1966 Fan Encounter With Pattie Boyd & The Beatles
Excerpts below from Carol Bedford’s 1984 book, Waiting For The Beatles, and from an alternate version of her story published in Datebook magazine circa 1967 with her photos of Pattie outside the Esher grocery store.
Future Apple Scruff Carol Bedford, of Dallas, Texas, made her first trip to England hoping to meet the Beatles in early August 1966. On the first day of their two week holiday Carol and her brother Billy headed for 7 Cavendish Avenue, St. John’s Wood, home of Paul McCartney. Once there Carol met Ruth, a British girl who made regular pilgrimages to the Beatles’ houses and had met them many times over the years. Ruth and Carol arranged to meet the next morning, a Thursday, and take the train out to Esher and Weybridge - where the three married Beatles lived. Carol writes of her first encounter with Pattie Boyd Harrison:
“Our first stop was Esher. Once there, we walked past a grocery store and Ruth shouted ‘That’s George’s Mini!’ It was a bright orange Mini with all sorts of Indian designs painted on it. We went into the supermarket to see if George was inside. He wasn’t, but Pattie was (pushing a cart full of groceries).
“It has been noted that the American Beatles’ fans were more interested their womenfolk than the English girls were. The English girls seemed to take an attitude of ‘She’s married to him. Therefore, she’s the enemy’. An American girl, possibly because of the induction of the fashion magazines, would view the spouse not so much as competition but as someone to emulate.
“Pattie was lovely. You could instantly understand why she was a top model. She was wearing a Foale and Tuffin pink crepe mini dress. It was one of the first minis I had seen. They were just coming into fashion. She was perfect for the mini with her long, thin legs. She also had beautiful, long blonde hair. She was more cute than beautiful. She was slightly shy when Ruth and I walked up to her. She knew Ruth, and Ruth gave her a photograph of George taken at their home. Pattie was very pleased with this commenting that it was a good picture of George and she didn’t have many. She appeared very honoured that Ruth had given her a copy.”
-Pattie told the girls the store wouldn’t cash her checks and she doubted whether she had enough money to pay for the groceries! Pattie gave the girls autographs and talked about the new Beatles LP (Revolver).
“Several men were whistling at Pattie and she blushed as she picked up her change. She came carrying a box followed by two other men carrying boxes. When she was leaving, she was having trouble carrying her box of groceries and trying to open the car door at the same time. To make matters worse, a couple of men were whistling and cat-calling to her. She was getting very embarrassed. Ruth took the box so Pattie could open the door and get in the car.
Then Pattie obliged the girls by posing for a couple of photos. “Ruth told Pattie we were ‘doing the rounds’, going to all their houses. Did Pattie know if any of them were at home? Pattie said George was out until about five and then both of them were going out to visit friends. She said John and Ringo were in, as far as she knew, because George had called them earlier to chat. She then thanked Ruth for her help with the groceries, waved goodbye and shouted as she drove off ‘Happy hunting. Hope you see them today.’”
-Carol and Ruth had good luck and had brief encounters in Weybridge with the Lennon’s housekeeper, Dot, Julian and John Lennon at Kenwood, and with Ringo and Maureen at Sunny Heights who spoke to them from their upstairs window. Then they raced back to Esher in time to see George at Kinfauns…
“We went up the gravel path passing all kinds of semi-modern bungalows. Ruth said Esher was good for retired colonels and such. The neighbors weren’t pleased at first when George moved in. They thought it would mean a lot of loud noise and drug addicts walking around wrecking lawns. But very soon it transpired that George and Pattie were a nice, relatively normal couple. Now the neighbors were protective towards them.
“We went up to their house. It was a white, L-shaped bungalow set in a clearing with trees surrounding it. There was a high wooden fence around the property and it had a curving driveway. Margaret, George’s housekeeper, came out of the house. She was going home for the day but, seeing Ruth, she stopped for a chat. She said that Pattie had come in the house and told George that the girls were very nice to her. She told him about the trouble she had getting into her car and avoiding the two men.
“We then saw George standing at a full-length window. He was talking on the telephone and when he saw us he waved. Margaret said Pattie and George were coming out soon ‘because they have a dinner engagement’. We decided we could only wait half and hour because it was getting dark.
“While we were waiting, a gorgeous white Persian cat (Korky) came down George’s drive. He came up and started rubbing himself on my legs. I picked him up. He was lovely, purring away like a steam train. I noticed he had one blue eye and one green. Both eyes had gold flecks in them. ‘That’s George’s cat,’ Ruth said. ‘Lovely, isn’t he? George puts him to work to earn his keep. The cat does carpet commercials.’
“I laughed. Good for George! Ruth also told me that Pattie had had two Dalmation dogs, but George insisted they were got rid of because they bothered the cat. We could no longer wait for George and Pattie to come out. So we walked back to the train station to head back to London.”
-The next evening Carol and her brother went to Sibylla’s Disco (part owned by George Harrison) and had the good luck to see Paul McCartney there with Jane Asher…
Carol also included an earlier story told to Ruth by George Harrison:
“George told her that he and Pattie had arrived back late one night and went straight to bed. In the middle of the night, George was woken up. His hand had dropped off the bed and was hanging by the side. What woke him was that something had brushed against his hand. He opened his eyes, thinking it was the cat. He looked down and saw two girls crawling out from under his bed! He jumped out of bed, flicked on the light and screamed. He started after the girls, who by this time had got out from under the bed and were racing through the house for their lives. George stopped long enough to throw a robe on and explained quickly to Pattie, who was asking him what the hell was going on. Poor George. By the the time he resumed the chase, the girls had escaped out of the front door and were halfway down the driveway. He returned to the bedroom upset and exhausted. Pattie gently explained to him that the girls must have got in while they were out. George asked ‘How?’ The door was locked.’ Pattie pointed to the open window in the bedroom. They always left it open so the cat could get in.”
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