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
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Environmental Adviser - Maternity Cover

£37040 - £43600 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's export credit agency a...

Recruitment Genius: CBM & Lubrication Technician

£25000 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides a compreh...

Recruitment Genius: Care Worker - Residential Emergency Service

£16800 - £19500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Would you like to join an organ...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Landscaper

£25000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: In the last five years this com...

Day In a Page

The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

They fled war in Syria...

...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

Kelis interview

The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea