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The Beatles 1963 trip to Guernsey!

Updated on June 26, 2014
brightforyou profile image

Retired counselor, 341 short stories published by FSU. I have 4 sons, love sharing photography, writing, love travel, sunshine, sea & Grace.

On Thursday, August 8th 1963, "The Beatles” came to Guernsey in the Channel Islands; (my home for 26 years).

As the ‘fab four’ alighted from the plane, all hell broke loose; the noise of the screaming was deafening! For some unknown reason, screaming, fainting and hysteria was definitely ‘in’ back then (and that was only the men)!

Largely, it was teenage girls and women who filled the crowd that day. Some even pushed through the barriers and flocked around John, Paul, George and Ringo; they took it all in their stride and seemed to be having a great time! Their success was still relatively new at the time, so they were fresh and enjoyed all the attention; there was no such thing as (or need for) bodyguards at that time. They played two amazing shows at Candie Gardens (which were filled to capacity) and little did we know at the time, they would become the most famous recording group ever.

On March 30th 1963 a performance contract was drawn up between Jersey-based concert promoter Les De La Mare and The Beatles manager Brian Epstein, for the Beatles to play four dates at the Springfield Ballroom, Jersey during August 1963. Included in this deal was a two show trip to the neighboring island of Guernsey. For their efforts The Beatles would receive the sum of £1000 (approx.$1,600).

On 6 August 1963 the group arrive in Jersey; (which is a larger island than Guernsey with a bigger population), they spent the day go-carting and relaxing by the pool, before playing the first of four nights at the ballroom. The TV showed us film of them having a great time; with John larking around on his sun lounger and Paul dancing around the pool, or pretending to be a strongman. Some fans had found out where they were staying, but they were happy to chat and be photographed with them (those photos will be highly treasured today no doubt)! The next day they went onto the beach and Ringo was filmed climbing over some rocks and walking towards the camera smiling.

After two days in Jersey and a few introductions at the airport, the Beatles board a 12-seater plane to make the 30 mile trip to Guernsey where they played two concerts at Candie Gardens. Their equipment was sent over by ferry. They then flew back to Jersey the next day and played a further two concerts at the Springfield Ballroom.

I was eleven at the time and not really old enough to appreciate what I was seeing. I wish I had photos, but a camera was hard to come by in those days. Even live they were brilliant; as good live as on record. We were so close to them on a couple of occasions (both at the airport and at the live concert) we could easily have asked for autographs – I just can’t believe we didn’t, with hindsight! The rest is history: The Beatles went on to define and inspire 'the sixties' on both sides of the Atlantic; their diverse music and wonderful lyrics ranged from music hall to Indian sitar music, via Chuck Berry and Bob Dylan.

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    • brightforyou profile imageAUTHOR

      Helen Lewis 

      8 years ago from Florida

      Hi epigramman, thanks for visiting all the way from Mars! I am impressed. Good to hear you will be mentioning my hubs somewhers in outer space- I look forward to reading your Martian points of view on your hubpage!

    • brightforyou profile imageAUTHOR

      Helen Lewis 

      8 years ago from Florida

      Hi timorous

      Thanks for your comments. I didn't know they went out to Toronto in 65 ~ and the Rolling Stones, Wow! (That makes you and I about the same age eh)!

    • timorous profile image

      Tim Nichol 

      8 years ago from Me to You

      Hello brightforyou. Here's my little Beatle story.

      I was lucky to have seen them live, in Toronto in '65 and '66. Unforgettable experience for sure, they were great.

      I also saw the Rolling Stones twice around the same time period. They were great too. Exciting times for a 12-year-old.

      There..I'm dating myself, but so what. :)

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 

      8 years ago

      I am a visitor from Mars and do not know of your Beatles - if they seem to be a pest to your mankind why not get rid of them with extreme prejudice - and talk about - extreme prejudice - I have a bright spot for you!

      Your writing is so hubdelicious that I must tell my people about you when I get home!

    • green tea-cher profile image

      green tea-cher 

      8 years ago

      I too remember when the Beatles appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show for the first time. It was one of those moments in my life I will never forget. Thanks for the history behind them.

    • profile image

      StormRyder 

      8 years ago

      I'm only 25 but I love The Beatles....I get that from my dad I guess. Good read!

    • brightforyou profile imageAUTHOR

      Helen Lewis 

      8 years ago from Florida

      LOL! thank you Shirley ~ sorry you never got to see the 'best bad ever' live... guess I just got lucky eh!

    • Shirley Anderson profile image

      Shirley Anderson 

      8 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Brightforyou, I came in search of your hub about your start in writing but got distracted by my favourite boys - The Beatles *am doing the scream to strains of 'She Loves You'*

      I am SOOOOOOO jealous that you got to see them!! I'm one of the oldest living Beatlemaniacs and I've never had the pleasure.

      I'm going to go sulk now. Before I do, just wanted to let you know that I loved your hub, loved the detail. Thanks for sharing.

    • nextstopjupiter profile image

      nextstopjupiter 

      8 years ago from here, there and everywhere

      The good old days..., thank you for this hub!

    • nextstopjupiter profile image

      nextstopjupiter 

      8 years ago from here, there and everywhere

      The good old days..., thank you for this hub!

    • brightforyou profile imageAUTHOR

      Helen Lewis 

      8 years ago from Florida

      Thanks prettydarkhorse for your comments - whilst it was a wonderful experience...it shows my age eh!!

    • prettydarkhorse profile image

      prettydarkhorse 

      8 years ago from US

      Hi, they are a great band and the greatest of all, you are lucky you had the chance of a lifetime,Thank you for sharing this one, makes me say am jealous you now hehe, Maita

    • brightforyou profile imageAUTHOR

      Helen Lewis 

      8 years ago from Florida

      Hi K Partin, thanks for stopping by and reading my hub. I just went and checked out RAIN - you are right, they sound just like the Beatles!

    • K Partin profile image

      K Partin 

      8 years ago from Garden City, Michigan

      Hi bright, The Beatles will last forever what icons! Have you heard of the group Rain? We are going to see them in March here they do a tribute to the Beatles unreal you think you are really seeing the Beatles. Check them out. Thanks for this hub. Kerry

    • brightforyou profile imageAUTHOR

      Helen Lewis 

      8 years ago from Florida

      Thanks for the links ~ I'll enjoy looking at and reading those!

    • lorlie6 profile image

      Laurel Rogers 

      8 years ago from Bishop, Ca

      WOW!!!

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image

      Cindy Lawson 

      8 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Thank you Brightforyou. I am very pleased to meet you too. Ironically I do have a hub about my Mum's career, but not my Dad's. You can find it here (apologies for linking to my own hub, hope you don't mind)

      https://hubpages.com/entertainment/-A-Biography-of...

      We also have allowed a number of pictures from Dad's shows to be published by a lovely chap called Stewart Rothwell who has started a Flickr site called "Guernsey Folk and Stuff". Now he has a whole section devoted to Dad's shows, so if you want to see more of those pictures you can find Stewart's site and the section on Dad's shows at : http://www.flickr.com/photos/guernseyfolkandstuff/...

      Hope you enjoy these and don't mind me posting the links here :)

    • ehern33 profile image

      ehern33 

      8 years ago

      I was only nine but for me it was on the Ed Sullivan Show when I first became personally aware of them and started to follow them. The good old days..

    • brightforyou profile imageAUTHOR

      Helen Lewis 

      8 years ago from Florida

      I certainly do remember your father WOW! Sydney James ~ and I do believe I remember your mother too; what a talented and gifted family background you have... you have obviously followed in their footsteps. I saw the Rolling Stones Live in Guernsey. I loved Morecambe and Wise and all the others mentioned above (the good old days). What a small world this is! Thank you so much for sharing this information ~ I am delighted to meet you!

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image

      Cindy Lawson 

      8 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Great information again Brightforyou, and very accurate. Ironically my Father was an impressario and organised most of the best cabaret shows in Guernsey and Jersey. He had an eye for talent, but for some reason he wasn't impressed by the Beatles, so he didn't book them and of course someone else did. However, he did bring the Rolling Stones to Guernsey, along with Morcambe and Wise, Dick Emery, Val Doonican, Freddie and the Dreamers, Paul Daniels, Shirley Bassey etc etc.

      He also used to put shows on at Candie Gardens, St George's Hall, The Hermitage, the Carlton, the Wayside Cheer Hotel etc etc.

      You might remember him, his name was "Sydney James" and his Wife (my Mum) was "Mary Marshall" (the professional singer who appeared in many of his shows and had cut records with Columbia as well as appearing in at least one Hammer Horror film as Dracula's victim).

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