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Unseen Beatles photos up for sale

Unseen photos of The Beatles are to go up for sale after lying in a family album for nearly 50 years.

The 20 black-and-white snaps have never been published and give a rare behind-the-scenes glimpse of the Fab Four on the cusp of becoming a world phenomena.

They were taken as the band filmed their first movie, A Hard Day's Night in March 1964 at the Scala Theatre in London.

The photos show the band with their instruments but also between takes in off-guarded moments, with one picture of Ringo Starr resting on bricks to boost his height for the cameras.

Taking photos on a "closed set" was strictly banned to stop leaks of The Beatles' new material, but Peter Allchorne, the then props manager at Pinewood Studios was able to wander around with his Kodak Retinette snapping away without fuss.

The photos were then put in his family album and largely forgotten about until Mr Allchorne, who lives in Preston, Lancashire, put them up for sale at auction.

The 87-year-old's daughter, Jacqueline Griffin, said while the world was embracing Beatlemania her father thought they were just another band he got to know through his job.

"He was just that type of person who always had a camera round his neck," she said.

"It was not unusual for him to be on set and taking pictures. He wanted to take pictures of one of the crew, a mate Alfie, and they were there, it was when The Beatles were on stage. He got to know them quite well but he was just not that interested. I think they just larked about and had a good time. He was not particularly star-struck."

The sale will take place at Omega Auctions in Stockport, Cheshire, on May 19 and be broadcast live via www.omegaauctions.co.uk

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