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Many reports state that the Quarrymen’s historic afternoon performance at the July 1957 church fete took place on a makeshift stage on the back of a truck. Is that true?
That is a misconception that has arisen many times over the years and we can conclusively clear it up. The afternoon performance b the Quarrymen at the Woolton Village Fete held in the Church Field behind St. Peter’s Church on Saturday 6th July 1957 did not take place on a makeshift stage on the back of a lorry or flatbed truck.
The stage in the Church field that we played on in July 1957 was actually a permanent structure. One of Rod’s friends, David Ashton - who was in the church choir with John Lennon in the early 1950s – has told Rod that he had helped to build it. It was faced with composite blocks exactly like those used by the local builder J.W. Jones. At some point we will be posting photographs of the stage taken as early as 1952.
The myth may have arisen because there were two well-documented performances around that time that WERE on flatbed trucks.
The first took place on Saturday 22nd June 1957 – a performance at the street party in celebration of the 750th anniversary of King John granting Liverpool a Royal Charter – held on Rosebery Street in Liverpool. We definitely played that gig on the back of a truck. 3 photographs of this show have survived.
The second truck performance took place exactly two weeks later - actually on the morning of the legendary Woolton Village Fete at St. Peter’s Church on Saturday 6th July 1957. As part of the village celebrations, it was arranged that there would be a procession of various lorries and trucks through the village carrying that year’s Rose Queen, the retiring Rose Queen and other attractions from the fete. The Quarrymen were duly placed on a flatbed truck and we were driven around the village. As we had no microphone on the truck, it was a very unsatisfactory way to perform. We made up for that disappointment with our performances on the stage in the Church Field (in the afternoon) and on the stage in the Church Hall (in the evening).