A Beatle Named Ringo

By Bill Harry  

September 3 1964

Ringo Starr outside his house in Admiral GroveEvery Wednesday, Frieda Kelly, secretary of the Beatles' northern fan club, drops around to Ringo Starr's parents' house to answer Ringo's mail.

Frieda tells us, "Elsie opens it and reads it. I answer it - and Harry writes out the addresses on the envelopes."

Mrs. Starkey kindly invited us along to her home one Wednesday afternoon and in her pleasantly decorated house in Admiral Grove, Dingle, we settled down to discuss her famous son.

Mrs. Starkey showed us a 50-foot long chain of chewing-gum wrappers that she'd received from an American fan that morning. "There are over 1,100 different wrappers in the chain," she said, "and the fan must have spent a great deal of time making it."

She also showed us a life-sized sketch of Ringo which another fan had spent three hours drawing.

She is obviously very flattered and proud of the hundreds of fans who write and send things in - and told us: "I keep everything that's sent in - I don't like doing away with any of them. I still have all the birthday cards and get-well cards sent to Ritchie - and I'd like to say thank you to all the people who sent them."

The room was decorated with many items sent in by fans, including handsome Beatle cushions and Ringo dolls. "If I keep on receiving so many gifts I'll have to move into another house," she joked.

Early Career
Discussing Ringo's early career, his mother said, "When he was very, very young he always wanted to make a noise on something - empty boxes and suchlike. The first kit of drums he had we bought from some friends of ours. He used it for a little bit then went on to better things.

"He used to practice in the back room - but only for half an hour a night. That was all he was allowed because of the noise!"

Discussing his first group, Mrs. Starkey told us: "Ritchie joined the Eddie Clayton skiffle group with Ed Miles, the boy who lived next door, Roy Trafford and Johnny Dougherty - they all worked together in the same place. Eddie used to take his guitar to work every day. He was a smashing fellow - if ever a lad should have got somewhere, he should have. I believe he's with Hank Walters & His Dusty Road Ramblers now."

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