On Saturday July 6th 1957, a fifteen-year-old boy called Paul McCartney travelled by bike to attend a fete organised by the local St Peter’s Church. It was a cloudy but humid day. The fete’s highlight was intended to be a display by the City of Liverpool police dogs. But Paul wasn’t there to see them. Paul was keen to see a performance by a new local skiffle band called The Quarrymen fronted by one John Lennon.

The Quarrymen took their name from Lennon’s own Quarry Bank High School. They performed well enough that day despite John mangling some of the lyrics to a few of the songs. Afterwards, Paul met in the church hall with the band for an informal audition. At that stage, Paul only knew John (who was 17) as a slightly intimidating teddy boy who he’d occasionally seen on the bus. “I wouldn’t stare at him too hard in case he hit me,” Paul said later.

Now it was John’s turn to be intimidated, as the younger boy demonstrated hid considerable talent, impressing with both his guitar as well as a version of ‘Good Golly, Miss Molly’’ on the piano. Once John overcame initial worries that the newcomer might overshadow him, Paul joined the band. The Quarrymen would never be the same again.

Soon Paul persuaded the group to admit George Harrison as a member. Paul had befriended George after the two regularly started discussing rock and roll music on the school bus. Sometimes the bus was driven by George’s father, Harry, who worked as a bus driver. John was initially put off by George’s youth: he was still only 14 when he first approached the band. A few other people such as Colin Hanton, Len Garry and John Duff Lowe played with the band around this time, but for various reasons, all drifted away.

Like most newly formed bands, The Quarrymen mostly played other people’s songs to start with but as John and Paul grew closer, they started to write their own songs together. Their early compositions were very influenced by Buddy Holly.

Soon John and Paul were bonding over their shared experiences of personal tragedy. In July 1958, John was devastated when his mother was run down and killed by a speeding motorist. Paul too, had lost his mother much too soon. In October 1956, when Paul had been 14, his mother had died following a struggle with breast cancer. She was just 47. Paul’s father Jim, a cotton salesman, had been left to bring up Paul and his younger brother, Mike on his own.

Time moved on. John, Paul and George would be joined by two new members, Stuart Sutcliffe in 1959 and Pete Best in 1960. In 1960, The Quarrymen became The Silver Beets, The Silver Beetles , The Silver Beatles and then The Beatles. In the same year, they went to Hamburg.

Though he never excelled as a bass player, Sutcliffe was a talented artist and ultimately left the group, before dying suddenly in 1962, at the tragically young age of 21. Pete Best, a drummer was squeezed out of the band in 1962 and replaced by Ringo Starr. It remains a controversial move and

Best was a popular figure at the time. The final Fab Four line-up of John, Paul, George and Ringo was nevertheless complete.

By this point, The Beatles had turned the corner under their new manager, Brian Epstein who had been appointed in January 1962,. Epstein has moulded The Beatles them into a slick and hugely commercial professional group. They first encountered producer, George Martin around this time.

Finally, in 1963, The Beatles released their two best ever selling singles, ‘She Loves You’ and ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’ as well as ‘From Me To You’ and ‘Please, Please Me’. Beatlemania had arrived. The Fab Four were well on their way to becoming the biggest musical group of all time.