Early Cavern days Beatles' photograph up for auction

The Beatles at the Cavern Club The photograph of the Cavern Club from 1961 has just come to light

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One of the earliest photos of The Beatles in Liverpool's Cavern Club is being auctioned later this month.

The picture and other recently unearthed snaps, were taken to The Beatles Shop in Liverpool.

Shop manager Stephen Bailey said the owner told him: "My father was a professional photographer and these might be of interest to you."

Taken in 1961, the Cavern photo features Paul McCartney at the front of the stage, with Pete Best on drums.

Best was replaced the following year by Ringo Starr.

Mr Bailey said the man handed over a series of envelopes of transparencies which all turned out to be in perfect condition.

Another shot shows George Harrison, John Lennon, McCartney and Best posing with six girls.

The Beatles This shot was taken when the band returned from Hamburg

Mr Bailey said after some research, he found it was taken on 14 June 1961, at St John's Hall, Tuebrook, Liverpool - the first gig the band played after returning from Hamburg.

He has also traced two of the girls in the picture. One of the others has died, he has learned, but he said he was still looking for the other three.

"It's a lovely photograph and so evocative of the relationship The Beatles had with their early fans," Mr Bailey said.

Mr Bailey, who has managed the shop for 28 years, said there would be 330 lots at the auction including rare first, second and third editions of the legendary Merseybeat magazine, published in 1961.

He said he thought the Cavern Club pictures could fetch £1,500 and the Merseybeat magazine could sell for between £2,500 and £3,000.

The Annual Liverpool Beatles Auction will be held in the Paul McCartney Auditorium at the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts on Saturday 23 August.

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