It was a sentimental gift, bought at a charity auction with the blessing of The Beatles and legendary producer Sir George Martin.But now a highly sought after piece of Beatles memorabilia–an original Eleanor Rigby score penned by Sir George— has emerged as the subject of an extraordinary dispute involving relatives of the man he gifted it to. Colin Sanders, a world renowned musical entrepreneur and founder of the mixing console manufacturer Solid State Logic (SSL), is understood to have won the score from the band several years after the song’s release.
Now, however, the much cherished heirloom has become centre of a bizarre whodunit involving his widow, Dr Rosemary Sanders, and their adopted daughter, Terri-Louise. The controversy arose after the rare manuscript, signed by Sir George and Sir Paul McCartney, turned up for sale at an obscure Warrington-based auction house.
After learning of its disappearance, Dr Sanders contacted Omega Auctions, a specialist in music memorabilia, and claimed ownership. The auction house was forced to pull the lot hours before it was due to go on auction.
The score is only of only two known to have been written by Sir George; the original was left to his daughter, Alexis Stratfold, when he died last year. It was until Monday advertised alongside a collection of rare Beatles memorabilia, and had been valued at £20,000. Dr Sanders has also alerted Thames Valley Police, which is now attempting to determine the manuscript’s true ownership and how it came to be consigned for sale.