All you need is curtains to help with new Beatles book

The Beatles on one of their visits to Doncaster. The Fab Four - John, Paul, George and Ringo - are surrounded by female staff from the Gaumont as it was known back in the 1960s.
The Beatles on one of their visits to Doncaster. The Fab Four - John, Paul, George and Ringo - are surrounded by female staff from the Gaumont as it was known back in the 1960s.
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HOMEOWNERS are being urged to search here, there and everywhere to uncover extremely rare Beatles merchandise that was made in Doncaster.

A music writer has embarked on a magical mystery tour to track down curtains which a borough firm was licensed to produce at the height of Beatlemania.

It was in early 1964 that Gordon Dunn Ltd in Highfield Road, Wheatley, was given much-sought-after permission to produce curtains featuring the faces of the Fab Four.

And music writer Marcus Gray needs help from anybody, just anybody, to uncover the story behind the missing fabric for his new book on the band’s weird and wacky merchandise, A Can of Beatle Breath.

He said: “It’s a long time ago but I’m hoping someone who worked for Gordon Dunn, or who was given a set of locally-produced Beatles curtains as a child, can remember the material and tell me a little more about it.”

As Beatlemania began to grip the globe in 1963, The Beatles had their faces emblazoned on all manner of merchandise from talcum powder containers to record cabinets to chewing gum cards.

The band played Doncaster’s former Gaumont cinema in February and March 1963 and Marcus hopes someone who may have been in attendance can tell him whether the curtains were for sale.

North Yorkshire-born Marcus, 51, was just three when Beatlemania first erupted but has fond memories of his teenage aunt Dorothy’s haul of merchandise.

He described The Beatles as the first band to generate merchandising on an international level, in a way that is now the norm for bands with a global following.

He added: “This was the first time the UK saw this kind of reaction. The United States had already had something similar with Elvis but it was completely unprecedented in the UK.”

Former Doncaster music promoter and DJ Ray Nortrop, who once compered a Beatles gig in Paris and worked for the band’s former manager Brian Epstein, has been drafted in to help in the quest.

He said: “It would be great for Doncaster to have another strong connection to The Beatles.

“When I worked with them, you could hardly hear them singing or announce that they were coming on for all the screaming girls.

“But it would be fantastic if there was a piece of official merchandise in someone’s house that they’d forgotten about and they had no idea was so special.”

Belfast-based Marcus plans to release A Can of Beatle Breath within the next 12 months in time for the 50th anniversary of Beatlemania.

Anyone with any information about the curtains can contact Marcus on red.barn@yahoo.co.uk