Beatles photos from Help! up for auction

Fri Nov 6, 2009 12:53pm EST
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LONDON (Reuters) - Seven black-and-white photographs of the Beatles sitting on a grassy field, taken by a teenage girl on the last day of filming for their movie Help!, will be sold next week, the auctioneer said.

Gwyn Blanchard, then a 13-year-old student, trudged half an hour in the rain with a group of friends to the set of the Fab Four's second film, hoping for an autograph, but wound up being invited for a chat with her idols.

"We knew that the filming was going to happen that day. Being kids, we hatched a plan," said Blanchard, who lived near the site.

In Help!, released in 1965, the Beatles try to escape the clutches of a mysterious cult. The soundtrack includes some of the group's biggest hits, including "Ticket to Ride."

As the teenagers were walking toward the set, the Beatles drove by in their car and then went into their trailer. Blanchard and her friends decided to stand outside, and she said that for a moment, she doubted she would get her signature.

"We were just hoping that if we passed over our notebooks... just our English notebooks from school. We had them out, ready to hand them over when the door opened, and the manager said 'come get them yourselves'."

"John Lennon was sitting down in front of me," Blanchard told Reuters in a telephone interview. "I handed him my notebook first. He handed it then to Ringo and the pen wouldn't work!"

"John was the chattiest. They were joking and laughing."

Several days later she returned to the set, when the Beatles were filming the scene in which they play beside some tanks. Blanchard snapped some photographs as the band-members relaxed between takes.   Continued...