EVERY summer we can rent a cottage on the IW.

When Paul McCartney sang that line on the Sgt Peppers album, on the track ‘When I’m 64’, it was no accident ­— McCartney and John Lennon were no strangers to the Island.

They had first visited in 1960 when they came to visit McCartney’s cousin Bett and her husband Mike, who had taken on the Bow Bars on Union Street in Ryde and they visited again the following year.

After hitching down to Portsmouth, Lennon and McCartney then bought a ticket to Ryde.

As revealed in McCartney’s 1998 book ‘Many Years From Now’, Lennon was taken with the punning potential of the phrase and it led to him write Ticket To Ride.

When it was released in April ‘65, councillors at Ryde knew nothing of this and assuming the title was just a happy coincidence they discussed whether there was any capital to be made out of the song.

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Under the headline ‘Beatles To Publicise Ryde? the CP wrote: “The chart-topping Beatles may unknowingly help to publicise Ryde as a holiday resort this summer with their latest number one record, ‘Ticket to Ride.’

“At a meeting of Ryde Council on Tuesday, Mr. R.V. Bourn said there was a first-class opportunity for the publicity department to use a play on the title in their national advertising?”

Sadly, the moment passed.

The previous year had seen an outbreak of Beatlemania on the Island.

A CP reader signing himself ‘Regular Cinemagoer’ had been to see A Hard Day’s Night at the Savoy Cinema and he was not happy.

He said: “Once again a Saturday evening, at which we pay some of the highest seat prices outside of London, has been ruined by the noise of loud-mouthed youths and screaming teenage girls.

“Included in the programme was a special short film of the Beatles.

“It should have been quite entertaining to the many adults who enjoy this talented group, but it was completely ruined by shouting youths and screaming girls.

“Then, as if not content at ruining one film, there was again noise and disturbance during the main film. Surely the cinema managements can take drastic steps to curb this.”

In 1969, George Harrison paid a visit to the Island to spend some time with his friend Bob Dylan who was headlining the Wootton festival.

Twenty-year-old Chris Colley from Northwood was hired to act as Dylan’s driver.

He said: “It was a wonderful experience. Dylan was quite determined to treat me as one of his friends, not a lackey.

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“He was very easy-going but he did have standards. We were driving past Yaverland one day, with Dylan and George Harrison in the back.

“They were genuinely great friends but I could tell Harrison was hero worshipping Dylan.

“He said, ‘we could release any old crap nowadays and the public would buy it.’

“He got torn off a strip by Dylan. ‘What? Don’t you realise those people put us where we are. You can’t talk about them like that. We owe them.’

“He was very defensive and that shut Harrison up for a while, but a bit later I was talking to Dylan and George Harrison just butted in and cut me off.

“To my surprise Dylan said, ‘Wait, George. Hang on. Chris, what did you say?’ and let me carry on talking.

“I was just as important in that car as George Harrison.”

It’s an incongruous thought ­— Yoko Ono going up St Johns Hill at Ryde in a Ford Transit ­— but it actually happened.

Local, Dave Parr, was also assisting with chauffeur duties during the Wootton festival.

He said: “I drove Dylan and his wife to the festival. They sat in the front with me, and John Lennon and Yoko Ono were in the back where there were no seats, just a plank to sit on.

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“We stopped at the traffic lights at the top of St Johns Hill and when I pulled away, there was a crash in the back ­— John and Yoko had fallen off the seat.

“The funny thing was, they never said a word.”

As Harrison had enjoyed his visit to the Island, Ray Foulk, festival promoter, wrote to him to try and persuade the Beatles to headline the 1970 festival at Afton.

He said: “The greatest achievement that could be attained in the music festival sphere would be for the Beatles to perform at the next IW Festival.

“We are not professional promoters but we are ambitious and want to make a distinct mark on society on behalf of the young people of the world.”

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An impassioned request, but it was not to be. The Fab Four would never appear in the same room together again, the last time being just a week before the Wootton festival.

In 1973, Ringo Starr returned to the Island to film scenes for the film That’ll Be the Day alongside David Essex and Billy Fury, following which, the Island remained largely Beatle-free until 2010.

That year, Paul McCartney headlined the IW Festival. Did he sing, every summer we can rent a cottage on the IW?

He did not. That honour went to The Killers in 2013.

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