Photo courtesy of The Ronald Grant Archive
A new project is calling out for people’s personal memories of the Beatles’ association with Twickenham and the local area.
A Hard Day’s Night, Help!, Day Tripper, Hey Jude, Let It Be…. Between 1964 and 1969 many of the Fab Four’s most well-known film and TV appearances were filmed in and around the celebrated Twickenham Studios. Fifty years later, the new community venue, The Exchange is appealing for people to contribute their personal memories of the time ahead of a new exhibition and education project.
The Beatles in Twickenham, is a project developed by The Exchange, St Mary’s University, supported by Richmond Borough Council’s Civic Pride Fund and Twickenham Studios. The project will focus on and celebrate a unique period in the 1960’s when ‘Swinging’ London was at the heart of the pop, film, art and fashion worlds, and the Twickenham area developed a long association with the most famous pop group in the world.
The project is timed to mark the 50th anniversaries of both the historic Hey Jude TV broadcast and the subsequent Let It Be sessions in January 1969, both filmed at Twickenham Studios. Before this The Beatles had already formed a strong connection with the area, making a number of their ground-breaking feature and promotional films in part at least, at the St Margaret’s-based studios. Famous filming locations included a key sequence in Help! filmed on Ailsa Avenue, and Ringo’s famous pub scene in A Hard Day’s Night (filmed in the Turks Head on Winchester Rd).
Nonetheless, the team behind the project, were surprised to find that until now, the connections between the area and the Beatles, have remained relatively undocumented.
Stuart Hobday, Creative Director of The Exchange, said “Surprisingly, when we began researching this project, we found that there is relatively little on record in the form of accessible materials that document the Beatles’ time filming in the area. Much of the heritage on which this project focuses therefore exists only in people’s memories – memories which will eventually be lost if they are not captured and preserved now.”
In particular, the team behind the project are appealing to the public for any relevant photographs, memorabilia or personal stories from the period. Perhaps you have fond memories of seeing the films for the first time, or maybe you were even lucky enough to be among the audience in the famous Hey Jude film TV broadcast! Memories and photos collected will be recorded and digitized and included in a public exhibition at The Exchange in early 2019. A date for the exhibition opening will be announced in due course.
To contribute or loan your memories or memorabilia, please contact Stuart Hobday at The Exchange, 75 London Road, Twickenham TW1 1BE or email firstname.lastname@example.org
One of the oldest surviving studios in the country, based in St Margarets, Twickenham Studios is perhaps best known for its association with The Beatles and a string of box-office hits including Alfie (1966), The Eagle Has Landed (1976), The French Lieutenant’s Woman (1981) and Shirley Valentine (1989). With over 100 years of history, Twickenham Studios continues to be successful in attracting filmmakers to the newly refurbished studios in St Margarets.
The Studio celebrated their centenary in 2013. Following their reequipping and modernization, the studios are, once again, a successful professional film and television studio.
Visit them at: www.twickenhamstudios.com