PIECES of a Wirral stage trodden by The Beatles – before they took the pop world by storm – are being snapped up at extraordinary prices across the globe.
A Beatles fan in America has paid $300 for a four-inch square section of the stage, while a UK enthusiast has parted with £250.
The blocks have been auctioned over the years to help finance the present day Birkenhead YMCA.
When the old building was demolished in the 1980s, staff had the foresight to salvage sections of the stage ,after recognising their historic value because of the appearance of the Fab Four.
Just a handful of the blocks remain, signed by world renowned Beatles biographer Paolo Hewitt.
Dean Johnson, author of The Beatles and Me, a compilation of previously unseen pictures and personal encounters with the Liverpool foursome – called the blocks 'rock 'n' roll Holy Grail'.
He said: "This was such an important gig. In 1962, just prior to their first record release, The Beatles took a break from recording the Love Me Do single to play an engagement at the Birkenhead YMCA.
"Although they had appeared at the venue previously, this was their debut with Ringo on drums, and die-hard Pete Best fans were said to have booed the band as they took to the stage."
One of the remaining blocks is being offered as a prize in a competition within the pages of Dean’s book.
The winning entries will be drawn from a guitar case on September 8 – 50 years to the day of the appearance by John, Paul, George and Ringo.
Dean Johnson said: "The answer to the question to win this unique memorabilia is in the text of the book for everyone to find and gives a 'treasure hunt' dimension that I think is very exciting."