IT was 50 years ago today – one of Liverpool’s Fab Four broke hearts the world over.

Paul McCartney announced he had quit The Beatles in a dramatic press release sent out to promote his first solo album McCartney.

It hit the front page of the Daily Mirror on April 10, 1970, and devastated fans of the beloved band that had conquered the globe.

Explaining why he was leaving, Paul said: “Personal differences, business differences, musical differences, but most of all because I have better time with my family.

“[Is it] temporary or permanent? I don’t really know.”

It marked the official beginning of the end for a band that played in Northwich six times in two years, as Beatlemania began to sweep the nation and the world.

These photographs (see the gallery above) were taken when The Beatles performed at Northwich Carnival, in Verdin Park, on July 6, 1963 – when Paul also crowned the Carnival Queen.

It was the fifth of six shows that The Beatles performed in Northwich – following events on June 23, September 15 and December 1, 1962, and April 27, 1963.

The images were supplied to the Guardian by Chorley-based Tracks Ltd, which previously acquired the memorabilia.

Northwich Guardian:

Autographs from the band's December 1962 gig in Northwich

Paul Wane, from Tracks Ltd, said: “In most places, The Beatles only played once or twice, but in Northwich they played an unusual amount of times.

“We bought those carnival photos off somebody that attended the carnival about 20-odd years ago.”

The Beatles' last show in town was on September 14, 1963, by which time their popularity was booming across the UK.

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Paul has a programme from the 1963 Northwich Carnival which is now worth £600, but he was unable to convince the owner of a poster advertising the event to sell it at a previous valuation.

He added: “That poster is probably worth about £3,000 now.

“The value is that high just because it was The Beatles. If it was the Rolling Stones who played Northwich Carnival in 1963, it would not have the same value.”

Paul also has a poster advertising the band’s show at the Memorial Hall on April 27, 1963, and autographs given by the Fab Four to a fan at their Northwich show on December 1, 1962.

Northwich Guardian:

The writing had already been on the wall before Paul's shock announcement 50 years ago today.

Ringo Starr walked out on the band while making the White Album in mid-1968, George Harrison briefly quit in January 1969 and John Lennon confirmed his intention to quit in September 1969.

Relations between John, Paul, George and Ringo soured for the rest of 1970 and on December 31, Paul’s legal team filed a writ at the High Court to dissolve the business partnership of The Beatles and Co, which was legally terminated four years later.

Tracks Ltd’s websites and offer free valuations for any item of Beatles and rock and roll memorabilia.

Click on the links above to find out more.

Did you go to Northwich Carnival in 1963, or one of the band’s shows in town? Email with your memories.