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BBC film unearths Beatles photos

John Lennon, George Harrison, Paul McCartney in Weston-super-Mare, July 1963
The Beatles were snapped by Sandra Blaken during their week in Weston

Unpublished photos of The Beatles taken in 1963 when they spent a week at the seaside in Somerset have surfaced during the making of a BBC film.

Just before Beatlemania broke out, the band played twice-nightly for six days at Weston-super-Mare's Odeon Cinema.

As a 16-year-old fan, Sandra Blaken took photographs of John, Paul, George and Ringo outside their hotel.

She also sneaked into one of their bedrooms and took an underwear label which she later got them to sign.

Beatles climb the steps in the rock face at Birnbeck after a photo-shoot in 1963
The Beatles were on the brink of world fame when they were in Weston

Sandra, now a 63-year-old grandmother who lives in Bristol, is among Beatles fans who have shared their memories for the BBC regional programme Inside Out West to be shown on Monday, November 8.

She spent two days waiting outside the Royal Pier hotel watching The Beatles coming and going and managed to take some pictures.

"I had my camera with me and took photographs of them in vehicles driving themselves - John in his big white van, George in his dark green Jag.

"They went down for an official photo-shoot on the rocks at Birnbeck and I took pictures of them sitting there and then coming up the steps."

Sanda also confessed she was the ringleader of a group of girls who rushed into the hotel when they noticed all The Beatles had gone out and the doorman was not at the entrance.

"We had found out which bedroom number to look for and went in and looked around for a memento.

Joyce with mongramed handkerchief taken from Paul McCartney's pocket
Joyce Stott still has the handkerchief she took from Paul McCartney's pocket

"The wardrobe was open and I spotted all these new white cotton pants with cards in between so I took one of the labels and my friend took a record sleeve."

Sandra was chased out by the manager but she later asked The Beatles to autograph the underwear label.

"Paul said to me: 'Now we know who was in our room' but it was all very friendly.

"I think the only time I saw Paul a little bit upset was when my friend [Joyce Stott] pinched his handkerchief out of his pocket - there was a corner poking out and she whipped it away.

"I think sometimes they were a bit exasperated at what these fans, mainly girls, were doing - trying to get a little bit of The Beatles to take away with them."

You can find out more about The Beatles' week in Weston-super-Mare on BBC One's Inside Out West on Monday, 8 November at 7.30pm.

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