Tea and scones with the Beatles
By NIC PRICE, The Examiner
Thursday, 16 February 2006
A DAY IN THE LIFE: Irene Parry, of Newnham, holds a photo featuring Beatle PAUL McCartney in 1964. Picture: PAUL SCAMBLER.
Rock 'n' roll royalty doesn't come any more regal than the Beatles.
And at the height of their powers in 1964, Irene Parry, of Newnham, not only convinced the Fab Four to play in her town but also had tea and scones with the legends before the show.
Mrs Parry was 16 at the time and worked in Edinburgh, Scotland, where, as in the rest of the Western world, Beatlemania had well and truly set in.
"I worked in Boots' record department and at that time music was all about the Beatles - it was really mad," she recalled.
"We heard that they were coming to Glasgow, but not to Edinburgh, which was the capital, and we thought `hello!'
"So my friend and I got a petition going in the record store. Our friend who worked in the printers got us a huge ream of paper."
Aware that the Beatles were busy men and would take some impressing, Mrs Parry's petition set an amazing goal.
"The main street of Edinburgh, Princes St, is actually a mile long. We wanted to try and get the petition a mile long," she said.
"We didn't quite get there, but it was big, there were so many signatures. We had the petition rolled and rolled and rolled ..."
The petition had the desired effect, and Mrs Parry got the phone call of her life.
"The local newspaper rang and said the Beatles were going to come and play and would we like to go and have afternoon tea with them?" Mrs Parry said.
"They paid for us to have our hair done and dress up and they put on taxis for us and we went to have tea and scones with the Beatles.
"John Lennon was the most chatty. He was really interested in all the signatures. Paul was a bit away with the fairies ... But they were all very funny, nice and just like ordinary boys. We just talked normally."
Mrs Parry had free front- row seats at the sold-out show and is not ashamed to admit that she got quite worked up during the gig.
"We were all screaming! Everyone was screaming and some were fainting. It was very exciting," she said.