‘I’m selling a broken plectrum used by Paul McCartney and Beatles autographs in the West Midlands’

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We chat to Dr Julian Dennis, a retired GP from Sutton Coldfield, about his astonishing Beatles memorabilia about to go under the hammer

A broken plectrum used by Paul McCartney along with a set of The Beatles autographs go under the hammer on Monday. 

The Fab Four collection, gathered by a 15-year-old schoolgirl in 1964, will be sold by Richard Winterton Auctioneers at its Fradley Park, Lichfield base. 

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The autograph book, which belonged to fan Louisa Walne, also includes a message from Beatles roadie Mal Evans. He wrote: “To Louisa, with love and best wishes Malcolm Evans (Beatles Road Manager).”  

The collection is expected to realise around £5,000. George Harrison and Tommy Quickly, who, like the Beatles, was guided by Brian Epstein, signed on the same page. A discarded matchstick memento has been stuck under their names. Was it flung by George? 

The book also has the autographs of other artistes appearing with the Beatles at De Montford Hall on October 10, 1964, including Motown’s Mary Wells. Names gathered from other gigs at the hall include Cliff Richard, Hank Marvin and Gerry Marsden. 

Complete set of Beatles autographs with Paul McCartney’s plectrum by retired Sutton Coldfield GP Dr Julian DennisComplete set of Beatles autographs with Paul McCartney’s plectrum by retired Sutton Coldfield GP Dr Julian Dennis
Complete set of Beatles autographs with Paul McCartney’s plectrum by retired Sutton Coldfield GP Dr Julian Dennis | Mike Lockley

The autograph book is being sold by Dr Julian Dennis, a retired GP from Sutton Coldfield, who has looked after it for the past half a century. Louisa was also in the medical profession, becoming a nurse specialising in children’s care. “Louisa and I married in 1973,” Juilan said. 

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Tragically, she died at the age of 24 following a blood clot, just six months after marrying Julian. “The autograph book has been with me for a long time and for many years I didn’t want to sell it because it was Louisa’s,” said Julian. 

“But it has been 50 years and I think the time has come to pass this fascinating keepsake on. I was – and still am – a massive Beatles fan and their music has accompanied me throughout my life. It’s impossible to name a favourite song but Paul was my favourite Beatle and to have a piece of a plectrum he used is undeniably special.” 

Robert French, valuer at Richard Winterton Auctioneers, said: “There remains huge affection for the Beatles worldwide and we expect considerable interest in the auction, especially due to the wonderful provenance of the book. 

“The other autographs from Cliff Richard, Gerry Marsden and Tommy Quickly tie in with the dates they played De Montfort Hall and show the venue was clearly one Louisa liked to go to. October 10, 1964, must have been a special day indeed for Louisa and we can only imagine how thrilled she was to get autographs of all four Beatles, their trusted roadie Mal Evans and American star Mary Wells – plus the bonus souvenir of McCartney’s broken plectrum to boot!” 

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