Paul McCartney letter up for auction reveals the pre-fame 'debt' he settled decades later


Paul McCartney on stage at the Cavern nightclub in Liverpool during the early days of British beat group The Beatles. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)
Paul McCartney on stage at the Cavern nightclub in Liverpool during the early days of The Beatles. (Keystone/Getty Images)

A letter Paul McCartney wrote to settle a "debt" he owed from before he found fame with the Beatles is going up for auction.

McCartney and George Harrison went on a hitchhiking holiday in 1958 where they visited Harlech in Gwynedd, North Wales.

They became acquainted with the Brierley family after knocking on their farmhouse and were granted permission to pitch a tent in the field at the rear of their bungalow.

Read more: Paul McCartney grateful to have reconnected with John Lennon before his death

A downpour on their first night saw McCartney and Harrison seek refuge inside the farmhouse and they subsequently stayed for a week.

Portrait of English band The Beatles, the singers and musicians John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr (Richard Parkin Starkey). 1960s. (Photo by Mondadori via Getty Images)
The Beatles. Left to right: George Harrison, John Lennon, Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney. (Mondadori via Getty Images)

The pair became friendly with the young John Brierley, also a musician, and later sat in with his local skiffle group The Vikings during a performance at the Queen’s Hotel pub in the village.

In the letter's listing, it's noted that John remembers several days of playing snooker and listening to Elvis Presley’s first LP, Rock ‘N’ Roll, as well as McCartney trying to work out the solo in the middle of the Buddy Holly song Think It Over on the family piano.

McCartney and Harrison returned to the Brierleys’ home the following year and later took one of the family’s blankets, something John's mother Irene didn't forget.

Years after the Beatles shot to worldwide fame in the 60s, she got in touch with McCartney in the 1980s to remind him of the "debt" he owed.

He responded in the letter: "Dear Mrs Brierley (Irene), Your letter reached me eventually and I was sorry to hear about my ‘debt’.

Paul McCartney circa 1981. (Photo by Richard Aaron/IMAGES/Getty Images)
Paul McCartney circa 1981. (Richard Aaron/Images/Getty Images)

“I remember well the fun we had in Harlech and hope the enclosed cheque will settle our money differences!

“Excuse the scrawl as I’m trying to write this on a bouncing express train!!

“I was very sorry to hear about your hubby – he was a very nice man. Please give my best to your boys.

“Kindest regards, Paul (McCartney).”

Read more: Paul McCartney uses teleprompter to stop him forgetting lyrics

She went on to cash the £30 cheque McCartney had sent.

The letter has a starting price of £3,000, and it being auctioned at

With additional reporting by PA.

Watch: Paul McCartney releasing cookbook of late wife Linda's recipes