24th November, 2013

"50 years ago today I met The Beatles": We speak to Lynda Hill

By November in 1963, The Beatles had already become a house hold name in the UK and had just returned from a tour in Sweden. During their time in Sweden, a young girl by name the name of Gunilla Olofsson (now Gunilla Day) had the chance to meet John, Paul, George and Ringo.

Read about Gunilla's amazing encounter with The Beatles in our blog, "50 years ago today I met The Beatles": We speak to Gunilla Day.

Like Gunilla, a young girl named Lynda Hill also had the pleasure of meeting The Beatles. Lynda met the boys on November 24th, 1963 whilst The Beatles were touring the United Kingdom. The Beatles had released their second album, With The Beatles just two days earlier.

We spoke to Lynda Hill to find out what it was like meeting The Beatles and find out more about her amazing story:

"When I discovered the band were to appear live in concert at the Regal Cinema in Hull, I was determined to secure tickets for their performance. I had seen them live previously when they appeared at the Majestic Ballroom in Hull, although that evening there were only approximately 38 people there, hard to believe I know but it was before they hit the big time.

50 years on Lynda Hill relives her memory of meeting The Beatles

In the meantime and unbeknown to me, my boss contacted The Hull Daily Mail and Brian Epstein, The Beatles' manager, she requested that, as a show of appreciation for my loyalty to her and the company, I meet the Beatles during the afternoon, prior to the concert. How she managed it I still do not know, but it was arranged that I meet The Beatles.

On the morning before the concert, she advised that I should have my hair done as someone from the Employment Exchange wanted to discuss how I was getting along with my job. Later that afternoon, she told me the interview would be held at Head Office in the city centre and that she would meet me beforehand.

That afternoon, she picked me up and drove me in to the centre of Hull, where we parked at the Hull Daily Mail building. I was confused, but did not say anything. As we entered the building through the main entrance, Joe King, a reporter for the Hull Daily Mail, met us. Still blissfully unaware of what was to come, Joe asked if I knew why I had been brought to the local newspaper offices. Replying that I did not have a clue, he gave me the option to sit or stand. I chose to remain standing, as he uttered the words every teenage girl in the UK dreamt of hearing, "In about ten minutes I will be taking you across the Regal Cinema, where you will meet The Beatles". I could not believe my ears, could I have misheard him? Was this a practical joke? I was speechless.

According to arrangement, the Hull and Yorkshire Times would have an exclusive on the story. Being that the National Press was present at the cinema, this posed an interesting problem. It was decided, so as to ensure complete secrecy, that I would be dressed in white overalls and taken in as a cleaning lady, complete with a broom, mop and bucket. Not as you can imagine, how I had hoped to look on meeting my idols. The next few minutes passed by in a blur, but the master plan succeeded. I was safely inside the cinema and no one had suspected a thing.

The entire situation seemed like a fantasy. From inside the cinema I could hear the very same fans I had spent twelve hours queuing with chanting The Beatles' name, whilst I was bustled in to the ladies toilet. I was locked in, in case any of the press interviewing The Beatles was to see me. I was told I could mop the floor or clean the mirrors, but I was not, under any circumstances, to make a sound until someone came for me.

I was nervous, I was excited, and I was shaking. I had a knot in my stomach and I had no idea what I was going to say when I came face to face with the four most famous men in Britain. After what seemed like an age, I was taken in to a large room, where I sat and waited.

As the group entered the room, my jaw dropped. I did not know what to do. They passed by and said "hello", then exited through another door. Joe King told me I had to wait a little longer before I could finally meet them. Ten minutes seemed like an eternity. Then, just when I finally began to feel I would never meet the boys, a door opened and John, Paul, George and Ringo  re-entered the room. Paul looked at me and said, "Are you still here? What are you doing here?". I can only assume I must have stared, open mouthed, before I managed to stammer, "Waiting to meet you."

I spent some time chatting with them, then had the experience immortalised by photograph. This I still have. I was taken back to the upstairs foyer and said goodbye to my idols. Paul gave me a kiss on the cheek. Then my boss appeared with Joe King and her daughter. She handed me and envelope, when I looked inside there were two tickets for us to see the concert. Never did I imagine that my decision to give up my place in the queue and go to work as usual would yield such an amazing and unforgettable reward.

Leaving on Cloud Nine, I attended the concert and, along with hundreds of other Beatles fans, enjoyed every screaming minute of it. The concert was everything I had imagined and more, but nothing could compare to the afternoon I spent with the fab four."



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