Lennon tie to go under the hammer
John Lennon's tie is among the rare items set to go under the hammer at the Beatles 22nd Annual Memorabilia auction.
The black knitted tie was discovered by retired civil servant Joyce McWilliams, 66, who found it, along with some rare signed postcards, when she was clearing out her house.
Mrs McWilliams, who was handed the tie by Lennon himself at Liverpool's Cavern Club, is now set to make around £20,000 from her finds.
She walked into the Beatles Shop, in Mathew Street in the heart of the Cavern Club quarter, with five rare autographed photographs of the Beatles, wondering if they were valuable.
Stephen Bailey, shop manager for 20 years, said: "She said she was having a clear-out at home and came across them in a drawer.
"I asked her if she had any more items and she returned a few days later with John Lennon's black knitted tie."
Mrs McWilliams, from the Wirral, had obtained the tie and the autographed photographs in 1962 when she was a 15-year-old trainee comptometer (key-driven calculator) operator and used to attend the lunchtime sessions at Liverpool's famous Cavern Club.
She said: "The Beatles were recording some numbers and I was sitting on the edge of the stage holding the microphone stand. It was very hot in the club and John asked me to lend him a handkerchief to mop his brow with.
"He handed it back to me and loosened his tie when I said 'I thought you were going to give me your tie' and he just handed it to me."
She took the tie and handkerchief home.
"I was absolutely heartbroken when my mother told me that she had washed the handkerchief," Mrs McWilliams added.
At this year's auction at the Paul McCartney Auditorium at the Liverpool Institute For Performing Arts in Mount Street, worldwide interest will be focused on 322 items to go under the auctioneer's hammer.
The auction is timed to coincide with The Beatles Worldwide Convention in Liverpool on Saturday August 24.