Author Ursula Wilde

Revealed: John Lennon’s secret visit

A local author has told Radio Clatterbridge how John Lennon paid her a secret visit to repay an old debt.

Bromborough-born Ursula Wilde revealed the story during an interview on the Coffee Club about her new autobiography.

She told presenters Paul Allt and John Roberts how she became a singer when she was 14, later working in the clubs on Liverpool’s Mathew Street – although not the Cavern!

She first met the Fab Four in the Jacaranda Club on Slater Street, relaxing with her nurse friends from Clatterbridge Hospital after a gig.

But Ursula, known as Shena Roberts on stage, had much more than a brush with The Beatles.

Ursula’s book retraces her family’s history right back to when they first arrived in Bromborough in the early 1800s.

By the 1920s, her great grandfather had opened the first petrol station on the A41 New Chester Road which had just been built.

Back in the day... Ursula's ancestry
Back in the day… Ursula’s ancestry

She explained that The Beatles were on their way to record their first song, My Bonnie, when they came into the garage in an old transit van.

When John Lennon came in to pay, she said he saw her throat pastels and Merseybeat magazines and took them promising to pay her back when they were famous.

Years later, she explained, she was running the Lucy In The Sky coffee shop in Cavern Walks when the singer came in – heavily disguised with a floppy hat and stuck-on beard!

“I whispered in his ear ‘I think you owe me something’… He came in the kitchen and brought out a wad of cash. He said “put that in the till and give it to charity.” – Ursula Wilde

She also recalled how she once asked Cilla Black about her ambitions but the singer told her: “I like singing – but I dont think I’m going to go far!”

The book recounts the days Ursula’s great great grandparents became the first exotic animal importers for zoos in the country.

It also recalls how George Hulse brought home turtles used for soup, some of it being supplied to Queen Victoria!

Ursula is now a background artist in Coronation Street, Hollyoaks and Emmerdale and has just played Mother Christmas to the Liverpool players in the LFC Christmas photo shoot.

Ursula's book: As If It Were Yesterday
Ursula’s book: As If It Were Yesterday

As If It Were Yesterday is available at local garden centres, museums, Bromborough Post Office and on Amazon.

Some of the proceeds will go to charities including Claire House Children’s Hospice and Macmillan Cancer Support.