Joan Riley meets the Beatles

They were going to have a late news bulletin so Joyce and I did split shifts. One week we’d have two days 10-6 and three days 6-11 and then swap round. Promptly at 8 o’clock every night we’d get the empty flask and go to the canteen for refills to keep us going. One night there was a terrible noise outside, because we were on Quay Street, and we looked out of the window and there were lots of girls. So I got my flask at 8 o’clock and went out.

The commissionaire stopped me and said, “I’ve been called to help, there’s hundreds and hundreds of girls. They want the Beatles, they’re all pressing on the car park barrier and they’ve sent me to help them sort it out because there’s a danger it’ll be broken, actually it was broken. As he said that four young lads came up to me and one of them, I think it was John, said, “Hey doll, can you tell us where the café is?” So I said, “I’m going there” so we walked to the café. On the way, the studios, if they had props that they had cleared or were ready to go in were all lying down. Of course like four daft lads they were juggling the props and fiddling about with them. We had a real good laugh going to the café.

We parted, they went to get some food and I went to get a full flask. I wish I had got their autographs because they were so friendly. Of course you didn’t, you never ever, because it was an unwritten rule you never got autographs. That was about October 1962 when they came.


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