A collection of signed Beatles memorabilia amassed by the Fab Four’s favourite air stewardess has emerged for sale for over £35,000.
Olga Fogwill, who worked at London Airport in the 1960s, met the band at the height of their fame as they were flying to Hamburg in Germany. She came to their aid when John, Paul, George and Ringo, had all forgotten their passports. But with air travel vastly different from today, she allowed them to board the British Eagle flight without the official documents.
Ms Fogwill then arranged for the passports to be sent to Germany on the next flight, allowing the band to take off as scheduled.The group never forgot her help and kept in touch with both her and her family in the coming years.
They even provided her daughter, Susan Hall, with free tickets and signed collectibles, some of which have now emerged for sale. The items, including a signed birthday card and an autographed ‘Help’ programme, are to go under the hammer tomorrow at SAS Auctions of Thatcham, Berkshire.
There are eight lots which are being sold by Ms Hall, who has decided to have a clear-out as she is moving house.
A spokesman for SAS said the charming story behind the collection only adds to its value and appeal to collectors.
David Martin, a musical specialist with SAS, said: ‘Most artists come and go in terms of popularity but The Beatles has always had a big market.
‘With that you get a lot of fakes come up which makes this story so brilliant and exciting. We’re expecting a lot of interest in it and we’ve even been dealing with requests from a collector in America.
‘The pieces are in great condition and they’ll do well come sale day.’The most expensive item in the sale is a signed programme from the world premiere of the Beatles’ film ‘Help’.It was given to Ms Hall by John Lennon’s aunt Mimi at the airport after the show and is signed by all four Beatles plus a number of their dancers and choreographers.
Another standout piece is a British Eagle airline brochure, which the band signed on their first meeting with the vendor’s mother.
Susan Hall said: ‘In 1958, my mother started working at London Airport, which is now Heathrow. One day, she was asked to meet the aircraft and help four passengers who were transferring to a flight to Germany.’It turned out to be the Beatles making a trip to Hamburg and their transfer proved to be a little more complicated than expected when it was realised that their passports had been left in Liverpool.
‘Air travel was simpler in those days and my mother was able to get authority for them to fly on to Germany without passports on the promise that she would get the passports sent on the next flight which she did. ‘This could never happen today and the Beatles never forgot her help.’She added: ‘On more than one occasion, they gave us complimentary tickets for their London shows.’We were always given seats in the front row which meant we could just about hear what they were singing.’After the concert, we would be collected and taken to see them all in their dressing room to chat and to get my autograph book signed.’Over the years, mother met and assisted many members of their families.’For my 16th birthday, my mother got the boys to sign a birthday card to me – it was my best present that year.’I was so thrilled and it’s been one of several items of memorabilia that I have treasured over the years.’