Woman recalls Fab Four date

It cost the best part of a week's wages back in 1967 but you wouldn't want to go and meet the Beatles wearing any old coat. So a 22-year-old fan from Norfolk spent £30 of her hard-earned money on a coney fur and set off for the hottest gig in town.

By CHRIS BISHOP

It cost the best part of a week's wages back in 1967 but you wouldn't want to go and meet the Beatles wearing any old coat.

So a 22-year-old fan from Norfolk spent £30 of her hard-earned money on a coney fur and set off for the hottest gig in town.

Before the Fab Four's Magical Mystery Tour movie was broadcast by the BBC, their most faithful fans were treated to an exclusive preview as guests of the band.


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Among them was Pat Manning, from Stoke Ferry, a secretary from Wissington Sugar Factory by day, who was also the Beatles Fan Club's area secretary for Norfolk.

“All the area secretaries were invited to a special screening of Magical Mystery Tour in London and we got to mingle with them,” she said. “George and John were there, Paul wasn't and I don't remember seeing Ringo - mind you it was 40 years ago.”

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The moment is immortalised in a grainy black and white picture which appeared in the Beatles Monthly fanzine. It shows Pat in her new coat with George Harrison, John Lennon and other fans.

“I bought that coat especially for the occasion,” she said. “It came from Debenhams in King's Lynn and it was about £30.”

It wasn't just a magical occasion for Pat. As we revealed earlier this week, the famous dance routine in the film was choreographed by King's Lynn's own ballroom legend, Peggy Spencer, after Paul McCartney rang and asked her for some tuition.

“I'd been into them since they first came on the scene in 1964,” said Pat. “I joined their fan club and on the back of one of the letters it said: “Area secretary needed for Norfolk - applications from fans welcome.”

“I received some lovely letters from all over the world and I took over Lincolnshire as well after a couple of years. I used to get all their singles, EPs and magazines free of charge - we just had to answer letters.”

Like most females of her era, Pat had a favourite Beatle - George Harrison. But unlike virtually every single young woman in the world at that time, she didn't dream of marrying one and met her husband, Jack Moessl, when he came to do some building work at the Wissington factory.

“I haven't really got a favourite Beatles song, there are so many,” she said. “I did like the White Album the most.”

While she remains a fan and still plays their music - on CD these days as opposed to vinyl - her love of the mop-haired Scouse songsters wasn't passed on to her children Rebecca, 29, and Simon, 27. “My children aren't interested in the Beatles - they're into heavy rock,” she said.

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