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The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Saturday, December 14, 1963

Wimbledon Palais, High St. Merton

Wimbledon, London

The Beatles Southern Area Fan Club's equivalent to the Liverpool festivities the previous Saturday. In addition to their mid-afternoon live performance, the Beatles lined up behind the Palias' bar and shook hands with all 3,000 ecstatic fans who filed slowly past them, often in less than orderly fasion. Television and cinema news cameras filmed here and there throughout the event.

The management of the Palais, fearing their precious stage might be damaged by an onslaught of rampaging Beatlemaniacs, created a makeshift platform for the Beatles and erected a steel cage around it to keep the hordes at bay. Though safe, the Beatles were not best pleased with this arrangement, although seeing the fans crushed up against the wire prompted John to crack "If they press nay harder, they'll come through as chips".

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