Pensioner reveals how she helped smuggle the Beatles out of Portsmouth and dodge a baying mob of fans

SHE once helped the world’s most famous boy bands flee a baying mob of fans in Southsea.

By Sophie Lewis
Friday, 29th July 2022, 1:28 pm

Now, the former head housekeeper of Queens Hotel has recalled her extraordinary role in smuggling out the Beatles from the venue almost six decades ago.

Maureen Main led mega stars John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr out of a back entrance of the hotel as Beatlemania was at its height in the 60s.

Recalling her role in the audacious Beatles bust-out, Maureen said: ‘They were such nice boys, so young and so polite. Outside on Osborne Road, there were screaming girls of my age stopping the traffic trying to get into the hotel and my colleagues and I had to help Paul, John, George and Ringo to get into the back of the hotel unscathed. It was a magical time.’

The Beatles in 1963, (left to right), Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Ringo Starr and George Harrison as their historic touchdown at JFK Airport in New York. Photo PA Wire

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Maureen was speaking out during a return to her former workplace six decades on, where current staff welcomed her with open arms.

The pensioner worked at the Queens from 1961 to 1964, where she then left to get married and settle down to have a family but she said that she loved working there.

Six decades on and her daughter, Vanessa, arranged to take her mum to the hotel for lunch to take a trip down memory lane.

The adoring crowds waiting for The Beatles to perform at Portsmouth Guildhall in the 1960s

When managers at the hotel discovered Maureen’s close ties to the Queen’s, they invited her back for afternoon tea and a tour one of the luxury venue’s rooms by current head housekeeper, Isis Spicer

Maureen said: ‘I absolutely loved working at the Queens and the memories of my time here have never left me.’

Maureen was paid a mere £4.50 a week, but she said that she always felt rich and loved the buzz of working there.

During her nostalgic visit to her old workplace, she was delighted to talk to staff and recollect on the good old days.

Maureen Main in 1970.

The Queens Hotel truly is the grand old dame of Southsea,’ added the pensioner. ‘She has kept her authenticity and you can tell the team who are working here now really love to be associated with the Queens.’

Maureen Main and Isis Spicer at The Queens Hotel. Picture credit: The Queens Hotel
Maureen Main visits her old workplace Picture credit: The Queens Hotel