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Leicester taxi driver’s kindness in 1964 sparks auction windfall for Beatles fan

A devastated schoolgirl Beatles fan who missed out on seeing the Fab Four in Leicester was saved from despair by a taxi driver’s kindness 59 years ago – and it’s delivered an auction windfall.

A piece of Beatles memorabilia he gave her in 1964 because she was so upset  – the band’s signatures on his business card – have sold at auction to a private UK bidder for a total of £1,771 (hammer price £1,350). Both phone and online bidders battled to own the unusual piece of music memorabilia.

In 1963 Sandra Lambert (nee Gerrard) was 12 years old and immersed in the Beatlemania gripping the world. She was lost in fan adoration, soaking up every snippet of news, watching their films and playing their records – over and over.

Leicester Time: Leicester taxi driver’s kindness in 1964 sparks auction windfall for Beatles fan
Picture: Hansons Auctioneers

She was desperate to see the band play live and fate made that possible because they were booked to appear at Leicester’s De Montfort Hall. However, such was the demand for tickets she just couldn’t get hold of one, despite her best efforts.

Sandra, 72,  a former engineering recruitment firm owner from Brighton, said: “In the early 1960s I was living in Leicester and The Beatles were booked to appear at the De Montfort Hall three times – March 31 and December 1 in 1963 and October 10, 1964.

Leicester Time: Leicester taxi driver’s kindness in 1964 sparks auction windfall for Beatles fan

“In those days you queued up to buy your tickets at the venue and I queued all day to get mine. Sadly, they’d all sold out by the time I got near the front of the queues. I was devastated.

“In 1964, when I was 13, The Beatles’ film A Hard Day’s Night was released. In those days films were shown all day continuously so you could spend all day in the cinema, which I did. I spent the whole of the school summer holidays there. When I was at home I played my Beatles LP over and over.

“I adored all The Beatles but Paul McCartney was my favourite. By the end of the summer of 64 all I could think about was Paul, so not being able to see them perform was bitterly disappointing.

“However, the boyfriend of my best friend’s sister was a driver for Highfields Taxis of Granby Street, Leicester. The firm had been booked to take The Beatles from their hotel to De Montfort Hall. He knew how upset I was at not getting to see them and asked if they could sign a couple of business cards, which they did. To my utter surprise he gave me one!

“It’s been wonderful to own something so precious for 59 years. I kept the autographs in my bedside table. I was having a clear out and decided it was time to part with them.

“I will always love The Beatles. It was amazing to be part of the excitement when they exploded on to the music scene. I still play their music.”

The Beatles autographs sold at Hansons Auctioneers’ Tunbridge Wells saleroom in Kent  on November 21.

Robin Fletcher,  head of Hansons’ Kent saleroom, said: “I’m delighted we have found a new home for Sandra’s treasured autographs. I just love the story behind this find. It captures the madness, magic and mayhem of Beatlemania when the Fab Four took the world by storm in the early 60s.

“A random act of kindness helped to heal the heartbreak of a schoolgirl mega fan. Who would have thought getting The Beatles to scribble their names on a business card all those years ago could have led to this.”