- 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
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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 Teignmouth, Devon, where they spent the night. On September 12, they travelled to Newquay, initially planning a one-night stay, but ultimately deciding to use the Atlantic Hotel as their base for three nights.
On this third day, September 13, the filming for “Magical Mystery Tour” began in Watergate Bay, Tregurrian, a beach located five miles north of the Atlantic Hotel. The Beatles and part of the crew were taken there for filming in the late morning. Each of The Beatles was filmed looking through a telescope, but the scene did not make it into the final film. Additionally, characters Ringo Starr’s Aunt Jessie (played by Jessie Robins) and Buster Bloodvessel (played by Ivor Cutler) were filmed having a romantic moment on the beach, after stepping off the bus and making their way down the stairs to the beach. However, the scene was cut off by the BBC when it was broadcast in December 1967, due to the decision that it was unsuitable for viewers.
After lunch at the Atlantic Hotel, afternoon filming took place in two separate groups.
John Lennon, assisted by George Harrison, directed a sequence at the hotel where Happy Nat the Rubber Man (played by Nat Jackley) chased bikini-clad women around the swimming pool. They then moved to the Huer’s Hut, a fisherman’s lookout from the 14th century, which overlooks the sea. However, none of John’s sequences made it into the final film, except for a two-second appearance of a girl in a bikini. The “Nat’s Dream” sequence was included as a bonus feature on the “Magical Mystery Tour” reissue in 2012.
Meanwhile, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr took the coach and most of the passengers to Porth. On the journey, Ringo and Aunt Jessie ad-libbed an argument for the cameras. In the late afternoon, on the beach at Porth, McCartney was filmed walking and cycling on a tandem with Little George the Photographer (played by George Claydon). The tandem belonged to Sylvia Brice from Plymouth, who took her bike to Newquay on the roof rack of the taxi sent to fetch it by The Beatles.
In the evening, musician Spencer Davis, who was on holiday with his family in a nearby location, came to visit The Beatles. He invited The Beatles to join him in the pub he stayed in the following night.
The Spencer Davis Group had just finished a tour and I was having a holiday, staying with my wife and daughters at the Tywarnhale pub in Perranporth, which was owned by the parents of our road, Alec Leslie. I knew the Beatles quite well, so when I heard that they were filming at the Atlantic Hotel in Newquay I called up and asked Mal Evans what was going on.
Mal immediately invited me over, so the whole family got into the Mini and drove over there. Paul seemed to be directing the filming and, to my amazement, one of the film crew turned out to be John Mayall’s wife Pamela. We were immediately roped in to do a bit offilming and you can see us in a group shot at the back of the bus, which also appears on the back cover of the album.Spencer Davis – From “The Making of The Beatles’ Magical Mystery Tour” by Tony Barrow, 1999
On the Wednesday the sun shone and a lot of good work was done. Paul and Ringo took off for Newquay in the bus to do scenes involving Ivor Cutler and Jessie Robins. Meanwhile John and George took charge of the second film unit and shot a hilarious sequence with Nat Jackley and a lot of locally-recruited bikini girls beside the hotel pool!Mal Evans & Neil Aspinall – From The Beatles Monthly Book, December 1967
Sometimes the team would split up so that two lots of filming could be done at once. One day Paul and Richie took us girls off with them in the bus to film bits of dialogue between Jessie Robins and Ivor Cutler. Meanwhile John and George stayed behind at the Atlantic Hotel, Newquay, to film with comedian Nat Jackley who had this very funny sequence to do with a lot of girls around the hotel’s outdoor swimming pool.Freda Kelly – From The Beatles Monthly Book, November 1967
WEDNESDAY: At the Atlantic Hotel we were told we would be wanted for a swimming pool scene with Nat Jackley and we’d need bikinis. Eventually things were rearranged because some local girls (already clad in bikinis) joined in the swimming pool sequence while our party went off in the bus with Paul and Ringo. Ringo ad-libbed his way through a hilarious scene with Jessie Robins (playing his auntie). That evening Paul and Ringo discovered that the hotel had a games room so they went down for a game of billiards. Ringo turned out to be a VERY good player but Paul insisted he had a bad cue — although he tried EVERY ONE available!!! Much later Spencer Davis came over while we were all sitting in the ballroom listening to the hotel band. Spencer and his family were holidaying for a few days in a village close to Newquay.Jeni Crowley – From The Beatles Monthly Book, November 1967
On the Wednesday morning in Newquay Sylvia and I went for a walk while we were waiting for the coach to leave the hotel. In a sweet shop one woman said to another something about The Beatles having left. Sylvia turned round and said: “Oh! They can’t go without us!” The woman looked at her and must have thought “Who the hell does she think she is!”Barbara King – From The Beatles Monthly Book, November 1967
WEDNESDAY: we were supposed to be leaving Newquay this morning but The Beatles changed their minds and we got the message that we’d all be staying on for the rest of the week.
On the bus I pointed out to Ringo that his trousers were splitting in an embarrassing place. “Can you sew them up for me?” he said to my surprise. I did so — to the astonishment of fans peering through the coach windows. “Is that O.K. ?” I asked when the job was done “Fine” said Ringo as he staggered off down the coach bent double!
Last thing before bed I stood at the front doors of the hotel to get some fresh air. Fans were still waiting for a glimpse of The Beatles. “Ere, are you one of them ?” asked one little boy. I wasn’t sure how to answer that!Sylvia Nightingale – From The Beatles Monthly Book, November 1967
From Daily Mail Online, October 15, 2012:
[Nigel] Jarvis, who was 16 in 1967, had been on holiday with his parents the day the Fab Four arrived to film scenes for their film Magical Mystery Tour. He told MailOnline:
“There was all this to do at the car park. So I borrowed my dad’s camera and went up to have a look. […] It was a bit of a shock. There was a melee of people. I just snapped off some pictures and followed them around for a bit. There was lots to-ing and fro-ing. I didn’t see it, but they were filming on the beach. You could hear them, but not what they were saying. They did have very funny accents. You didn’t really see that many people with northern accents in the South in those days. Paul seemed to be quite friendly. Ringo was certainly there, but I didn’t see the other two. It was rather exciting, and I was the envy of all my friends.”
A girl called Catherine Osborne was given a part in a Beatles film yesterday. It was only a little part in a relatively modest television film to be screened at Christmas.
But the Beatles have an allure which is probably unmatched in the world, and Catherine spoke of her good fortune with the breathless excitement of a star about to be born.
“I was flabbergasted,” she said, “I couldn’t believe it. I’m taking three A-levels next year in science subjects, but I’d rather do something like acting.”
Catherine is 17, lives in Stanstead Abbotts, Herts., and is on holiday at Newquay, Cornwall, where the film, Magical Mystery tour was being shot yesterday.
She got the part, in which she has to splash about in a swimming pool, after asking Beatle Paul McCartney for his autograph. She was wearing a bikini at the time.
Catherine added, “This makes it the greatest holiday I think I will ever have.” So there.Unknown source
From Plymouth Live (plymouthherald.co.uk), November 25, 2018:
After lunch, a 17-year-old holidaymaker called Catherine Osborne approached Paul and asked for his autograph.
The Beatle told her: “I want you to be in the film.” Then he turned to the camera crew and ordered: “Find me some more gorgeous girls.”
That’s when Newquay girl Judith Rogers, who was playing truant from school, got her big chance. Judith, 15, who lived at Ulalia Road, was spotted among the fans outside the Atlantic by film production manager Peter Theobald, who approached her and asked: “Have you got a bikini?”
The schoolgirl said she had brought one along to sunbathe and was wearing it underneath her skirt and blouse. “Well, change into it quickly and you can be in the film,” said Mr Theobald.
Judith did just that – and then found herself talking to John Lennon, who gave her instructions about her scene.
She was filmed being chased over the clifftops and around the hotel swimming pool by veteran comedian Nat Jackley, who played the part of Happy Nat the Rubber Man.
While being filmed at Huer’s Hut Judith was lifted on to a ledge by George Harrison. She said: “I remember thinking, I’m being picked up by a Beatle. My friend Julie and I had a cine-camera and The Beatles started dancing around in front of it, posing with us and acting daft.
“I ended up sitting on George Harrison’s lap in the foyer for about half an hour. He told me how much he hated being followed and chased everywhere by fans because it was scary. He said he was happy to talk to fans for as long as they wanted, if they just wouldn’t scream all the time.“
In the afternoon, Judith and a handful of other girls joined Paul and Ringo on the coach for a trip to Holywell, where Happy Nat the Rubber Man was filmed continuing to chase girls up the cliffs.
The coach got back on the road to Watergate Bay, stopping in Porth, where Paul and actor George Claydon – who played Little George the Photographer – were filmed riding a tandem on the beach. The tandem had been lent to The Beatles by Sylvia Brice, from Plymouth, who took her machine to Newquay on the roof rack of a taxi sent to fetch it by The Beatles.
The Beatles later decided to scrap John’s entire poolside footage which finished on a cutting room floor in Soho rather than on the world’s TV screens. Only one of the bikini girls, one we had nicknamed The Lovely Linda, survived the editor’s scissors to make a blink-and-you-miss-her split-second appearance elsewhere in the finished product waving from a tower window.Tony Barrow – From “The Making of The Beatles’ Magical Mystery Tour” by Tony Barrow, 1999
As you know, the Beatles have planned the whole Mystery Tour themselves and they’re also directing it. On Wednesday September 13th John directed a sequence in which Scotch comedian Nat Jackley chased a bevy of girls round a swimming pool. Although the Beatles are completely in charge, they do have a camera director with them who is takin care of the technical side.From The Beatles Monthly Book, October 1967
Last updated on September 13, 2023
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