By Bill Harry
July 16 1964
Liverpool Airport - 5pm
Already the 1,500 fans who have flocked to the airport here to welcome THE BEATLES home are keeping up a steady chant of ‘We Love The Beatles’ and in spite of rising hysteria, as the time draws near for the arrival of their plane from London, the fans are orderly.
Five mounted policemen, 180 police constables and plainclothes detectives are on hand to keep the screaming girls behind the wire barriers, and passengers for flights from the airport are questioned by a line of policemen blocking the entrances to the airport.
5.5pm. An announcement comes over the airports loudspeakers that the Beatle flight from London is delayed and will not arrive until 5.20pm. The crowds continue to wait patiently.
5.25pm. A white and red British Eagle airways plane taxis down the runway and the waiting fans, who have waited so long to welcome home ‘our lads’, start screaming in unison.
5.35pm. The fans still keep up their ear-splitting welcome but though most passengers have disembarked and baggage has been unloaded there is still no sign of the famous foursome.
5.40pm. The screams reach a crescendo as the boys disembark, armed with gigantic bouquets of flowers, cellophane-wrapped, which the air hostesses on the flight presented them with.
Welcomed by manager BRIAN EPSTEIN, who waited for the boys on the tarmac at the end of the air-steps, the Beatles walked past their fans, waving to the screaming crowds on their way to the airport building. Disc jockey DAVID JACOBS, who
traveled from London with them, walks beside them and PAUL McCARTNEY greets his brother, MIKE McGEAR of THE SCAFFOLD.
5.43pm. Amid a crowd of friends, reporters and photographers the Beatles arrive in the lounge set aside for a Press Reception. Camera flashes keep popping as the boys greet old friends and prepare to face TV cameras, reporters and a barrage of cameras.
Among old friends waiting to welcome the boys back home to ‘Liddypool’ are Cavern boss RAY McFALL and Cavern DJ BOB WOOLER. JOHN, GEORGE, PAUL and RINGO greet them with obvious pleasure. “Great to see you,” Ringo says to Ray.
David Jacobs told MERSEY BEAT: “On the flight up the boys were obviously very thrilled to be coming home. They never stopped chattering the whole of the journey. When they saw the crowds waiting at the airport for them, they were really thrilled. Paul said to George: ‘Look at those crowds. I never expected anything like this. It’s absolutely fantastic.’”
And the boys applauded when they landed safely, so glad to be home at last.
David Jacobs came with the boys to announce their personal appearance at the northern premier of their film at the Liverpool Odeon.
“It’s really great to be home,” George told MERSEY BEAT. “I just can’t believe it. We never expected a reception like this.”
George said that he had popped home occasionally, “but I have to creep into our house about one in the morning to avoid the fans.
“The biggest hazard isn’t the fans, though,” George added, “It’s the traveling
– we all hate it. It’s a real drag. It was worst in Australia, flying for hours on end is very boring.”
But the boys have a special formula for keeping fit – “We eat cornflakes and drink tea,” said George.
6.10pm. The Beatles leave the airport in a large black Austin Princess, flanked by a patrol of policemen on motorbikes. The fans along the route take up the waving, shouting, screaming welcome and THE BEATLES are HOME.