New “first Beatles film” discovered

On the rooftop of the garden shed at Paul’s house: John, Paul, George and Mike!

Liverpool Beatles fans Peter Hodgson and Mark Ashworth have just teamed up to discover what must now be counted as the earliest film clip of John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison together.

Here’s the story: The back of 20 Forthlin Road overlooked the grounds of the Police Training College, headquarters of the Liverpool Mounted Police.

Paul and his brother would watch them training horses, knocking pegs out of the ground with lances just as they had done in the British Raj. “We used to sit on the concrete shed in the back yard and watch the Police Show every year for free,” Paul remembered. “One year, Jackie Collins came to open it and we were entranced at the sight of her comely young figure.” (Barry Miles / Paul McCartney, Many Years From Now).

Peter Hodgson in true Columbo style has come up trumps here. The film was made in 1958 (not 1950 as it says on YouTube). take a look at the film, but the interesting part is around the 34.33 mark.

What you’re looking at here is the 1958 Police show with the rear of Forthlin Road across the back of the field. The McCartney’s home, no.20 was/is the third house to the left from the three storey flats seen on the right. What’s very exciting about all this, seen more clearly on my screenshot, is that Peter has noticed several figures sitting on the roof of the outside toilet of no.20 watching the show. Today, Paul McCartney’s brother Mike had a look at the footage and confirmed to a Liverpool reporter that the figures are John, Paul, George and Mike himself.

More at the There Are Places I Remember blog

23 Responses

  1. beatlesondvd says:

    Very exciting, and awfully disappointing at the same time!

  2. LonglivetheBeatles says:

    Just to far away, could be them or not at all really …

  3. Popper says:

    "Paul McCartney's brother Mike had a look at the footage and confirmed to a Liverpool reporter that the figures are John, Paul, George and Mike himself." – well, he's got better eyesight than me, then!

  4. Beatleguide Jackie says:

    He must remember actually being there so eyesight isn't necessary. He has the memory.

  5. Beatleguide Jackie says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. Unknown says:

    They appear to be working hard and 'co-operating with each other, to be Inconsequential to their own, heretofore, loyal fan base.

    I guess that comes with Age to some bands with their maturity, when they wake up someday and find out they just don't matter anymore.

    Very disapointing announcement, but then we, Fans, have contributed to their personal malaise and mediocre output, and present irrelevance by accepting of EVERYTHING they slough off to us.

  7. Beatleguide Jackie says:

    Ah to be fair it was a fan who found this. Ringo and Paul know nothing about it, it's just a bit of a fun find.

  8. Barry Smyth says:

    Kathleen, I've never read such drivel in all of my life.
    There's nothing worse than the pretentious drivel of the writer that tries too hard to make others aware of their deluded intelligence.

  9. Debjorgo says:

    I don't know. Doesn't really look like George to me.

  10. John Drake says:

    What on earth are you carrying on about, Kathleen? Wrong blog, maybe?

  11. Andy says:

    Could also be Sting, Andy and Stewart and why they later called themselves The Police.

  12. Unknown says:

    John seems to be sad.

  13. Unknown says:

    Obviously, if youd do your homework and put two and two together, it is them. Blurry or not, the blurs are the McCartney atleast…nothing to scoff at.

  14. Popper says:

    I just spotted a 32mm platinum-titanium sewing needle in that haystack to the right.

  15. Isko says:

    Ridiculous garbage that isn't worth a second look.

  16. Martin says:

    Is Elvis on there as well?

  17. EvS says:

    In Pete Shotton's 1983 memoir, John Lennon In My Life, Lennon's friend wrote about his experience as a cadet in the Liverpool police force:
    As it happened, our annual graduation ceremony took place in a field adjacent to Paul McCartney's house. At the end of my first year — while duly taking part, along with all the other younger cadets, in a formation march — I glanced up to see John, Paul, and George with buckets on their heads and mops over their shoulders, parodying our parade from Paul's roof.

  18. James Percival says:

    I'm with Leah and EvS. While I wouldn't bet my pension on this, IF it can be verified that the film is from around 1958 then there is a pretty good chance it is Paul, Michael and a few others. If you follow the link to look at the aerial maps it is certain that the house in question is Macca's, and so who else would it be from that era? Like EvS I was aware of the story in Shotton's hilarious memoir; the fact that Paul remembered it well enough to put it in his memoir is a pretty good indication that the McCartneys watched the display from their house. The one thing I am less convinced by is that the other Beatles were involved. Since the parade was an annual event it might not have been the year Shotton's cadets passed out either.

  19. Peter Hodgson says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  20. Peter Hodgson says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  21. James Percival says:

    Ok, so it might not be the most important Beatles story ever, but new of Pete Shotton's death has meant that I have been re-reading his hilarious memoir, and also Hunter Davies' rather good 'quarrymen' book. (I saw the Quarrymen last April). Pete was born in August 1941. He took his O levels at Quarry Bank school in the summer of 1957(just before his 16th birthday); he then he joined the Liverpool police as a cadet. I know something about the cadet system because I was, for a very brief period, a policeman myself in the mid 1980s. The cadets were just being phased out then, but it was a 2 year apprenticeship and so Pete would have 'passed out', as it was termed, in 1959. This is what he confirmed to Hunter Davies in the Quarrymen book (where he repeated the story about being distracted by his friends' antics). So if this film is from 1958 then it doesn't feature Pete and the mop buckets.

  22. Peter Hodgson says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

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