A Bristol woman’s collection of iconic items from a Beatles seaside tour just weeks before they became famous - including an underwear sign ‘stolen’ from their hotel bedroom and signed by the Fab Four - is going up for auction.
The collection features original photos of the band, along with a signed cardboard sleeve advertising Gentlemen’s Briefs underwear taken just before they became a global success.
Owner Sandra Woodruff, from Bristol, travelled to see the band in Weston-Super-Mare, where they played for six days, twice-nightly, in July of 1963.
Woodruff later broke into the group’s hotel room at The Royal Pier Hotel with her friends and snapped the pictures with them, later also picturing them on the beach with fans.
Her unique collection of memorabilia is now up for auction at East Bristol Auctions, and is expected to fetch over £10,000.
Writing in 1963, Woodruff wrote a memo about her invasion of the band’s bedroom, which is also included with the lot.
She said: “Fred (Marsden – of Gerry & The Pacemakers fame) had told us Beatles’ bedroom number and about six of us went up.
“The room was open, so we went in. No-one was there, the wardrobe was open with a Bible on one of the two beds, a letter for George on the dressing table and record cover with John’s name on – so it must have been John & George’s bedroom.
“I took big card label from one of a pile of Wolsey Cotton Rib X Briefs. We nearly got the police called on us because we went up there!”
Woodruff also had her camera with her and took several photographs of the band signing autographs and chatting to fans.
Other snaps show The Beatles posing on rocks alongside Birkbeck Pier for a famous publicity photograph taken at the time.
Auctioneer Andrew Stowe says the important images show what the Beatles were like before they achieved global fame.
He said: “Here we see The Beatles just weeks before they were to become the most famous band on the planet, happily chatting to fans, signing autographs and generally having fun.
“Their lives would never quite be the same. Seeing their young faces is really touching – nobody could have predicted how important those four young men would become!
“It’s a unique collection, and the underwear label in particular is one of the best pieces of Beatles memorabilia I have ever come across.
“Not only does it come with a fantastic story, but it’s also signed by all four members. It is the ultimate representation of Beatle-mania.”
The Sandra Woodruff collection goes under the hammer at East Bristol Auctions on May 27.
The full catalogue went live today (13/05) and can be viewed on their website www.eastbristol.co.uk