Terence Spencer photographed The Beatles, Winston Churchill’s funeral and the Vietnam War – and now the daughter of an eminent 20th century photographer is attempting to ensure his legacy lives on in at the Shrewsbury Beatles Weekend.
Cara Spencer, of Bayston Hill near Shrewsbury, took over the running of her late father Terence Spencer’s photo archive after he died in 2009. His extraordinary life saw him serve as a World War Two pilot, before becoming a photographer for Time-Life magazine – covering everything from “swinging London” in the 1960s to civil wars in Africa.
Miss Spencer said her globe-trotting father’s work had been hugely diverse. Over the years, he photographed the likes of Muammar Gaddafi and Yasser Arafat, as well as Richard Branson and Bob Dylan.
And she said she had been the inspiration for him covering The Beatles in their early years as they began their ascent to worldwide fame.
“I said ‘Dad, there is this amazing group called The Beatles’. He rang the editor of Time-Life in New York, who said his daughter was interested in The Beatles as well.In those days, it was much easier to get close to them before they went to the States and got really famous. They accepted him as part of the furniture and he spent several weeks following them around. He didn’t have a bad word to say about them and said they had a lovely sense of humour.”
Miss Spencer said her father even got the band to record a message for her, which she played to her friends on the school bus. But the tape was accidentally wiped.
The majority of his pictures of The Beatles were sold at auction to Bloomsbury Publishing for £75,000 in the early 1980s, with the images used to make a best-selling coffee table book.
But Miss Spencer retains 13 colour images of the band taken by her father.
Shrewsbury will celebrate The Beatles & the 50thAnniversary of ‘Abbey Road’w/a special weekend of music,films talks, tours &other events on 20th-22nd Sept. ShrewsburyBeatles Weekend presents Lunctime Live at ‘The Cavern’,live Beatles music with The BackBeat Three,Famous Last Words and Two Faced Tom &The Bootleg Boys! Screenings of the films ‘A Hard Day’s Night’,‘Backbeat’ and documentaries ‘Looking for Lennon’,‘Good Ol’ Freda’ and ‘The Beatles:Eight Days A Week’ directed by Ron Howard. Also: Former Marvel comic creator Tim Quinn will be giving an entertaining illustrated talk at The Hive–‘The Beatles in Comics’. For more information about Shrewsbury Beatles Weekend and Tickets visit www.shrewsburybeatles.com https://www.facebook.com/ShrewsburyBeatles/