North West Wales

Richie Astall's Beatles Llandudno memorabilia auctioned

Richie Astall's Beatles memorabilia
Image caption Richie Astall collected a poster of the 1963 gig and photos of the fab four

Autographs of all four Beatles, collected by a man who saw them play in north Wales 50 years ago, have sold at auction for almost £20,000.

Autograph hunter Richie Astall, who lived in Llandudno, asked the "Fab Four" for their signatures at the gig in the town's Odeon Cinema in 1963.

He became a collector of autographs of the rich and famous while working at Llandudno Pier.

His widow, Jean, 72, put the collection up for sale in Colwyn Bay.

Mr Astall got John, Paul, George and Ringo to sign his autograph book when the band played in Llandudno.

He also kept a poster of the event and later tracked down signed photographs of the band.

Mr Astall was in a wheelchair after contracting meningitis and German measles in childhood, which his widow says he used to his advantage.

"I think Richie's disability helped him get the autographs," she said.

"He was always able to get to the front of a queue in his wheelchair and the stars he admired so much showed him a lot of kindness."

Mr Astall died in 1995 at the age of 74.

Overseas bids

The four Beatles were among many people to sign their names in a small cream leather-bound autograph book which sold for £2,900.

Six black-and-white autographed Beatles publicity photographs sold for £9,400, four times their estimated value.

Auctioneer David Rogers Jones said bids came from America and Australia.

"The interest in Beatles memorabilia is growing year by year and that is reflected in the prices we are seeing for autographs and posters," he said.

The sale on Tuesday raised a total of £19,800.

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