The Beatles come to town – 1963! Who?
By Peter Killick
Something Good Productions
From 1950 to the mid-1970s Urmston Urban District Council, a suburb of Manchester, staged the “Urmston Show” on Abbotsfield Park in Urmston.
After the 1962 show, the youth of Urmston spoke out, claiming there was little of interest in the show for them: they weren’t seriously interested in Mrs Smith’s Cake Stall! The local council listened and took an unprecedented gamble to bring some of this new beat music to town. They booked Brian Poole & The Tremeloes, to headline, and Mersey-beat band The Dennisons, plus local Manchester band Johnny Martin & The Tremors.
They also booked The Beatles. At the time of booking the Fab Four were scarcely known outside Liverpool, Manchester and ,of course, The Reeperbahn, Hamburg. By the time of their appearance on Bank Holiday Monday, August 5, 1963, things had changed drastically. Love Me Do, Please Please Me and From Me To You” had launched them globally, Beatlemania was peaking and they were just two weeks away from releasing She Loves You.
Final appearance at the Cavern Club
It was two days after their 292nd and final appearance at The Cavern Club. Brian Epstein attempted to disassociate the band from the gig on safety grounds. Urmston Council, however, held them to contract and they duly appeared to scenes of glorious mayhem.
The lads got ready in a shed on an allotment owned by Urmston Council Parks & Gardens Department, and were then smuggled into the venue in a Parks & Gardens Austin box van. Needless to say, The Beatles headlined to an audience of 1,000 inside a marquee on Abbotsfield Park. Atrocious weather reduced the anticipated park crowd from 12,000 to an estimated 4,000 people who descended on this small urban park to listen to, and catch a glimpse of, their heroes.
August 10 and 11, 2013
After two years of planning, as a local resident I am backed by a small group of friends and have launched a weekend of celebrations with two music concerts.
Saturday, August 10 Sunday, August 11
The Bootleg Beatles Mike Pender’s Searchers
The Rainband The Merseybeats
The Tremeloes The Rockin’ Berries
Herman’s Hermits Small Weller
The Chancellors The Quangos
The Vincents Midnight Delta
Radio legend Mike Sweeney comperes both concerts.
All the bands have one of three things in common:
1. They were there in 1963 (e.g. The Tremeloes)
2. They directly relate to The Beatles (e.g. The Merseybeats)
3. They are Urmston Bands (e.g. Herman’s Hermits)
On the Sunday evening, stars from the performing bands are guest speakers at Davyhulme Golf Club, close by. Come and listen to people like Dave Munden (Tremeloes) talk about performing 50 years ago alongside The Beatles, or the 1962 New Year’s Day audition with Decca, when Decca chose The Tremeloes. Apart from the concerts, we are showcasing local organisations – Flixton Academy of Performing Arts, Urmston Musical Theatre Group, 3rd Davyhulme Scout Band, and Flixton Silver Band. 90 stalls of local arts, crafts and farmers market style are on the park throughout the weekend – a very community spirited event.