IT cost only six shillings (30p) to see The Beatles perform live at Darwen in 1963, but now nearly fifty years later a rare ticket for that historic show is set to fetch between £800 and £1200 at an auction.
And if the ticket does sell for anything like those figures at Christie’s South Kensington in London next Thursday, November 29, it will be worth considerably more than The Beatles received for playing at Darwen Co-Operative Hall on Friday, January 25, 1963, as they were paid less than £100 for the gig.
The three and a half inches by four and a half inches ticket, described by auctioneers Christie’s as ‘rare’ was produced for what the organisers, the local Baptist Youth Club, called ‘The Greatest Teenage Dance’.
It promised non-stop dancing between 7.30pm and 11.30pm and the entrance also included support acts The Electones.
The Mike Taylor Combo and The Mustangs With Ricky Day.
The ticket also covered the cost of the buffet.
The Beatles came to Darwen just weeks before they became world-famous superstars.
It was a momentous year for the Fab Four, as later in 1963 they went to number one for the first time with From Me To You taking the top spot on May 2.
They then followed this with two more number one hits that year, She Loves You in September and I Want To Hold Your Hand in December.
At the time the average weekly wage was fifteen pounds seventeen shillings and three pence (£15.87p), a pint of beer cost one shilling and five pence (about 7p), a gallon of petrol four shillings and ten and a half pence (24p), while the average house cost £3,160.
It was also the year when US President John Kennedy was assassinated, the Great Train Robbery took place and the British political establishment was rocked by the Profumo Scandal.
It is not known exactly what The Beatles received for their Darwen gig but it was definitely less than £100.
According to Mark Lewisohn in his book The Complete Beatles Chronicle, the band’s first £100 booking happened five weeks later when they performed at the Plaza Ballroom, St Helens.