THIS picture shows the moments before a legendary York performance by The Beatles.

Taken shortly before their performance at York’s Rialto concert hall in February 1963, a fresh-faced Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr are seen alongside co-manager of the Rialto John Hattersley-Colson in the never-before published photograph.

The Beatles were just beginning to create the buzz which would later turn into full-blown Beatlemania and took to the stage of the Rialto in Fishergate to a rapturous reception.

Mr Hattersley-Colson, who turned 80 yesterday, was 29 at the time and remembers the band as being friendly and polite.

He recalls they arrived by a big Austin Princess car, and stopped for a drink at the Edinburgh Arms. He said: “They were nice young lads, there were no airs and graces with them. They were ordinary Lancashire lads like me.

“The show was fantastic, it went very well indeed. People who went never forgot it.

“When they became really famous I thought ‘I had a mug of tea with those lads and a laugh and a joke and a giggle with them’.”

The night saw fans disappointed when Helen Shapiro cancelled her performance due to flu. The Evening Press from February 28, however, told how the Fab Four went down a storm with the crowd.

Our reviewer at the time wrote: “Screams of delight greeted The Beatles – a Liverpool quartet who obliged with the songs they wrote themselves and which have taken them into the Hit Parade – Love Me Do and Please Please Me.”

The venue had previously been owned by Jack Prendergast, John Barry’s father, and was later sold to Mecca bingo.

• Mr Hattersley-Colson was managing the Rialto alongside Derek Lacy, with whom he would like to get back in touch and who should phone 01904 567168.