The Kellys, housekeeper and chauffeur of Paul McCartney, resign

Friday, January 6, 1967
Timeline More from year 1967
7 Cavendish Avenue, St John’s Wood, London, UK

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On January 6, 1967, the press reported that Gwen and George Kelly, who had been serving as housekeeper and chauffeur to Paul McCartney since he moved into his Cavendish home, had decided to resign due to the pressure of fans. However, according to Barry Miles’ book “Paul McCartney: Many Years from Now,” Paul fired them for selling their story to an Australian magazine.

On January 13, Paul’s girlfriend, Jane Asher, left London for a five-month US tour with the Old Vic. Paul invited Mal Evans, one of the Beatles’ roadies, to stay at his Cavendish home and temporarily act as a housekeeper. Mal remained in this role until March, when Paul hired Mrs Mills, to serve as the new housekeeper.

Mal was not the only one invited at Cavendish, while Jane was away. Dudley Edwards of the collective BEV claimed to have kind of moved into Cavendish to paint a mural, joining Mal for some time.

There was a large dining table with an antique lace tablecloth, which was always beautifully set with all the appropriate cutlery, but it had a plastic salt cellar and pepper shaker in the centre. Paul owned silver ones but insisted on using the cheap ones, mainly to annoy the housekeeper, Mrs Kelly, and her husband, who had previously worked for gentry and let it be known, not very subtly, that they regarded their new position as a step down in the world. The husband had initially attempted to continue his role as gentleman’s gentleman by laying out Paul’s clothes each morning until Paul made it abundantly clear that this was not required. Every time they set the table the silver cruet was laid and each time Paul replaced it with the plastic one. Paul fired them for selling their story to an Australian magazine.

From “Paul McCartney: Many Years from Now” by Barry Miles, 1997

Paul, I am told you’ve been looking for a new housekeeper. Is this right?

Very right, very true. Mr. and Mrs. Kelly are looking for another place and I’m getting another couple to replace them. There have been disagreements over the running of the household. I haven’t asked them to leave instantly because that’d be unreasonable.

Someone claimed the disagreement was over your cat. Right?

Thisby? No, that’s nonsense. Poor old Thisby! It had nothing to do with him!

Paul McCartney – Interview with The Beatles Monthly Book, February 1967

That same month, Mal’s duties expanded yet again after Paul abruptly fired his housekeeping staff at his 7 Cavendish Avenue residence. McCartney had moved out of the Ashers’ home the previous year, having bought a house just a few blocks away from EMI Studios. When he learned that Mrs. Kelly, his housekeeper, and her husband, George, his butler, intended to sell their story to an Australian magazine, Paul promptly dismissed the couple. With Jane Asher off on a six-month North American tour with the Old Vic Theatre company, Paul invited Mal to move in with him at Cavendish Avenue.

Having taken on myriad roles, the Beatles roadie could now add “housekeeper” to the ever-expanding list. By early February, he had settled in as Paul’s temporary flatmate, carrying out cooking, cleaning, and gardening duties. For the roadie, it was a dream come true. He loved all the Beatles, of course, but he reserved special esteem for Paul. If there was a drawback, it came in the form of McCartney’s beloved — and soon to be massive— Old English sheepdog, Martha. Mal was fond of pets generally, but Martha could be quite a handful, literally. […]

In early March, with Paul having hired a new housekeeper at Cavendish Avenue, Mal rejoined Neil [Aspinall] in relocating from Montagu Mews West to nicer digs at Fordie House on Sloane Street.

From “Living the Beatles Legend: The untold story of Mal Evans” by Mal Evans, 2023

One thing we both did laugh about was coming home from sessions or filming late at night, and finding that his dog, Martha, had crapped either in his bed or mine, quite indiscriminately!

Mal Evans – From “Living the Beatles Legend: The untold story of Mal Evans” by Mal Evans, 2023

She still hasn’t given me a tune yet

Paul McCartney, talking about his new housekeeper, Mrs. Mills, in reference to another Mrs. Mills, an English pianist who was active in the 1960s and 1970s, and who released many records. From interview with New Musical Express, September 9, 1967.

At one point, I was doing murals for the Beatles. I did a mural in Paul’s house and lived with him for about six months. I later painted a mural for Ringo and lived with him for a bit as well. This was around the time of  Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Paul’s girlfriend at the time, actress Jane Asher, was away doing some theatrical production in America. Consequently, Paul liked having me around as a sort of companion. Every time I got started painting, Paul would say, “Come on, let’s go off to the recording studio! …Come on, lets go off to a nightclub!” or, “I’ve got a meeting with Epstein, will you come along?” When Jane came back, Paul told me that Ringo had wanted a mural too. So, I went over to live with Ringo.

Dudley Edwards – From Dudley Edwards Page (


THE married couple who act as housekeeper and chauffeur to Beatle Paul McCartney have given him their notices. The reason: They could not stand the fans any more.

The couple, George and Gwen Kelly, have looked after 25-year-old Paul at his £40,000 London home behind Lord’s cricket ground since he moved in almost a year ago. Last night, while Paul was recording with John, George and Ringo, Mr. Kelly told me: “Paul has been a good boss. But the fans have been a terrible strain. In fact, sometimes it’s been murder. We’ve had no private life at all. Sometimes we can’t even get into the house because of fans crowding around outside. And we get phone calls from all over the world at all hours of the night.

The Kellys, both aged 40, told Paul on Wednesday of their decision to quit. But they did not set a date for leaving. “We don’t want to leave him in the lurch,” said Gwen in their basement flat at Paul’s home. “We will probably go in four or five weeks.

Gwen, who once worked with her husband for the Lord Lieutenant of Monmouthshire. went on: “We didn’t even know Paul was a Beatle when we came here. All we knew was that we had been engaged by a Mr. Paul McCartney. And that’s what we have always called him — ‘Mr. McCartney’ or ‘Sir.’ He hates any familiarity.

One thing the Kellys stressed: They are not leaving Paul, the only bachelor Beatle because he wants to get married. “As far as we know — and we probably know him as well as anyone — he has no immediate plans to marry,” said George.

From The Daily Mirror – January 6, 1967
From The Daily Mirror – January 6, 1967

Thanks, But No Thanks, Says Beatle’s Former Chauffeur

LONDON (AP) — George and Gwen Kelly, who were Beatle Paul McCartney’s chauffeur and housekeeper until they quit recently, read a newspaper ad saying a Mr. Brown needed a chauffeur and housekeeper.

George telephoned the employment agency that had advertised, said he and his wife might be interested, and asked for details.

“Yes,” said the voice on the telephone. “Your prospective employer lives in St. John’s Wood — ”

“Did you say St. John’s Wood? We know the area very well. We’ve got friends there. We used to work in St. John’s Wood.”

“And the wages are good,” said the agency man.

“Go on, please,” said George.

“There’ll be lots of entertaining. You will see a lot of interesting people.”

“Tell me,” said George, “What sort of a chap is Mr. Brown?”

There was a pause. Then in a low, confidential voice, the agency man said: “Now, you must promise not to say anything, but Mr. Brown is really Paul McCartney, one of the Beatles, you know.”

“I know,” said George, “thank you for your trouble in answering my questions.”

“When will you be coming in for an interview?” asked the agency man as George hung up.

When the Kellys left McCartney, George said he and his wife thought they would be happier working for someone with more regular hours.

From The Daily Progress – January 12, 1967
From The Daily Progress – January 12, 1967

Last updated on February 14, 2024

Going further

The Beatles Diary Volume 1: The Beatles Years

"With greatly expanded text, this is the most revealing and frank personal 30-year chronicle of the group ever written. Insider Barry Miles covers the Beatles story from childhood to the break-up of the group."

We owe a lot to Barry Miles for the creation of those pages, but you really have to buy this book to get all the details - a day to day chronology of what happened to the four Beatles during the Beatles years!

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