts said: "Most of the people complaining are old Beatles fans who never darken the door of the place."

But Ms Catherall said Canon Roberts was "hell bent on doing it but when is he going to wake up and realise what it is he's got there?".

See also:

14 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Beatles album breaks world record
09 Feb 01 | Entertainment
'Missing Beatles tracks' found
13 Nov 00 | New Music Releases
CD Review: The Beatles
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