Fans get tied up in knots over Beatles auction

A tie which used to belong to John Lennon is among the rare items set to go under the hammer at the Beatles 22nd Annual Memorabilia auction.

The black knitted tie was discovered by retired civil servant Joyce McWilliams, 66, who found it, along with some rare signed postcards, when she was clearing out her house.

McWilliams, who was handed the tie by Lennon himself at Liverpool’s Cavern Club, is now set to make around £20,000 (€23,500) from her finds.

She walked into the Beatles Shop, in Mathew St in the heart of the Cavern Club quarter, with five rare autographed photographs of the Beatles, wondering if they were valuable.

Stephen Bailey, shop manager for 20 years, said: “She said she was having a clear-out at home and came across them in a drawer.

“I asked her if she had any more items and she returned a few days later with John Lennon’s black knitted tie.”

McWilliams had obtained the tie and autographed photos in 1962 when she was a 15-year-old who used to attend the lunchtime sessions at Liverpool’s famous Cavern Club.

She said: “The Beatles were recording some numbers and I was sitting on the edge of the stage holding the microphone stand. It was very hot in the club and John asked me to lend him a handkerchief to mop his brow with.

“He handed it back to me and loosened his tie when I said, ‘I thought you were going to give me your tie,’ and he just handed it to me.”

She took the items home. “I was absolutely heartbroken when my mother told me that she had washed the handkerchief,” she added.

At this year’s auction at the Paul McCartney Auditorium at the Liverpool Institute For Performing Arts in Mount St, interest will be focused on 322 items to go under the hammer.

The auction is timed to coincide with The Beatles Worldwide Convention in Liverpool on Saturday, Aug 24.

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