The Beatles In Urmston
50th Anniversary Celebrations
1963 - 2013

10th & 11th August 201

1963 - Just what happened?

(artwork by kind permission of Paul Wilde -

Back in  the 1950s, Urmston Urban District Council as it was then called would stage "The Urmston Show" each summer on Abbotsfield Park, Urmston. It was a day full of festivbities and fun for the community - children's rides, cake stalls and farmers markets and the like.

However following the 1962 Urmston Show the youth of Urmston spoke out claiming that there was little in the show to interest them.

To their credit our council decided to address this voice and elected to bring in some of this new fangled stuff, beat music, to the show.
It was innovative and progressive of them and somewhat of a gamble.

The Council booked Brian Poole & The Tremeloes. The same band that had won a Decca contract on New Year's Day 1962 in preference to The Beatles.

They seemed like an up and coming band and as it worked out they had their first charting single at number four in the Hit Parade by the time of their appearance in Urmston - it was called "Twist & Shout"

They also chose The Dennisons.
This was a Merseybeat band of the time. They had "Walkin' The Dog" at number 37 at the time of their appearance.

We have made every effort to trace this band unfortunately with no success.

If you have any knowledge please let us know.

Drummer Clive Hornby became an actor playing Jack Sugden in Emmerdale until his untimely death.

Johnny Martin & The Tremors was the other band selected to perform. A Manchester beat band that played classic rock 'n' roll in the style of Showaddywaddy acoss all the Manchester Beat clubs

Again all efforts to trace band members have failed - let us know if you have any information.

And then of course there was The Beatles themselves

Nobody knows precisely when they were booked but it is likely to have been late 1962. "Love Me Do" may or may not have been released at the time of booking them - it reached number 17.

It is however safe to say that they were not global names, had not topped the charts and were little known outside their native Liverpool, Manchester and of course the sweatshop clubs of The Reeprbahn in Hamburg.


By the time of their appearance The Beatles had hit number one globally with "Please Please Me" (released 11.01.63) and "From Me To You" (11.04.63). Beatlemania was peaking and they were in huge demand.

They were just two weeks away from releasing "She Loves You" - If Urmston wasn't the first live public performance of this eponymous song then it was certainly one of the very first.

The boys had been very busy touring the UK earlier in the year: 

2nd Feb - 25 gigs supporting Helen Shapiro
9th March - 20 gigs with Tommy Roe
18th May - 20 gigs initially supporting, but then headlining with Roy Orbison

The night before Urmston the band played The Queens Ballroom, Blackpool and the night after they appeared at The Springfield Ballroom, Jersey

It was all very hectic at that time.

Another interesting and timely fact is that the Beatles performed for the 292nd and final time at The Cavern Club just 2 days earlier on 3rd August

Brian Epstein attempted to cancel their appearance in Urmston on security grounds. 
Urmston Urban District Council pointed at the contract and they duly appeared.

It is an urban myth that they were smuggled into venue in a council dustbin cart. It was in fact a two tone green and cream box van, probably a Bedford, owned by the Council's Parks & Gardens Department. The boys changed in the Parks & Gardens depot on Flixton Road across from the park (now built on). A Parks & Gardens employee drove them from the depot into Lime Avenue where they were bundled to the back stage. 

The driver of this van has now passed on but I understand his brother survives and lives on Crofts Bank Road. This brother has a hitherto un-published photo of teh driver stood by the van with the Beatles just before he set off for the concert. If you can help us find this photo we'd be delighted.

The Beatles performed in a huge marquee for 1,000 people. We are placing our stage where the Beatle stage was by the tennis courts.

12,000 people were expected to turn out, given the fame of The Beatles, but awful weather on the day meant that numbers were in fact more like 4,000.

Right - local paper reports on the Urmston event.

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