McCartney prize-winning school essay discovered

A prize-winning essay by a 10-year-old Paul McCartney sheds new light on the thoughts of a budding superstar, an author claimed today.

The handwritten piece about the Queen's coronation was found among records at the Central Library by Kevin Roach as he researched for a book on the Beatles legend.

It had been stored away for over 50 years in the library's record office.

Mr Roach said: "It's unique in its own right. It shows his handwriting at that age and shows how Paul was thinking at the time.

"His handwriting is well advanced - you would say it was written by someone who was older than 10-years-old, more like 14 or 15."

Although the researcher said he is not concerned about its value, he likened the essay to John Lennon's christening bracelet, which was the last piece of Beatles memorabilia to be sold in a private auction. It fetched £27,000.

McCartney, whose hits included Paperback Writer, was marked down for his grammar in the project, using the word 'But' at the start of a sentence.

But instead of joining the examiner in criticism, Mr Roach believes the decorative 'B' hints towards the musician's future.

"The interesting thing is that it is the same 'B' as on the early Beatles drum-kit logo in 1961 and 1962."

The 10-year-old, who would become one of the most famous singer songwriters of all time, entered a city council essay competition in 1953.

He wrote about the "lovely young Queen" Elizabeth's coronation, the gathered crowds and the parade through London.

The schoolboy compares the happy scenes expected outside Buckingham Palace to the coronation of William the Conqueror nine centuries earlier, when a massacre of Saxons took place.

He also declares that Britain's "present day royalty rules with affection rather than force". Little did he know that in 1997 he would be knighted by the same queen.

McCartney won the under-11s age group category and was presented with a prize at the Central Library by the Lord Mayor on 27 May 1953.

Mr Roach explained how he came across the bound collection of essays: "I've been working on my own private project which is a book on the family history of the McCartney family.

"I did know from reading the council minutes that this competition took place, and it was then a case of looking for the actual winning entries."

He discovered the volume six months ago among a collection marked "coronation events", with no clues pointing towards the rock star's essay, thought to be his earliest surviving creative work.

Mr Roach, whose book "McCartney: In The Town Where They Was Born" is released in mid October, said many historians believe McCartney bought a book on modern art with his book token prize.

They say the book inspired him to become a musician.

By chance, the volume of essays were stored next to a collection of issues of Mersey Beat from 1962 to 1966, the music magazine that helped launch the Beatles to become the biggest band of their generation.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Practice Accountant - Bournemouth - £38,000

£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped commission: SThree: Does earning a 6 figu...

Recruitment Genius: SEO Executive

£18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: New Lift Sales Executive - Lift and Elevators

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A challenging opportunity for a...

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss