102 year-old man from Liverpool auctions off Sir Paul McCartney autograph for NSPCC
1 year ago
A 102-year-old from Liverpool has auctioned off a Paul McCartney autograph and donated the proceeds to the NSPCC.
Leslie Bolt got the autograph through his work with a youth club in Liverpool in the early 1960s, before The Beatles had gained international success.
He was given the autograph by Paul’s brother Mike McCartney, who was a regular at the youth club at the time. Even though this was before Beatlemania, Mike had confidence his big brother was destined for stardom.
Mike, who is known professionally for photography and artwork as Mike McGear, gave Mr Bolt the autograph on an aeroplane food menu, telling him: “Look after this, it could be worth something in the future.”
And hang on to it he did. Mr Bolt put the menu into the bottom of a drawer – and forgot about it for almost six decades.
In June, he was reading an article on the value of Beatles’ memorabilia, which reminded him about the autograph.
While he admits he is not the biggest fan of the Fab Four – although he’s “heard that Eleanor Rigby is one of their best songs” – Mr Bolt knew the autograph would be valuable.
After verification, the autograph fetched £450 at auction, which Mr Bolt has pledged to the NSPCC to help the charity in its mission to tackle child abuse in Liverpool and across the country.
Mr Bolt’s links with the NSPCC go back to his days at the youth club. He worked with a local NSPCC inspector who would help with safeguarding issues.
Mr Bolt said: “He was a great support when there were concerns.
“I remembered the good work that the NSPCC did, so I wanted to donate the money to them.”
Around 40 children attended the youth club every week. They would organise games and raise funds for day trips. There were also instruments for any youngsters who were inspired by The Beatles and other bands of the era.
NSPCC Corporate Partnerships Manager Paula Marshall collected the cheque from Mr Bolt. She also gave him with a printed copy of the history of the NSPCC in Liverpool as they collected the cheque.
Paula said: “Mr Bolt really enjoyed hearing about the work we do from the Liverpool centre such as DART (Domestic Abuse, Recovering Together) and PIM (Pregnancy in Mind)*.
“The NSPCC relies on public donations to ensure we can be here for children and young people in Merseyside and across the country, so we’re hugely grateful to Mr Bolt for sharing such a wonderful story with us as well as his donation.”