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Page last updated at 07:30 GMT, Wednesday, 9 September 2009 08:30 UK
When The Beatles came to town

An undated early photo of The Beatles
The Beatles, 1965 - They played their first Welsh gig in Rhyl in 1962

Contributors have been sharing memories of the first Beatles gigs in Wales - held in Rhyl, Prestatyn and Mold.

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The Beatles played Prestatyn in 1962

It comes as BBC Wales Music website uploads archive video footage to do with their concerts at Rhyl's Regent Dansette Ballroom, Saturday 14 July 1962; Prestatyn's Royal Lido Ballroom, Saturday 24 November 1962; and Mold's Assembly Hall, Thursday 24 January 1963.

Here, people share their recollections such as the night John Lennon stood eating a hotdog covered in tomato sauce while still wearing his leather gloves at the Mold gig; and when the former landlord of Rhyl's Harbour pub turned away The Beatles when they offered to play a gig there whilst performing in the resort.

Rhyl's Regent Dansette Ballroom, Saturday 14 July 1962

JoAnne Francis, Rhyl: My grandfather had the Regent Ballroom in Rhyl and the Beatles played there before Ringo joined the band. The stage was wood built over the billiard tables and my nan said during the day John Lennon was playing classical music on the piano, and lots of girls arrived to see them before the gig and my nan sent them away.

Richard Evans: I saw The Beatles - with Pete Best on drums - at the Embassy Dansette Ballroom in Rhyl on 14 July 1962. I think it cost 2/3 to get in - that's about 14p today. They were supported by local band The Strangers.

Jess Ballard, Holywell: I was working in the cash box [at Rhyl] at the time and so was my husband, the band leader who went under the name 'Duke Gordon and the Ritz Showband'. The main Beatles hits at the time I believe were 'Please Please me' and 'Love Me Do'.

Brent Davies: The Beatles came to Rhyl in the early 60s just before they became famous, and to get a bit more cash they crossed the Foryd Bridge and came to The Clwyd Hotel (now The Harbour) and asked my dad, Haydn Davies, who was the first licensee on the North Wales coast to put on cabaret in a pub, for some extra work. But dad being dad turned them away saying 'I'm not having long haired yobos like that in my pub!' Oh if he only knew.

Mold's Assembly Hall, Thursday 24 January 1963

Jennifer Hughes (Evans), Wrexham: Paul McCartney sang to me for my 16th birthday which I was celebrating that week. Happy memories.

Wally Rees, Leeds, Yorkshire: I was rhythm guitarist in the Chariots on the night we supported the Beatles in Mold. As we were setting up equipment I played a tune on the piano for Paul McCartney and he said "It's good that". I have dined out on this tale many times since!

Dave, Canada, formerly Mold: I was lucky enough to win the second door prize, it was their 1st single, a 45 record "Love Me Do". I got to go on stage to collect it. Later that night someone I knew asked if I wanted the record autographed. I said OK and we went down behind the stage to the dressing room. All the group signed the record. I was made up.

Marilyn Cadwallader from Llanarmon yn Iâl: I was 17 at the time the Beatles came to Mold. The night of the Beatles my younger sister was not allowed to go, but made me get their autographs for her. Not only did I get them for her, but came home with John Lennon's autograph on my arm!

Dr Ian M Millington from Swansea: I was a full-time pupil at Hawarden Grammar School and part-time roadie for Dave Roman (Revie) and the Chariots and was at Mold the night that The Beatles played in the Assembly Rooms. My enduring memories are: having to go to the pub across the alley to get a crate of beer and a bottle of Scotch for the bands because the Beatles could not go out without being mobbed by the girls that were outside in the cold; Seeing John Lennon eating a hot dog covered with tomato ketchup whilst still wearing his leather gloves; Seeing John Lennon signing his autograph on a girl's thigh; Getting the autographs of John, Paul and Ringo in the band room; Catching George Harrison at the top of the stairs as he left early to visit his auntie in Hawarden on the way home to Liverpool...

Share your memories about The Beatles' gigs: BBC Memoryshare




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