Shops mark 50 years since Beatles' Abergavenny gig

Amanda Peters, of Vintage Vision, in Abergavenny is encouraging local businesses to dress their windows with a Beatles themes

Amanda Peters, of Vintage Vision, in Abergavenny

First published in Monmouthshire news

TO mark 50 years since The Beatles played Abergavenny Town Hall, a local shop is urging other businesses to create Beatles inspired window displays.

June 22, 1963, was the day The Beatles played their one and only performance in Abergavenny Town Hall.

The Beatles took to the stage at 10.30pm after John Lennon flew in by helicopter from an appearance on Juke Box Jury in London. Just 600 fans saw them perform, each paying 12s/6d for their tickets.

The Beatles played a 20-minute set before attending a civic reception by the mayor and mayoress of Abergavenny, Councillor and Mrs JF Thurston and then spending the night in the town’s Angel Hotel.

Vintage Vision, a social enterprise run by local women, is encouraging shops to remember probably Gwent’s greatest gig.

Amanda Peters, Vintage Vision co-founder, said: “We are putting up a window display in honour of The Beatles’ performance in Abergavenny, and it would be wonderful if other shops have Beatles-themed displays too.

“We are also holding a 1960s themed vintage fair on the weekend, in the Town Hall where they performed.

“The Town Hall held regular dances, and had a ‘Girl of the Month’ competition – we would love to find out who won in May 1963 and get hold of some pictures of her.”

If you are, or know, the girl who won Girl of the Month in May 1963, contact Vintage Vision on 07985 289412.

The Vintage Fair is on Sunday, June 23, from 10am-4pm.

‘This is the first time I’ve flown in a fish,’ said John

ARGUS reporter Garrod Whatley wrote at the time: “At a few minutes after 9.45pm – some said three quarters of an hour late – a yellow helicopter appeared through a gap in a clump of tress and circled once above the grounds of Abergavenny Thursdays’ football team, before landing.

Immediately, John Lennon the rhythm guitarist with the number one Liverpudlian beat group The Beatles was rushed from the helicopter into a waiting taxi and off to Abergavenny Town Hall where the group were playing at a dance on Saturday.

John’s opinion of the flight: “This is the first time I’ve flown in a fish (which in translation from Beatles humour means “helicopter”).

“It was just like sitting in a flying armchair, with only a piece of glass in front of you.

“But it was very cold up there.”

The Abergavenny date for The Beatles ended on a dramatic note as The Argus reported the following Monday morning: “It was after the Beatles finished their last set on stage things really hotted up.

“Someone had locked up the room that they were using as a dressing room and had gone home with the key.

“The group just had to fight off the autograph hunters, hand-shakers and girls who asked, “Can I touch your hair?” outside while the decision was taken to break down a door.

“With the crush still on, as it had been for ten minutes, John Lennon said: “The fans are very good here. In some places we would have been killed by now.”

Comments (1)

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8:18am Sun 9 Jun 13

swrxp09 says...

The support band that night was "local" band The Fortunes. One of the band members later told me that Lennon was "arrogant and aloof".
The support band that night was "local" band The Fortunes. One of the band members later told me that Lennon was "arrogant and aloof". swrxp09
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