Sir Paul McCartney school book sells for £47k at Beatles auction

A school book Sir Paul McCartney used as a teenager has sold for £46,800 – nearly ten times its estimate.
Sir Paul McCartney performs. Picture: Reuters/Diego Vara/File PhotoSir Paul McCartney performs. Picture: Reuters/Diego Vara/File Photo
Sir Paul McCartney performs. Picture: Reuters/Diego Vara/File Photo

The exercise book, which features a doodle of a man smoking and a teacher’s critical comments, sold at an auction of Beatles memorabilia in Newton-le-Willows, Merseyside.

Sir Paul, 76, used the exercise book at Liverpool Institute High School for Boys where he was taught English literature by Alan “Dusty” Durband.

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Inside are 22 pages of essays he wrote on novels such as Thomas Hardy’s The Return Of The Native and John Milton’s Paradise Lost.

“I’d answer the question first before challenging its truth,” Mr Durband tells him on page three of the exercise book, from the 1959/60 school year.

But the teenager, 17 or 18 at the time, showed promise, achieving marks from B- to B++ for his work.

Also sold in the auction were a pair of gold-rimmed glasses, without the lenses, worn by John Lennon after being given to the star by designer Barry Finch in 1967.

They sold for £9,600, while a suit worn by Lennon went for £4,800.

A cassette of George Harrison songs went unsold.

The tape, containing previously unheard tracks written and recorded in 1978, was estimated to fetch £3,000.

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Experts at the auction house said it is not known why Harrison called the cassette, with song titles such as Spoken Intro George Legs Harry and Brazil 1, 2 & 3, The Hitler Tapes, but it would have “most likely been tongue in cheek”.

A street sign from Abbey Road, where the Beatles recorded their most famous albums, sold for £4,800 while a business card for The Quarrymen fetched £3,600.

The band, a forerunner of the Beatles, was fronted by Lennon and later included McCartney and Harrison.