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Wearside woman recalls meeting The Beatles after winning competition

A Wearside woman who won a competition to name a Beatles album has told of the night she met her childhood idols

Margaret Gordon, from Sunderland, who won a competition in 1963 to name a Beatles album

A Wearside woman who won a competition to name a Beatles album has told of the night she met her childhood idols.

Margaret Gordon, née Svenson, was the envy of all her friends when she got to meet the world-famous group at a theatre in Carlisle in 1963.

Only 15 at the time, Mrs Gordon spotted an advert in a music newspaper about a competition to come up with a name for an EP and choose six Beatles songs that would appeal to an American audience.

Having taken some time to consider, the excited teenager chose Beatles for Sale and sent off her entry, along with her song choices.

Mrs Gordon, who is now married and lives with her husband in Sunderland, remembered her joy when she received a letter to say she had won and inviting her to Carlisle to meet the famous foursome.

Beatles items in the collection of Margaret Gordon from Sunderland
Beatles items in the collection of Margaret Gordon from Sunderland

Speaking to the Journal, Mrs Gordon said: “I remember being very excited when I received the letter congratulating me and telling me I’d won.

I remember the date my sister and I went over to Carlisle to meet them, it was November 21, 1963. I remember the date because John F Kennedy was killed the following day.

“They were all lovely. They signed autographs and chatted and we had our photographs taken. We met them in their dressing room at a theatre in Carlisle and they were all very friendly.

“I remember Ringo was very shy, John was very confident and Paul was the diplomat. George was not as shy as Ringo but talked quietly.

“It was extremely exciting and memorable and something I will always remember.”

At the time, four people from around the North also won the competition with their EP names, but it was only Mrs Gordon’s that was used and went on sale.

“When I was thinking about the name, ‘Beatles for Sale’ just came to me out of the blue,” she said. “I thought it was catchy and would grab people’s attention. But, when I told people, it wasn’t well received. A lot of people thought it was a stupid idea for a title and wouldn’t achieve anything.

“As I couldn’t think of anything better, I just sent that idea in with the six recordings, although I can’t remember which ones they were.

“We’re talking 1963 when I sent in my entry and met the band, and it was not long after that ‘Beatles for Sale’ was actually released.”

Mrs Gordon has kept a box filled with keepsakes from the night, including the autographs, tickets and photos, and also had scrapbooks filled with Press clippings and memorabilia from her time as a member of The Beatles Fan Club.

Mrs Gordon also took along two albums for her friend Christine Gatenby and her sister Jackie for the band to sign.

Jackie’s LP, With the Beatles, went on sale at Boldon Auction Galleries, in South Tyneside, yesterday and sold for £11,500.

 

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