From me to queue

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I was most amused to read your article (29 April) about the Beatles’ first concert in Edinburgh, 50 years ago. I recall signing the petition for them to play here.

I slept on the pavement overnight outside the Regal Cinema to queue to buy tickets. At the concert I did not hear a single note or word – the sound from the stage was completely drowned out by the screams from hundreds of hysterical girls.

Despite this, I enjoyed the experience. Just to say I was there was wonderful.

I also recall being extremely grateful that those two girls had organised the petition. Like many fans I was unhappy that the group had not included Edinburgh in their first Scottish tour the year before.

I was saddened to learn that the parents of those two girls had not allowed them to join the queue for tickets, although it was good to read that they had in fact been able to attend the concert with tickets a couple of boys had bought for them.

Much as I loved the Beatles, the fun experienced in the queue was the highlight of the whole episode. I was there with two friends and several members of my family visited us, bringing sandwiches and good cheer.

Two other friends came by to taunt us. They were Rolling Stones fans but their jeers were all in good fun.

People had transistor radios tuned in to pop music and the atmosphere was very friendly. Quite a few romances blossomed in those few hours when we were all huddled together.

The event coincided with student Rag Week. Some students had got hold of an old brass bed which they erected outside the cinema and even donned pyjamas and put out milk bottles before getting under the blankets for the night.

They also put out their collecting cans and they raised quite a bit of money for charity. I believe that they subsequently raffled off the tickets they bought and raised a lot more money. It was an experience I will never forget.

Chris Gorman