Sheffield Beatles memorabilia up for grabs

A POP concert programme signed by Paul McCartney and George Harrison at a Sheffield City Hall gig just as they hit the big time is set to go under the hammer.

When The Beatles were signed up for the Montez-Rowe tour they were just one of six supporting acts with a short slot before the interval.

But by the time the tour came to Sheffield - on March 16 1963 - the band was at the top of the charts and Beatlemania had arrived!

So when Worksop shop assistant Julie Allman was sneaked backstage by a pal who worked for Sheffield Council and bumped into Paul and George in a corridor, she asked for their autographs.

Now the programme - also signed by Chris Montez and Tommy Rowe - is set to fetch up to 1,000 at auction.

Julie, now Mrs Barnett, said: "We originally booked to see Chris Montez, who was quite famous at the time, but by the time the show arrived everyone was excited about The Beatles.

"I got Chris Montez's autograph in his dressing room and I bumped into George Harrison and Paul McCartney in a corridor so I got them to sign as well."

The programme has spent the last 45 years in an old suitcase in the attic.

"I'm not entirely sure why I held onto it," Julie said, "I think it was perhaps just a memento of a really good evening.

"We were having a clear out recently and I came across it again, so I had it valued. I was a bit shocked when they told me what it was worth.

"I knew obviously that Beatles signatures were collectable but I thought you had to have all four for it to be valuable."

Auctioneer Craig Bewick, from Brown and Co will conduct the sale as part of their Summer Fine Art and Antiques Auction in Brigg this Saturday.

He said: "It's a wonderful story and we can be sure the signatures are genuine - there are a lot of fakes about.

"The programme is rare and early. We're already getting inquiries from all over this country and there are a lot of collectors in America and Japan, so we could get international interest too.''

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