Most Beatles fans remember their famous song about Eleanor Rigby, the famous lady who picked up the rice in a church where a wedding had been! However the question as to whether or not Eleanor Rigby was a real character has intrigued Beatles fans for many years. The song was always thought to be based on a fictional character especially after one of the fab four Paul McCartney told fans they would never find a trace of Eleanor as she was entirely fictitious, even though a gravestone bearing her name was discovered in a churchyard in the 1980’s. But it seems that Eleanor Rigby did actually exist in the flesh and Paul McCartney knew more about her than he was letting on! After being asked for a donation from The Sunbeam Trust, a charity which uses music to help children with special needs, Paul sent them a document.
The document was none other than a Liverpool City Hospital salary register, featuring the signature of one E Rigby. Eleanor Rigby worked there as a scullery maid and had to sign for her monthly wage. She earned £14 per annum. How times change! That wouldn’t get you very far today the way the cost of living has risen nowadays. The document dated back to 1911 and is one of the biggest clues to date of the true identity of the Beatle’s Eleanor Rigby, a poor soul who dies lonely and alone with nobody to mourn her according to the song. It was auctioned for charity this week and sold for £115,000. Wow! All the money raised from the sale will go towards helping children with special needs. The Beatles are as popular today as they have always been. The fab four’s album Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was recently voted the nation’s favourite no. 1 album in the BBC’s Radio 2 Music Club Top 100 Album chart.
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