Beatles autographs from day they received MBEs sell for £7,400 in Lichfield auction
AUTOGRAPHS signed by The Beatles on the day they received their MBEs have sold at auction in Lichfield for £7,400.
The set was bought by a lifelong Beatles fan from Staffordshire, who said the purchase fulfilled a ‘lifetime’s ambition’.
John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr signed at Buckingham Palace on October 26 1965 for Birmingham fire officer George Goodman, who was also there to receive the MBE.
Mr Goodman requested the autographs for his 12-year-old daughter Joy, bluntly telling the musicians: “I don’t know what she sees in you!”
The hilariously honest exchange was noted at a Beatles press conference following the ceremony.
Nearly six decades on, Joy’s autograph book went under the hammer with Richard Winterton Auctioneers at The Lichfield Auction Centre on Monday, October 9 – coincidentally John Lennon’s birthday.
The new owner, who asked to remain anonymous, said it was the story behind the signatures which spurred him into bidding.
“It has been a lifetime’s ambition to have The Beatles’ autographs but I’d never seen the right set,” said the 57-year-old, who has been a Beatles fan since watching A Hard Day’s Night on TV at the age of 10.
“I’d never bid at auction before, saw the story about the autographs on a news website by chance and it just all fell into place.
“It was the story behind these autographs which did it, you can’t fault it.
“Plus the signatures are so clear, they are all together on the same page and the provenance is unbelievable.”
He added: “If someone had told me when I started in 1976 that it would all lead to this, I would never have believed them.
“Today really has been the fulfilment of a long-held ambition.”
Joy, now 70, accompanied Mr Goodman to the palace with her sister Jill and their mum Doris.
Speaking after the auction, she said: “I’m really pleased for the buyer.
“I wanted my autograph book to go to someone who would appreciate it and treasure it, so this is a perfect fit.”
The new owner added: “I am so pleased to know that she is happy about the sale and that the signatures have indeed gone to a good home where they will remain intact inside the original autograph book.”
George Goodman worked in fire safety, ending up as chief fire prevention officer for Birmingham, based in the old fire station on Corporation Street. He also used to travel to other countries to lecture on fire safety.
“My dad was always smartly dressed and very dignified – asking long-haired pop stars for autographs wouldn’t be the thing he would normally do,” added Joy.
The Beatles’ award of the MBE and their appointment at Buckingham Palace triggered extensive media coverage on television, radio and in newspapers and the group held a press conference after leaving the palace.
It was there that John Lennon said the band signed autographs ‘for all the people who were waiting to get their MBEs’.
Paul McCartney then revealed: “They were all nice, you know. But one fellow said: “I want it for my daughter but I don’t know what she sees in you!”
Rob French, valuer at Richard Winterton Auctioneers, said: “As soon as I saw the signatures and heard the extraordinary story behind them it was clear we had something very special.
“We had a huge amount of interest pre-sale and it is wonderful to see such a good result.
“I am delighted for both our vendor and the buyer, with these superb signatures finding the perfect new home.”
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