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RINGO LETTERS SELL FOR PS16k; Doreen kept in touch after Butlin's dates.

Byline: LUKE TRAYNOR

LOVE letters penned by a young Ringo Starr to his teenage sweetheart, which were discovered in her garage five decades later, were sold for more than PS16,000.

The messages revealed the Fab Four drummer, then known as Richard Starkey, flirting with Doreen Speight, whom he met at a Butlin's holiday camp when she was 16.

Ringo, describing his experiences in the rock 'n' roll band, Rory Storm and the Hurricanes, was on the cusp of Beatles worldwide stardom as the lovestruck couple exchanged letters.

He wrote in October, 1962: "I got a phone call asking me would I join The Beatles and I said yes and I left Rory.

"I am doing very well with the new group, we have a record out I hope you have herd (sic) it it is on (Radio) Luxembourg every night (also don't forget to buy it)."

The letters, sold at Bonhams in London, fetched PS16,250, well over the PS6-8,000 estimate, and were bought by an anonymous private UK collector.

Doreen, a retired snooker hall owner, kept the letters in a drawer for more than 50 years since she worked at the Pwllheli holiday camp, North Wales, in October, 1961.

Doreen, who now lives in Bredbury, Greater Manchester, said: "I was on a week's holiday at Butlin's with my friend, who was a couple of years older than me.

"We had gone to see the band Rory Storm and the Hurricanes and we were dancing with two boys from Blackpool.

"Suddenly my friend went off and spoke to Rory and she then told me that he wanted to take us out and he would bring his friend who was a drummer in the band. He was known as Richard Starkey back then and we ended up spending the whole week together, having barbecues and beach parties after they had practised.

"We would sit in Rory's car and Ringo would hold my hand and buy us non-alcoholic drinks, he was a real gentleman. When we left, he told me to write to him.

Five out of a dozen letters have survived and each begins with "Dear Doreen", with three sent from 10 Admiral Grove in Liverpool, where Ringo grew up.

In most of the messages, he enclosed photographs of himself and signs off with "Lots of love and luck, Ringo x x x" A Bonhams spokesman said: "We are extremely pleased with the result. The Ringo Starr letters obviously captured the hearts of many as competitive bidding pushed the price to more than double the estimate."

CAPTION(S):

RINGO: Butlin's

WARM WORDS: Above right, some of the letters written between Ringo and Doreen Speight, pictured then, far left, and now, left
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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jun 27, 2014
Words:452
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