D990 - Barlow, Eric: Panto Day Photographs - February 1964
Photographs of the Rathbone Beetle taken during the Panto Day Procession on Saturday 15th February 1964.According to Eric Barlow the colour photographs (D990/1 and D990/3) were taken by John Matthams ()features in 19 November 1963 Guild Gazette) a student on the Town Planning course.
|Archive level description:||File|
|Physical Description:||4 items|
|Dimensions:||8" by 10"|
|Summary:||Photographs of the Rathbone Beetle taken during the Panto Day Procession on Saturday 15th February 1964.According to Eric Barlow the colour photographs (D990/1 and D990/3) were taken by John Matthams ()features in 19 November 1963 Guild Gazette) a student on the Town Planning course.|
|Related Material:||Also held in the Archive of the University of Liverpool:Papers of Graduates, surnames P - Z, Mrs Ghislaine Benson (née Thonet): Panto Float Photographs, ref. no. D819Records of the Guild of Undergraduates, Publications of the Guild of Undergraduates (later Guild of Students), ref. no. A267/15Administrative Records of the University of Liverpool, University Press Cuttings, 20 Sept. 1963 - 4 April 1964, ref. no. S2554|
Eric Barlow studied Physics at the University of Liverpool between 1961-1964.
During his time at Liverpool Eric became an early fan of the Beatles, attending his first gig with two student friends at the Cavern in 1961 on his second day of lectures. In all Eric saw the Beatles in the region of 80 times "before they became famous and left their home town". This early dedication with the Beatles did not go down well with other students as Eric himself recalls:
"It is hard to believe now, that we three were in a minority of students who actually wore jeans! Also we were the butt of other students humour for our strident advocacy of the Beatles. In those days it was de rigueur to like Trad or Modern Jazz or Classical music, which I did; but the Beatles was just not done. I am happy to relate that in the following years, many students came to our way of thinking."
For the Panto day procession of February 1964 Rathbone Hall created a Beetle float, Eric Barlow was one of the "Student Beatles" (John Lennon) on board the Rathbone Beetle during the Panto Day parade through the streets of Liverpool. The Beetle float was constructed by students from Rathbone Hall of Residence as Eric Barlow recalls "the construction of the Beetle was a marvellous team effort involving Architects, Engineers of all disciplines, scoundrels who were able to procure things etc." when finished it measured 45ft long and weighed a ton.
The float was carried by 70 students from Rathbone Hall with Eric Barlow and three friends; Mike Law, Tony Mathews and Mick Gleave dressed as the Beatles and miming Beatles songs like "Twist and Shout" and "She Loves You", which were piped from a record player underneath the float. There was a prize for the best float on Panto Day with the judging by MP Bessie Braddock taking place outside St George's Hall, the Rathbone Beetle won first prize with the float making a theatrical entrance:
"The whole Beetle was turned through 90 degrees to face the Hall. The boys at the very front lowered the Beetle to the ground; the ones at the back "lifted up" as high as they were able; and the ones in between compromised. The whole effect was that of this gigantic float "bowing" to the judges. How could we NOT win?"