Widower discovers 'gold-dust' Beatles photograph left by late wife

A Beatles fan's treasured 1960s scrapbook - which had languished in a drawer for decades - revealed a 'gold-dust' picture the finder never knew existed.

The bundle of Fab Four memorabilia contained a photo of the Beatles signed by Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr. It's now set to go under the hammer at Hansons London on 26 February, with an estimate of £1,000-£2,000.

The find was made by Clive Goodchild at his home in East Molesey, Surrey - and it came as a complete surprise because he'd never set eyes on the 1960s keepsake until he pulled open a drawer in an antique bureau a few months ago.

The memorabilia belonged to his late wife of 34 years, Celia, who died in 2019 aged 65. During lockdown, Clive began the slow process of sorting through a lifetime of memories in preparation for downsizing.

He knew Celia became a fan of the band when Beatlemania struck in the early 1960s but he was still amazed to discover her forgotten treasures.

Clive, 67, a retired banker/financier, said: "I found Celia's old Beatles scrapbook in a drawer in a 150-year-old bureau. It's been in the house since we moved here 36 years ago.

"In fact, the memorabilia must have been in the drawer for longer than that because the desk used to belong to Celia's parents. The autographed photo was inside the scrapbook along with copies of the Beatles' monthly magazine.

"I know my wife liked the Beatles when she was 10 or 11 - lots of girls did. At that time, around 1963/64, she was a pupil at the Beehive Boarding School in Sussex.

"Though we sometimes talked about The Beatles, she never mentioned the memorabilia. But she obviously loved the band because she kept the scrapbook all her life. Her late father was a colonel in the army who knew some important people in London. I suspect he obtained the signed photo for her."

The Beatles autographs and associated memorabilia are due to be sold by Hansons London on 26 February.