Autographs collected by a teenager in the swinging sixties are expected to sell for more than £1,500 at an auction in Lichfield.
Judith Leach began collecting the signatures of celebrities in 1963 and notched up names including The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, George Best and Matt Busby.
Her fascinating book has survived four house moves, each time returning to languish in a drawer, and the mum-of-two – now 71 – has decided it’s time to let someone else share her precious memories.
It will be sold in by Richard Winterton Auctioneers in a sale on 9th and 10th August.
Judith said she managed to get The Beatles to sign after going to the Granada TV Studios in Manchester in 1965.
“To go we had to go past The Midland Hotel near St Peter’s Square. Outside the hotel was a big black Rolls-Royce with blacked out windows.
“The revolving door started revolving and John and Paul came out. We raced across, my friend grabbed John – and he trod on her foot by accident!
“I grabbed Paul and gave him my autograph book and pen, which I had with me all the time then just in case I happened upon someone.
“But then they were quickly ushered into the Rolls-Royce and Paul still had my book. He could tell from the look on my face and quickly signed ‘Paul’ before handing me the pen and book back just as the car sped away.
“Later on I stuck a photo of Paul next to his photograph so people would realise who it was.
“The next day we went back to the hotel but by that point word had got around and there was a huge crowd outside.”Judith Leach
Judith, whose father used to work at the Manchester Evening News and the Manchester Guardian, started the book with autographs of The Batchelors in Blackpool.
She obtained many of the signatures in local music shops or by waiting outside concerts.
But she also had helped in getting some of them
“Early in my collecting career a friend of my mother’s got The Rolling Stones’ autographs. It was so many years ago I can’t remember the details but I think it was at a hospital charity event.
“I know it was from one of my mother’s friends and we pasted the precious piece of paper into my book.”
Other famous names in the collection include Billy J Kramer and the Dakotas, Sandie Shaw, Graham Nash of The Hollies and later Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Carl Perkins, Alan Price, The Animals, Elkie Brookes, Freddie and the Dreamers, The Rockin’ Berries, ‘Swingin’ Norman Vaughn and Pat Phoenix, Coronation Street’s Elsie Tanner.
Auctioneer Richard Winterton said:
“Lovingly put together and carefully collected, one can picture young Judith keeping her eyes wide open for the stars as she enterprisingly carried her autograph book and pen around with her.
“The collection really gives the impression that everything was happening there, with Manchester buzzing with celebrities – although Judith maintains it wasn’t all as glamourous a picture as that painted by her autograph book.”Richard Winterton
The full details of the lot and others in the auction are available online.