An iconic photograph of The Beatles joking around with cops outside one of their earliest gigs has been discovered – buried in a police force’s picture archive.
The amazing snap of the Fab Four wearing policemen’s helmets was released for the first time by West Midlands Police after they recently discovered it in their historical records.
Taken in November 1963, it shows the band having fun with officers outside Birmingham’s Hippodrome Theatre after they were mobbed by fans during the height of their fame.
John, Paul, Ringo and George can all be been saluting as they prepare to go into the venue after being smuggled to the stage door in the back of a police van.
The picture was handed over to the force by serving Chief Inspector Kerry Blakeman – whose late father PC Kerim Blakeman – is pictured standing behind Paul McCartney.
It was released by West Midlands Police to coincide with what would have been John Lennon’s 72nd birthday.
Chief Inspector Blakeman said yesterday: “It really is an incredible picture. It was taken at the height of their fame and even the kit van got mobbed by fans let alone the tour bus.
“Because of all the screaming fans Birmingham City Police, as they were then known, had to step in to ensure they safely got to the venue in the back of a police van.
“But before they went in they happily posed with police at the back of the stage door after nicking their helmets.
“It’s a hilarious photo and shows what a good sense of humour they had.”
Sadly, Chf Isp Blakman’s father died three years after the picture was taken aged just 35 when he suffered a heart attack on duty while his wife was pregnant with their son.
Chf Insp Blakeman now keeps the picture on his desk as a reminder of the father he never got to meet.
He said: “My mother handed it to me about 10 years ago where she decided to casually drop in conversation that my father had met the Beatles. I couldn’t believe it.
“The picture now sits on my desk at work.
“It’s a nice memento of the father I never knew.
“I always wanted to follow in his footsteps as a police officer and this picture makes me proud I did.
“But I haven’t met anybody as famous as the Beatles unfortunately – the closest I’ve got was the band Hearsay.”