Beatles document to be auctioned for charity

Click to follow
The Independent Culture

A document with the signature of the person who apparently inspired the Beatles hit Eleanor Rigby will be auctioned to raise funds for a charity.

The sheet shows the pay received by scullery maid E Rigby from City Hospital, Parkhill, in Liverpool dated November 30 1911.

It was sent to Annie Mawson in 1990 after she appealed to Sir Paul McCartney for funds to help children with special needs, she said today.

The lot will be auctioned in London later this month along with memorabilia which includes two guitars owned by Sir Cliff Richard and one played by the Sex Pistols' Glen Matlock.

Miss Mawson, founder and chief executive of the charity Sunbeams Music Trust, said she believed the document, which was not accompanied by a letter from Sir Paul, contained the inspiration for the Beatles hit Eleanor Rigby.

She said: "I wrote a letter to Paul McCartney in 1989 on pink paper asking for half a million pounds to help provide music therapy to help children with disabilities.

"I also told him how his music had helped children at Roundhills Special School in Kendal, Cumbria, where I was a music teacher, before it closed.

"By the end of the letter I was getting quite emotional and I wrote that I didn't want his money. I just wanted him to know how much joy his music has brought."

Speaking about the arrival of the document, Miss Mawson said: "Then one day in the post came a brown envelope with a Paul McCartney World Tour stamp on. Nine months after I had written the letter.

"I opened it and inside was this beautiful, ancient document.

"It was spine-shivering really. Partly because he responded in such a personal way."

Miss Mawson set up the Sunbeams Music Trust in 1992 which provides group music therapy for children with disabilities and special needs, and adults with Alzheimer's, those with dementia and who have had a stroke and people injured in car accidents aged from babies to 105-years-old.

The charity also helps people with disabilities and special needs to get pre-NVQ qualifications in Music For Life including courses in musical performance.

The funds raised from the auction of the document will go towards the Sunbeams Music Trust's new £1 million centre which is expected to be built near Penrith in Cumbria.

Speaking about the plan for the new centre, Miss Mawson, who is 58 and lives near Ullswater, Cumbria, said: "We need to have a proper legacy for people with disabilities. We want to give these people a beautiful centre.

"We spend a fortune on venue hire and transporting musicians."

The Never Mind The Bollocks, Here's The Fame Bureau auction will be held at the Idea Generation Gallery in Chance Street, east London, on November 27.

Ted Owen, managing director of The Fame Bureau, said: "It is a wide-ranging eclectic mix of memorabilia, one we have not seen for some time.

"It is represented by a very good Sex Pistols, Punk and a very good Beatles section.

"The guitars are coming direct from famous rock stars and there is album artwork and campaign artwork.

"It's a very interesting auction."

Mr Owen said the estimates for the guitars ranged from £3,000 up to £7,000 and £8,000.

Speaking about the document with Eleanor Rigby's signature, Mr Owen said: "We are hoping to raise £500,000. The estimate is currently somewhere between £100,000 and £200,000.

"It's the only signature of her."

Mr Owen said that it was "important" Sir Paul had taken the time to find the document.