Do you remember when the Beatles came to Cholsey in 1964?
Yes it may seem remarkable but the Beatles were at Cholsey Station but why?
Eric Dawson was the signalman at Cholsey up until a few months before it closed and remembers the day that a train had to be stopped at Cholsey to allow the Beatles to get off and transfer to a car as the huge crowds waiting for them at Didcot were deemed to make leaving the train at Didcot to be too dangerous.
When Eric told us this it seemed unlikely but David Aldridge (a CWR volunteer who used to drive GWR steam locos) also recalled the day as he was at Didcot and remembers that the crowds trying to get onto the platform were back to the GWR social club – there must have been several thousand fans hoping to see the Beatles.
But where were the Beatles going or coming from?
Eric recalls that they were returning from doing some filming in the West Country for ‘Hard Days Night’ and were going to be taken by car from Didcot to a hotel but their plans were changed due to the crowds at Didcot.
Eric recalls that Wilfred Bramble (co-starring in ‘Hard Days Night’) remained on the train, possible returning to London.Were you a young teenager hoping to see the Beatles at Didcot or is there anybody else who actually saw them at Cholsey?
It would be great to hear from anyone with more information or photos about this chance visit of the Beatles to Cholsey. Pop in to the station to tell your story, or use the contact us form.
Top: The Beatles before they left from Paddington on their way to filming ‘Hard Days Night’. On the return journey they left the train at Cholsey it seems to avoid the crowds at Didcot.
Middle: Eric and his wife, Diana, in front of the Cambrian Museum coach at Wallingford
Bottom: David, a CWR volunteer who was a Didcot based steam-driver who used to drive Castle, Hall and even King class locos