31 years later, Paul McCartney repays “debt” over blanket

September 1989

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From B34752 – Paul McCartney Handwritten Letter Re. Missing Blanket 1989 (UK) – Tracks:

In 1958 Paul McCartney and George Harrison went on a hitch hiking holiday and ended up in Harlech, a village in North Wales, famous for its castle and the song the Men of Harlech. They knocked on the door of a farmhouse belonging to a family named Brierley and asked could they pitch their tent in the field at the rear of their bungalow. As luck would have it, the heavens opened during the night and a rain-soaked George and Paul sought refuge in the Brierleys’ farmhouse. They ended up staying the week, becoming acquainted with the Brierley’s son, John, who was himself a musician. John recalls several days of playing snooker and spinning Elvis Presley’s first LP, ’Rock ‘n’ Roll’. He also remembers well Paul banging away on the family’s piano trying to work out the solo in the middle of Buddy Holly’s ‘Think It Over’. The highlight of the week was when Paul and George sat in with Harlech skiffle group ‘The Vikings’ (of which John Brierley was a member) during a performance at the local Queen’s Hotel pub.

Paul and George enjoyed themselves so much that they returned to the Brierley’s house the next year. When they left they surreptitiously made off with one of the Brierleys’ blankets. Many years later when the Beatles had achieved world fame Mrs Brierley wrote to Paul McCartney and reminded him that she was still a blanket short! Paul responded gracefully saying, “…. I was sorry to hear about my ‘debt’. I remember well the fun we had in Harlech, and hope the enclosed cheque will settle our money differences!”. Unfortunately, Mrs Brierley cashed the cheque signed by Paul which, due to the fact nobody has ever seen a cheque signed solely by Paul McCartney, would have been worth around £10,000 in today’s market!!

The page measures 17.5cm x 23cm (7 inches x 9 inches).  The letter has been folded leaving two horizontal fold lines across the page.  The condition of the letter is very good.  It also comes with the original MPL mailing envelope upon which Paul has wrote the address and drawn a flower.  The envelope is postdated 8th September 1989.  The envelope measures 22cm x 11cm (8.75 inches x 4.25 inches).  There is a tear in the upper right corner where the stamp has been removed.  The condition is very good.

The letter was auctioned in April 2021 by tracks.co.uk.

Dear Mrs Brierley (Irene),

Your letter reached me, eventually, and I was sorry to hear about my debt!

I remember well the time we had in Harlech, and hope the enclosed cheque will settle our money differences!

Excuse the scrawl as I’m trying to write this on a bouncing express train!!

I was very sorry to hear about your hubby – he was a very nice man.  Please give my best to your boys.

Kindest Regards

Paul McCartney
From B34752 – Paul McCartney Handwritten Letter Re. Missing Blanket 1989 (UK) – Tracks
From B34752 – Paul McCartney Handwritten Letter Re. Missing Blanket 1989 (UK) – Tracks
From B34752 – Paul McCartney Handwritten Letter Re. Missing Blanket 1989 (UK) – Tracks

Last updated on April 3, 2021

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