To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the release of Love Me Do on 5 October, BBC regional radio producers have been making a series of documentaries about the Fab Four and their links to the various local areas.
Radio Solent has signed up none other than British broadcasting legend Tony Blackburn, born in Poole and a mainstay of Bournemouth’s beat group scene in the early 1960s before he became the first DJ to play a record on Radio 1 in 1967, to present an hour-long documentary, The Beatles in the South.
Bournemouth features prominently in that story and several of the interviewees featured in Yeah Yeah Yeah: The Beatles & Bournemouth, as well as author Nick Churchill, have contributed to the programme.
BBC South Today presenter Alex Dyke also spoke to Nick and several others for a series of films to be broadcast on BBC One over four days leading up to the Radio Solent documentary on Friday, October 5.
The whole project sounds fascinating and it would be good to think the BBC will somehow make a compilation of programmes available – these are predominately fans’ stories and previously untold anecdotes from people whose paths happened to cross the unstoppable force of Beatlemania in the early 1960s.
One of the stories to feature in the first of the South Today films is the episode in which The Beatles were accidentally trapped outside the Gaumont Theatre, Bournemouth on 2 August 1964 as captured in this photo from the Evening Echo.
‘Earlier in the day the Echo photographer had caught the group escaping from a crush of fans after being locked out of the Gaumont. The confusion arose as a result of the management’s attempt to throw fans off the scent by posting most of the police guard outside the main emergency exit in Hinton Road, leaving the lower emergency exit clear to admit The Beatles. The scheme would have worked, but nobody had told the doorman inside so while the message to unlock the door was relayed, the star attractions were trapped outside.’
Extract from Yeah Yeah Yeah: The Beatles & Bournemouth. Available to order from www.beatlesandbournemouth.com.