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I’ve seen the name Nigel Walley mentioned in connection with the Quarrymen. Who was he? And I’ve seen his surname spelled both “Walley” and “Whalley”. Which is correct?
Nigel Walley was a childhood pal of John who played "tea-chest" bass at a few rehearsals and maybe at the odd performance. He then became the Quarrymen’s manager - endeavouring to secure us what were described in those days as “engagements” – i.e. public performances for what were, at best, very nominal amounts of money.
For some reason – his name has been mis-spelled in numerous books even those written by some of us Quarrymen members! (Step forward Pete Shotton and Len Garry!)
So despite what you have seen - Nigel’s surname is definitely spelt without an “H”.
When Hunter Davies was writing his book about the Quarrymen (published in 2001) Rod Davis made a special telephone call to Nigel to double-check this point. Nigel categorically stated for the record that his name has always been spelled “WALLEY”. No letter “H”.
On Page 49 of Hunter Davies’ book “The Quarrymen” there is a reproduction of one of the business cards Nigel had printed in his capacity of Quarrymen manager. And his name is clearly spelled “WALLEY”.
Proving that even the finest of Beatles historians can occasionally err, on Page 15 of Mark Lewisohn’s book “The Beatles Live”, there is a reproduction of a letter from Nigel soliciting engagements for the group. Trying to explain the spelling of Walley in the letter - the caption by the reproduced letter notes that Nigel “occasionally dropped the ‘H’ from his surname”. But as we now know – that was never the case.