This year’s Beatles Auction takes place online on Saturday August 29, and St Peter’s Church has three items in it. One of them is even featured in the main advertising banner, which is a great honour!
Further information on our items, as well as all the other lots and information on how to bid is available on the official auction website: http://www.beatlesauction.co.uk/
The old Church collection box, featured on the banner is Lot 50 in the auction.
It was hand-made by a member of the Congregation during the 1920s, and the maker’s initials and the year ‘1929’ are carved into the base.
The collection box has stood by the main door to the Church since that time and, as far as everyone can remember, has always been there. Although we can’t imagine John ever putting any money into it, we’re sure that Mimi would have used it, and we’re certain it was in use during the 1950s.
Also in the auction are four panes of glass taken from the stained glass windows in the Church Hall.
These were part of the stained glass windows in the Church Hall, which we believe were originally installed when the Hall was built in the middle of the 19th century. The windows are clearly visible in photos dating from the 1940s onwards and, when Paul ‘auditioned’ to join the Quarrymen in 1957, he did so in the light shining through these windows.
Reflecting their importance in Beatles history, Beatle guide, and friend of St Peter’s, Jackie Spencer used to call our stained glass windows the “Sgt Pepper windows” because the colours of the glass are reminiscent of the suits worn by John, Paul, George and Ringo on the cover of Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
A few years ago we noticed that the lead which surrounded each pane of glass was bending and buckling. The danger that this posed was even more apparent in 2018 when one of the panels fell out of the window. Fortunately, this was saved and is now part of the exhibition in Roag Best’s Beatles History Museum in Mathew Street, but it did prompt further investigations into the state of the windows. In 2020, it was sadly confirmed that the windows posed a grave threat to health and safety and that they could not be repaired. With regret, we were forced to make the decision to remove the original stained glass windows and replace them with plain glass.
However, we fully recognise the importance of the original stained glass in the history and heritage of St Peter’s and every pane of glass was saved. These will eventually be made available for sale, with each piece of glass housed in a special presentation box complete with a display stand. Unfortunately, the impact of Covid-19 means that we are unable to move forward with these plans for the foreseeable future. In the meantime, these four panes of stained glass are being offered in the auction.
The final item is a floor block, which was part of the original floor of the Church Hall. In 2001, a fire in one of the side rooms in the hall resulted in the replacement of small areas of the original floor. All the floor blocks which had suffered varying degrees of fire damage were saved, including this one which was taken from the side room.
The side room was used by the youth club, of which John was a member, and would also have been used by the Quarrymen, including Paul, during the youth club dances. It comes with a Certificate of Authenticity signed by the current Rector of St Peter’s, the Revd Kip Crooks.
This particular floor block has been partially restored to its 1957 glory by Colin Hanton, drummer with the Quarrymen. It has not been varnished, or changed in any other way.
More information on all our items, including how to bid can be found at http://www.beatlesauction.co.uk/
Good luck and happy bidding!