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Charles Roberts and The Quarrymen

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Interview with Charlie Roberts....

Tell us about your background, Charlie

I was brought up in Liverpool 8 (Toxteth) when, during the 40s, 50s and 60s, it was very depressed, although at the time it seemed quite normal to those of us who were born during or just after the second World War. Liverpool was heavily bombed, especially the docks and the surrounding areas. Although they were strictly out of bounds, we used to climb in and around the bombed buildings which were a source of adventure albeit very dangerous. I am pleased to say that Liverpool has made great strides in recent years and is now a major tourist destination in the UK.

I attended Granby Street School then progressed to the Liverpool Junior School of Art which was situated on the opposite side to the main College of Art. Bill Harry, who founded the great Merseybeat magazine was an acquaintance who was a form higher than me. What he doesn't know about the Mersey scene is not worth knowing.

Did you know John Lennon at Quarry Bank?

I never knew John when he was at Quarry Bank School and didn't meet him until early '57. By the way, many say that the name 'Quarrymen' came from the school, but I would dispute that. At the time, we all thought that Woolton Quarry was the source of the name. Colin Hanton [the Quarrymen's drummer] also believes that. There is a public footpath that leads from Quarry Street, over the quarry and onto Church Road, where we used to walk on occasions and enjoy the views over Woolton and the surrounding area. John would take the path whenever he was going into the village.

A mutual friend was given a brand new 'Vauxhall Cresta' for his 17th birthday in July '57. It was a two-tone pink and blue car, the nearest thing to an American style in the UK and we used to parade around Woolton in it. It was a real head turner as there were not many cars of modern style around at that time. John and Paul would sit in the back and Paul would practice stuff like 'Raunchy' as we cruised around Menlove Avenue into Woolton Village. A couple of weeks later somebody closed a passenger door and the window shattered everywhere. Obviously it was a faulty window, but we never got to ride in the car again.

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