Police helmet worn by John Lennon when the Beatles performed in Birmingham in 1963 appears on Antiques Roadshow – and is valued at up to £8,000
- It belongs to a daughter of one of the police officers who escorted the Beatles to the concert past throngs of screaming fans
- Ivor Gordon Russell died in early 2020 but his daughter shared his memories of meeting the band who she said were ‘so easygoing at the time’
- As well as the helmet, she brought a book signed with the Fab Four’s autographs
- Presenter Marc Allum said the helmet could go for £5,000-£8,000
The owner of a police helmet once worn by John Lennon was stunned to learn its value when the item appeared on the Antiques Roadshow.
A guest on the BBC One series, which returned to screen on Sunday night, brought a police helmet that had belonged to her late father but was worn by Lennon when he and his Beatles bandmates played a gig at the Birmingham Hippodrome in 1963.
Ivor Gordon Russell, the woman’s father, was one of the officers escorting the Fab Four into the venue past crowds of adoring fans, the Metro reported.
‘They had to get them through the screaming girls and they didn’t know quite how they were going to do it. The sergeant had the wonderful idea of, why don’t you put helmets on them and make them look like policemen and we’ll get them through the girls,’ the woman told the programme.
‘John Lennon wore my father’s helmet. The paparazzi were out and took pictures… they took them into the theatre without any problems’.
The owner of a police helmet once worn by John Lennon was stunned to learn its value when the item appeared on the Antiques Roadshow. Lennon (centre in framed photo) and his Beatles bandmates borrowed the helmets of the police officers escorting them into a gig in Birmingham in 1963. Pictured: L-R: George Harrison, Paul McCartney, John Lennon and Ringo Starr pose in the helmets
Ivor Gordon Russell, the woman’s father, recalled the Fab Four as being ‘so easygoing’, according to his daughter
Presenter Marc Allum stunned Russell’s daughter by revealing that the helmet could be worth as much as £5,000-£8,000
Presenter Marc Allum said the story had ‘gone down in pop legend,’ adding ‘we’re talking about the height of Beatlemania here.’
Unfortunately, Russell died in early 2020 and his daughter had hoped he would tell his own story on the programme.
However, she shared his recollections of meeting Lennon, as well as Ringo Starr, George Harrison and Paul McCartney, that evening in 1963.
‘What was wonderful was that the Beatles were so easygoing at that time when it was so much fun it seems because my father told us they were great company and the inspector who was in charge of them invited them round for tea.’
Russell’s daughter said she had hoped to bring her father on the show to tell his own story but revealed that he sadly died early last year
Along with the hat, the woman brought a book that had been signed with the band’s signatures
A close up shows Lennon (right), saluting while wearing the helmet alongside McCartney (centre) and Harrison (left) as a smiling police officer looks on
Along with the hat, the woman brought a book that had been signed by the band.
Host Allum described the hat as ‘an object with a great deal of provenance’ before going on to shock the woman with its value.
‘Here we have John Lennon in the middle doing the policeman salute,’ he said referring to a photo taken of the band wearing the helmets.
‘This is the actual helmet in that photograph on John Lennon’s head.’
‘I can’t help feeling this helmet has a bit of John Lennon DNA on it and that’s what makes it so special. It’s a really difficult one, collecting Beatles memorabilia is still a really hot area.
‘I know you’re unlikely to sell it but I’m going to have a go at putting a good value on it because I think if this came up at a pop and rock memorabilia auction, it would go for between £5,000-8,000.’
Russell’s daughter was stunned by the large amount, saying simply: ‘Wow, that’s lovely’.