Got to get you into my life: Loyal PA to The Beatles, Freda Kelly, is finally telling her story

 

They were the biggest band in the world and she was their biggest fan. "You were there in the beginning," George Harrison told her. "You're there at the end." Freda Kelly was The Beatles' PA for more than a decade. She ran their fan club and was a trusted member of their inner circle. Yet her story has remained untold – until now.

Breaking her silence for the first time in 50 years, Ms Kelly gives a unique insight into the band she idolised. Just 16 when she saw them play at the Cavern in the early Sixties, a year later she was working for the band and part of the extended Beatles family.

Ringo Starr's mother, Elsie, "was the nearest to a mother figure for me. I just adored her." Paul McCartney's dad, "Uncle Jim", took her drinking, and George Harrison's father, Harry, taught her ballroom dancing.

As for John Lennon's aunt, Mimi: "It wasn't that you were frightened of Mimi: you just watched your p's and q's."

According to Paul McCartney's stepmother, Angie McCartney: "The Beatles saw her as a sister and the families saw her as a daughter."

Now a grandmother in her late sixties, Ms Kelly beams as she remembers having "crushes" on each of the Fab Four. But did things go any further than that? Speaking in a new documentary, Good Ol' Freda, named after a dedication by The Beatles on one of their records, she laughs: "No!" Then she quickly adds: "Pass. There are stories but I don't want anybody's hair falling out or turning curly. That's personal!" The film has its world premiere at the SWSX festival in Austin, Texas, on Saturday.

Regret at failing to answer her late son's questions about The Beatles, and wanting to leave a legacy for her two-year-old grandson, Niall, prompted Ms Kelly to speak up in the end. "I would like him to be proud of me and see how exciting my life was in the Sixties and the fun I had."

She could "visualise the devastation" after the death of the band's manager, Brian Epstein, in 1967. "He was the anchor for everything." Towards the end of the Sixties "the penny was dropping with me that we haven't got any Beatles as a group any more".

At the age of 27, pregnant with her second child, she quit and lived "a normal life like everybody else".

Still living in Liverpool, and working as a secretary, she is tearful thinking about old times. "It is shocking how many people have gone that I knew. Fame and money doesn't mean anything; all the wealth doesn't cure cancer does it? I worked with a lot of good people, I did. I loved them."

But her memories also bring a twinkle to her eyes as she declares: "I'm still a Beatle fan. So although there's a 50-year gap since I started it, I still like to think that I'm back where I was in the beginning."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

    Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

    Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
    Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

    Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

    When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
    5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

    In grandfather's footsteps

    5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
    Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

    Martha Stewart has flying robot

    The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
    Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

    Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

    Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
    A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

    A tale of two presidents

    George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
    Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

    The dining car makes a comeback

    Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
    Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

    Gallery rage

    How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
    Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

    Eye on the prize

    Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
    Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

    Women's rugby

    Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
    Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

    The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

    With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
    Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

    How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

    As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
    We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

    We will remember them

    Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
    Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

    Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

    Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
    Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

    Acting in video games gets a makeover

    David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices