In 1967 a ripple of excitement was making its way across the Westcountry, closely followed by a brightly painted coach.
On board was the biggest band in the world, John, Paul, George and Ringo were in the middle of an ambitious project, filming the Magical Mystery Tour movie, when the famous bus became wedged on Newbridge, near Poundsgate, on Dartmoor.
Following cries for Help! the band made an unscheduled escape to Plymouth, lunching at the Grand Hotel and enjoying the sea views.
It seems even the biggest band in the world couldn’t resist a Day Tripper to the beauty of Plymouth Hoe on a stressful day.
That famous image of the Fab Four relaxing on the far end of the Hoe is an iconic part of Plymouth history and it was captured 53 years ago in September 12, 1967.
The photograph shows the band looking out to sea in the direction of Ringo’s outstretched arm, presumably pointing out a Yellow Submarine in Plymouth Sound.
Photographer David Redfern, who was documenting the band on their Westcountry tour is the one who snapped the famous photograph, which shows off not only the Beatles but also a lot of famous Plymouth iconography.Even Smeaton’s Tower can be seen in the background looking starkly different than it does on the same day 50 years on.The well known red and white striped lighthouse is entirely white with only the top of the landmark painted in red.
The historical marker for the spot reads as follows: “This artwork marks the spot where John, Paul, George and Ringo posed for a picture that has gone on to become one of the most famous images of one of the world’s most influential bands.
“Taken on Tuesday 12 September 1967 by music photographer David Redfern, it shows “The Fab Four” with an all-white Smeaton’s Tower in the background. They were in the city to pose for photographers while making ‘The Magical Mystery Tour’ film.
As for this day back in 1967, the bus, when it was eventually freed from Newbridge picked the boys up and whisked them off to Cornwall for more filming.But not before many Plymothians caught a glimpse of the brightly decorated vehicle in traffic as the bus pulled away.
Phil Sargent who was 17 at the time remembers: “They waved so I waved back and the whole bus started waving and it suddenly dawned on me: it was the Beatles! I got back to my friends and told them they’d never guess who I’d just seen. They didn’t believe me!”
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