The 60th anniversary of one of the key moments in music history is being celebrated in Liverpool next week.
On July 6 1957, John Lennon and Paul McCartney were introduced during the St Peter’s Church Fete in Woolton where Lennon’s Quarrymen (pictured above in an image by Geoff Rhind) were one of the attractions.
While no one knew it at the time, the meeting – brokered by friend Ivan Vaughan – would go on to have a seismic effect on 20th century music, bringing together the songwriting partnership at the heart of the biggest band in the world.
Now six decades on, Woolton Church Fete is being recreated and celebrated next Thursday – July 6 – on the same site, and featuring some of the same faces who took part in the original event.
They include three of the original Quarrymen who played that day – Colin Hanton, Rod Davis and Len Garry, as well as Doug Chadwick, the driver who was behind the wheel of the lorry they played from in the Rose Queen procession, and John Lennon’s sister Julia who attended the 1957 fete as a child.
The Quarrymen on the back of a lorry driven by Doug Chadwick (photo Jim Davis)
Thursday’s event will feature the Quarrymen playing live, as they did 60 years ago, along with traditional garden fete attractions, a children’s fancy dress parade and competition judged by Julia Baird, and music from the Salvation Army Band among others.
The fete, organised by the Cavern in conjunction with St Peter’s Church and Bishop Martin School, will be officially opened at 3pm and will run until 6pm.
In the evening there will be a sold out, ticket only concert in the church hall featuring the Quarrymen.
Bill Heckle, director of the Cavern, says: “Even though Sgt Pepper is an iconic album, and everybody is rightly celebrating its 50th anniversary, this is the birth of the Beatles when John met Paul on that ‘fete-ful’ day in 1957.
“Without that there would be no Sgt Pepper or anything else. To me, this is the most important Beatle anniversary of all.”
Admission to the afternoon is by £2.50 programme on the gate.