A set of special autographs by The Beatles with an unusual Cardiff story are up for auction.
The Beatles fan club card signed by all of the band, is to go under the auction at Rogers Jones auction house in Cardiff on March 27.
The autographs were handed out in the most unusual of places ie. in the back of a Black Maria police van after their show at The Capitol Theatre in 1965.
The performance, on December 12, is renowned as the last tour date the band would ever play in the UK.
The autographs belonged to Cardiff policeman Frank Wilson who was part of the team transporting the band to their performance in Cardiff.
When bands like The Beatles and The Rolling Stones came to play in the city, security was so tight they couldn’t drive into the city for the gig.
Instead, the bands went to the police station to be driven in a secure Black Maria, to avoid being mobbed. They were also ferried away from the shows in the van to avoid fans.
Former Cardiff police officer John Wakes recalled in an interview with the South Wales Echo, on May 9, 2016 that one police colleague told him that when The Beatles came to town, John Lennon was so exhausted he didn’t know where he was.
It was December 1965 and Lennon got in the back of the Black Maria and said ‘where are the kilts?’,”. “The police told him ‘you’re in Wales.
An officer got into the vehicle with The Beatles and their crew who asked him for cigarettes. He handed them out until there wasn’t one for him.
Now, the wife of Frank Wilson, who died in 2000, aged 62, is putting the autographs up for auction.
“We’ve had the autographs in the family for about 55 years now,” said Val Wilson, 82. They’ve been kept in pristine condition in an envelope”.
I remember him telling me that when they got into the van after the show they were all sweaty and smelly. The van drove up to the stage and bundled them in and they were off.
Global Autographs say to bidders “buyer beware as the Beatles roadies signed numerous autographs on the Beatles behalf, was this item pulled out of somebody’s pocket or bag or was it individually signed in the back of the van”