GROWING up near Blackpool on the Lancashire coast, magical events were never far away in the halcyon days of the early 1960s.

How could a seven-year-old resist majestic Blackpool Tower and the glitz and glamour of the nearby Golden Mile, with the colourful tangerine shirts and excitement of top division Blackpool FC so close by.

Or the special trains hauled by powerful locomotives which roared hundreds of thousands of holidaymakers to Britain’s premier resort.

This seven-year-old was in the right place to become addicted to colour and glamour – and from the start we knew something very special was happening under 30 miles away across Liverpool Bay.

As the hits started to flow, everyone wanted to be associated with the Fab Four and my friends and I all had our favourite Beatle.

A cherished memory is of four of us standing on a low wall and playing She Loves You some time in 1963.

We all had make-believe instruments – I was Paul and used a tennis racquet as bass guitar, remembering to play it left-handed.

Our Fab Four knew all the words and sang our hearts out, dispersing only when the ‘pop van’ called in to our cul-de-sac.

Through the magical mists of musical time came 2pm today and the release of Now And Then.

In a second I was back on that wall clutching my imaginary guitar.

What I didn’t expect was the well of emotion as I heard the track just moments after its release.

I suspect hundreds and thousands across the country will have had moist eyes as Music’s Time Machine cast off the decades.

It’s no wonder the Sirs that are Paul and Ringo were proud to go through with the project of bringing alive John Lennon’s demo tape.

For me, Now And Then is already nestled high amongst the cornucopia of exquisite tracks produced by the Fab Four.

Despite its unconventional background, the single wraps us in a warm and everlasting coat.

And the endless qualities of The Beatles are shining anew on earth and propelled upwards to John and George, smiling broadly in their musical heaven.