- Timeline More from year 1967
- Atlantic Hotel, Newquay, UK
More from year 1967
Filming of “Magical Mystery Tour”
1967 • For The Beatles • Directed by The Beatles
Spread the love! If you like what you are seeing, share it on social networks and let others know about The Paul McCartney Project.
On September 11, The Beatles embarked on their Magical Mystery Tour, boarding a festively adorned coach accompanied by family, friends, fan club staff, actors, and select travellers, totalling 43 individuals. They departed from London around noon. By evening, the group reached their first destination, the Royal Hotel at The Den in Teignmouth, Devon, where they spent the night.
On this second day, following breakfast, the coach headed for the Dartmoor village of Widecombe. The annual village fair was being held in Widecombe, and it was decided that filming should take place there. However, the driver Alf Manders took a shortcut in order to beat traffic queues, and the coach became stuck on a narrow bridge. The coach had to be reversed for half a mile, and tempers frayed on board. Footage was made of on-board arguments, though none was used. In the end, The Beatles decided to forgo their visit to the fair, much to the disappointment of local fans who had eagerly anticipated their arrival.
Altering their course, The Beatles ventured to Plymouth instead, pausing for lunch at the Berni Inn located within the Grand Hotel. To appease London press reporters trailing them since their departure, the group posed for photographs on Plymouth Hoe.
John Lennon and Paul McCartney also participated in an interview with BBC TV reporter Hugh Scully. The conversation aired on the local news program “Spotlight South West” at 5:55 pm the following day.
The entourage reboarded the coach and continued along the A38, making stops at Liskeard and Bodmin. Here, filming occurred outside the West End Dairy at 57 Higher Bore Street and on Paull Road. In the latter scene, the character Jolly Jimmy Johnson, portrayed by Derek Royle, welcomed everyone aboard the coach. This sequence was featured at the beginning of the film.
The day’s final destination was the Atlantic Hotel on Dane Road, Newquay. Initially planning a one-night stay, The Beatles ultimately decided to use the hotel as their base for three nights, from Tuesday to Thursday, residing in four holiday flats.
Tuesday wasn’t much better so far as weather is concerned. We got a few bits of dialogue filmed — the bit where Miss Wendy Winters the Tour Hostess introduces herself to the passengers, for instance. We NEARLY went to Widdicombe Fair but the bus couldn’t get across a narrow bridge and we had to turn back! When we stopped in a village to film the Courier (“Jolly Jimmy Johnson”) getting on and welcoming everyone to the tour, a small shop gave us free Cornish ice cream!Mal Evans & Neil Aspinall – From The Beatles Monthly Book, December 1967
Oh yes, I nearly forgot the day we lunched in Plymouth in a big restaurant just a few yards from the famous Hoe. More than 40 of us poured into the place and took the staff by surprise. They thought they’d finished serving lunch for the day! During the meal John started singing “Freda Kelly is a Nelly” at the top of his voice. Paul added “And she has pimples on her knees!”Freda Kelly – From The Beatles Monthly Book, November 1967
TUESDAY: Today we rode from Teignmouth to Newquay. You may have read in the papers how we had to try and cross a bridge which was too narrow for the coach. Eventually our driver, Alf, had to turn back through the traffic jam we’d managed to cause. After lunch in Plymouth we stopped in a small village to film a scene with Derek Royle (who plays the tour courier). The party took the opportunity of getting off the bus to buy sweets and Cornish ice cream. In the confusion of people coming and going George plonked himself down next to me. We talked about various topics — including transcendental Meditation and life in general. I got so engrossed I didn’t even notice we’d arrived at the hotel. We must have been chatting for well over an hour.Jeni Crowley – From The Beatles Monthly Book, November 1967
The next day, Tuesday, Freda, Jeni, Sylvia and I sat at a table next to John, Paul, George and Ringo for lunch in Plymouth. In that Steak Bar I remember how rude people were, persistently bothering the four lads while they were trying to eat.Barbara King – From The Beatles Monthly Book, November 1967
TUESDAY: we descended upon an unprepared Berni Grand Hotel in Plymouth for lunch. By this time we had a convoy of at least TWENTY cars following us — most of these carrying London press people, reporters and photographers. I had decided to wear hippy gear for the trip and The Beatles constantly reminded me of the fact. They so delicately referred to me as “Zippy-Hippy” and “Miss Freak-out”. As I was eating lunch to the jingle of my bells John turned to me and said “You younger generation with all your bells!” At a little place called Bodmin everybody tucked into ice cream and lollys while a bit of roadside filming was done. I was given an orange ice lolly and Ringo was sucking a red one. “Do you want to swap?” he said “It’s quite clean. I mean I’ve licked it all over for you!” Long after The Beatles had gone to bed hopeful fans waited outside the Atlantic Hotel in Newquay as word got round the town that the group was staying there.Sylvia Nightingale – From The Beatles Monthly Book, November 1967
Heading north the next day, their caravan caused mayhem and traffic jams wherever they went, not just because of the procession of cars that followed them, but because a line of cars now preceded them for a mile. Unable to take another second of it, John ordered the bus to stop, stormed out the door, and ripped the signs from the sides of the coach in a fury.Peter Brown – From “The Love You Make: An Insider’s Story of the Beatles“, 2002
From Plymouth Live (plymouthherald.co.uk), September 12, 2020:
In 1967 a ripple of excitement was making its way across the Westcountry, closely followed by a brightly painted coach. […] John, Paul, George and Ringo were in the middle of an ambitious project, filming the Magical Mystery Tour movie, when the famous bus became wedged on Newbridge, near Poundsgate, on Dartmoor. Following cries for Help! the band made an unscheduled escape to Plymouth, lunching at the Grand Hotel and enjoying the sea views. It seems even the biggest band in the world couldn’t resist a Day Tripper to the beauty of Plymouth Hoe on a stressful day. That famous image of the Fab Four relaxing on the far end of the Hoe is an iconic part of Plymouth history […] The photograph shows the band looking out to sea in the direction of Ringo’s outstretched arm, presumably pointing out a Yellow Submarine in Plymouth Sound.
Sheila Murfin recalled how George Harrison got the denim jacket he’s pictured in: “George is wearing my brother’s denim jacket. He asked if he could borrow it for this pic and never gave it back. My brother didn’t mind.”
Photographer David Redfern, who was documenting the band on their Westcountry tour is the one who snapped the famous photograph, which shows off not only the Beatles but also a lot of famous Plymouth iconography. […]
Metalsmiths Thrussell and Thrussel, a father and son team unveiled four copper casts of the backsides of the Beatles half a century later in 2015, Being For The Benefit Of all of Plymouth.
Despite the moulds being positioned in practically the exact same place as the original photo, the moulds were actually prepared from the bottoms of Beatles impersonators rather than the Beatles themselves.
The historical marker for the spot reads as follows: “This artwork marks the spot where John, Paul, George and Ringo posed for a picture that has gone on to become one of the most famous images of one of the world’s most influential bands.
“Taken on Tuesday 12 September 1967 by music photographer David Redfern, it shows “The Fab Four” with an all-white Smeaton’s Tower in the background. They were in the city to pose for photographers while making ‘The Magical Mystery Tour’ film.
“Fans can recreate this image by sitting on the copper bottom moulds made by Thrussell and Thrussell. The artists were assisted by tribute band The Fab Beatles whose bottoms were used to create the moulds. […]
As for this day back in 1967, the bus, when it was eventually freed from Newbridge picked the boys up and whisked them off to Cornwall for more filming.
But not before many Plymothians caught a glimpse of the brightly decorated vehicle in traffic as the bus pulled away.
Phil Sargent who was 17 at the time remembers: “They waved so I waved back and the whole bus started waving and it suddenly dawned on me: it was the Beatles! I got back to my friends and told them they’d never guess who I’d just seen. They didn’t believe me!”
Beatles miss the Fair
Because their coach was too big to negotiate the narrow lanes, the Beatles were unable to attend Widecombe Fair, which began yesterday.
The fair was officially opened by Uncle Tom Cobley, played by Mr Simon Northmore, astride his grey mare.
The Uncle Tom Cobley race was fought out between two local rivals, John Vooght, of Newton Abbot, and Michael Lame, of Widecombe. The 20-year-old Newton Abbot man won the two-mile race across the open moorland by one yard. Third was Royal Marine Francis Allen, of Lympstone. Janine Evans (16), the Bickington show jumper, was the first girl home, two minutes ahead of Mrs. Rona Parker, with Paula Johnson, of Widecombe, third.From Evening Post – September 13, 1967
A CHANGE OF DIRECTION FOR THE BEATLES
The Beatles who are on a tour of the west country in their psychedelic blue and white coach, planned over breakfast this morning at the Royal Hotel, Teignmouth, to go to Widecombe Fair on Dartmoor. But with rain and mist shrouding the moor, they headed instead for Newquay and the North Cornwall coast, planning to return to Teignmouth tonight.
Late last night the hotel was invaded by Beatle fans who rushed along the corridor searching for their bedrooms, while other girls climbed drainpipes outside. Police had to escort other guests to their rooms.From Liverpool Echo – September 12, 1967
BEATLES’ VISIT TO NEWQUAY
EXTRA police were drafted into Newquay on Tuesday when it was learned that the Beatles were expected to spend the night at one of the resort’s leading hotels.
Their actual destination, however, was a well kept secret and only two dozen people, less than half of them teenagers, were outside the Atlantic Hotel to see them arrive complete with police escort.
As the news spread round the town the numbers keeping vigil outside the main entrance to the hotel grew to about 50, but police protection was never needed.
Accommodated in four holiday flats, over the Tudor bar of the hotel, the Beatles waited until normal dinner was well over before they went into the dining room.
After dinner, Paul said: “We saw very little of Newquay on the way in, but from what we have seen we think it’s marvellous. Unfortunately all our shots for the film are actually in the coach so it doesn’t matter very much, but we really do like the look of Newquay. We are all most sorry we are only spending the night here and will be off again first thing tomorrow morning.”
STOPS IN BODMIN
Before reaching Newquay, the Beatles made at least two stops at Bodmin – in Higher Bore Street and Paull Road – where filming took place.
About 30 people saw the group during their 20-minute stop outside the West End Dairy of Mr D. G. J. Medland in Higher Bore Street.
They were said to be “very friendly” in walking about the area chatting to bystanders and signing autographs. The party had cream, ice cream and other goods, fruit and confectionery, bought for them from Mr. Medland’s dairy. Even the Beatles themselves enjoyed sucking lollipops while mingling with the crowd.
It is stated that they made an earlier stop at Liskeard.
Quests and staff at the Hotel Victoria, Newquay, and customers from the bars jumped over walls, broke down hedges and trampled flower beds to get a view of the Beatles when their coach drew into the hotel drive-in just before lunch yesterday.
Having taken a look round the Newquay area, the Beatles and their film director, had decided that the weather and the scenery were such that they should spend at least another day in the resort.
They had returned to the Hotel Victoria to pick up their cameramen, technicians and office staff who were being accommodated in the hotel.
Other technician and staff were picked up from the Trelawny Hotel. From the Hotel Victoria the coach went on to the Alantic Hotel where picnic meals were collected to be eaten (so the story went) either at Watergate Bay, Porth, or the Huer’s Hut just outside the Atlantic Hotel.
There was not news yesterday of the Beatles having booked into the Atlantic Hotel for another night but the cameramen and technicians were expected to return last night with a tentative booking for tonight as well.
One of the staff explained: “It all depends on the weather.”From Cornish Guardian – September 14, 1967
Last updated on August 5, 2023
"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!
If we like to think, in all modesty, that the Paul McCartney Project is the best online ressource for everything Paul McCartney, The Beatles Bible is for sure the definitive online site focused on the Beatles. There are obviously some overlap in terms of content between the two sites, but also some major differences in terms of approach.