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The day the Beatles came to Huddersfield
The Beatles
The Fab Four: Starring at the Huddersfield ABC in 1963

The place was the ABC Cinema in Huddersfield, the time was 6.15pm on November 29 1963 and the dreams of 2000 Beatles fans were about to come true.

Now, nearly 50 years on from The Fab Four playing in Huddersfield, author Martin Creasy wants to hear from you.

He is hoping to collect memories of everyone who caught the legendary band in action on tour in the early 1960s.

He says: "What a wonderful era it was. If you got the chance to see the Beatles, well, how special is that?"

Beatles fans
Beatlemania in action: Beatles fans make their views known

Martin, a confirmed Fab Four fan, says it's hard to believe that you could get to see bands like the Beatles playing just down the road at venues like Huddersfield's ABC.

He explains: "That's the amazing thing, isn't it? In those days on the pop package tours - which is what the Beatles were on at that time - you'd get the Beatles and quite a lot of other bands along with them.

"They just turned up and played in your high street or at the local cinema. It sounds hard to believe but it happened!"

The day the Beatles came to Huddersfield was a big one for the boys as it was the day their latest single, I Want To Hold Your Hand, was released. By the time they headed for the stage at the ABC, the song was already destined for the top of the pop charts.

The visit of the lovable mop tops to the West Riding was also a big day for everyone who went to see them - and it's these people, most of them teenage girls back in 1963, who Martin would like to speak to as he compiles his book of Beatles memories.

Can you imagine a couple of thousand 13- to 14-year-old girls screaming at the top of their voices?
Martin Creasy describes a typical Beatles gig in 1963

He says the Huddersfield gig would have been much anticipated: "What would normally happen is that the tickets would be sold a month beforehand and the queuing would possibly go on for days - but certainly at least overnight. Imagine all those 13-year-olds sleeping out on the pavement at the beginning of winter.

"Then, of course, as it got nearer the time, the booking office would open and there would be a huge surge and all sorts of pandemonium."

Martin has already been in touch with some of those people lucky - or unlucky - enough to experience Beatlemania at first hand in Huddersfield.

He says: "I've heard from a police lady who was on duty who had to be rescued because of all the glass doors buckling at the ABC.

"Then, of course, there are all the memories from the night itself - what you could hear of it! It was really a visual thing by this time as they still had small amplifiers.

John Lennon and Paul McCartney
Heading for the bigtime: Lennon and McCartney in late 1963

"It wasn't very good equipment and there was this incredible din. Can you imagine a couple of thousand 13- to 14-year-old girls screaming at the top of their voices?

"You didn't necessarily get to hear much music, but I guess if you wanted to do that then you had the records at home."

Martin says that during these pop package tours, fans wouldn't even get to see The Fab Four for very long either.

He says: "There would be two shows a night - one at 6.15 and one at 8.30 and The Beatles would be on stage for 20 to 25 minutes.

"By this time this was their sixth tour so you might have got half-an-hour. They did ten songs."

Little did their fans (or John, Paul, George and Ringo, for that matter) know it but the Huddersfield ABC gig in 1963 was just before the band really hit the big time. From there, the four Scousers would go on to become the biggest band in the world ever. Soon, there would be no more opportunities to see them in action.

Martin says: "Their last tour of the UK was in December 1965 and it was quite a short one - just nine dates. They were quite reluctant as a lot of things had happened and they were beginning to tire of touring then.

The Beatles being interviewed
From 1963 onwards, the Beatles would never be out of the spotlight

"They finished touring completely the following year. The tours were very hard work and it got to the stage where they really wanted to be in the recording studio.

"They got tired of doing gigs where no-one could hear their music."

So, if you left the Huddersfield ABC on a cold November night in 1963 with the sound of two thousand teenage screams still echoing in your ears then you are one of the lucky ones who caught the legendary Beatles before they were really famous.

Martin says: "The Beatles played in Yorkshire so many times. They played at the Odeon in Leeds three times and they also played in Bradford.

"I would love to hear from anyone who saw them anywhere during one of their tours or anyone who had anything to do with The Beatles' performances.

"What an exciting time it was for everyone!"

To get in touch with Martin with your Fab Four stories, visit his website here




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