The Stockton Globe is renowned for hosting performances from some of the biggest British acts of all time. On top of Cilla Black, Tom Jones and The Rolling Stones, the iconic venue also welcomed The Beatles to its stage a number of times. Renowned photographer Ian Wright took the band’s pictures during their stints at the Globe and hung out with them backstage in the 1960s, where he witnessed something magical from Ringo Starr.
Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, Wright revealed how Starr was always thinking of those less fortunate than him, even after he’d just performed to hundreds of fans at a sell-out gig.
Wright said: “Ringo, of course, was a sweetheart. I’ve seen it here at the Globe. Between the shows, you would get all the toys and everything thrown to the gods [the band]. They used to sweep them up and put them in a plastic bin.”
At the time, Beatlemania was in full force, with thousands of young women looking to get a piece of the Fab Four in one way or another.
Wright – whose photography work has been placed on permanent exhibition at the newly renovated Globe – said the venue’s employees “would take the [toys] all upstairs into the band’s dressing rooms”.
”The autograph books,” he explained. “The lads would dive in and sign them – no b****y problem.”
Wright went on: “The doorman would get half a crown to return them to the kids.
“And Ringo is sitting in this armchair, and Ringo tips up the plastic container – the plastic bin - and in it was all these teddy bears and dolls.
“He picked them up and placed them perfectly into the armchair, perfectly.”
The Beatles were hired to play the Stockton Globe by the venue’s manager at the time, George Skelton.
Wright claimed Starr said to Skelton: “Mr George I want to make sure that in the morning, you make sure that all these [toys] go round to the kids’ hospital wards.'”
As Starr – and The Beatles – grew in fame and fortune, the drummer continuously gave back to his community, and indeed the communities he came upon throughout his career.
Never before seen photos of the Fab Four are now being displayed in the Stockton Globe, which received a £28 million restoration over the past year.
Before that, the building was closed for 47 years.
The historic, Grade II-listed Art Deco venue was reopened by McFly who performed the first show at the newly-built stage earlier this month.
Upon returning to the venue, Wright said: “When I walked in, I was gobsmacked at the scale of the place. It was the 1960s when I was here taking my photographs and it has changed so much that I really didn’t recognise it.
“When I was here, it was already starting to get run down and the facilities were the absolute bare-bones, but you come in here now and it feels like a five-star hotel. It really is terrific.”
In the coming months, a number of prestigious acts are gracing the Globe’s stage, including James Arthur, Nick Cave & Warren Ellis, Amy Macdonald and Michael Jackson’s Thriller Live.
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