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Reminders of John Lennon’s time in Golspie hospital up for auction

John Lennon in 1971
John Lennon in 1971

The unusual reminders of John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s time in a Highland hospital are to be auctioned next week.

The items – an autograph book, a telegram and a single of Give Peace a Chance – form one lot in a sale of Beatles and Rock n’ Roll memorabilia which started online on Wednesday and ends in London on November 23.

The lot, which has a starting bid guide of £1500, is expected to make up to £2500.

The items have been in the possession of a former nurse at the Lawson Memorial Hospital in Golspie – who has not been named – since 1969.

She helped look after Lennon, Yoko Ono and their respective offspring, Julian Lennon and Kyoko Ono Cox, when they were taken to the Golspie hospital following a car crash in Tongue in July that year.

The nurse persuaded all four family members to sign her autograph book. She also acquired a telegram sent to Lennon by his agent which he left behind at the hospital.

Julian Cornthwaite, of auction house TracksAuction.com, said the autographs were unique.

“This is the first time we have seen a set of autographs of John, Yoko and their offspring from the sixties in one collection and all are signed on the same occasion,” he said.

Lennon’s love of Sutherland is well documented. He spent many childhood holidays between the ages of 9 and 14 staying with an aunt and cousins on their croft at Sangomore, Durness, and is said to have been inspired by the wild landscape. The song In My Life is said to have been partly inspired by Durness, which has the only John Lennon memorial garden in Scotland.

In late June 1969, Lennon took a trip north with his family to show them where he had spent his childhood summers. At the time Yoko was pregnant. Julian Lennon was aged six and Kyoko was five. The group were famously pictured outside the family croft with the children in kilts.

But the family came to grief when Lennon, a notoriously bad driver, crashed his white Austin Maxi near Tongue on July 1. The car left the road and landed in the ditch. All four were taken to the Lawson Memorial Hospital for treatment.

The memprabilia sale is being held in Le Meridien Hotel, Piccadilly, but online bids can be made up until that date by visiting www.tracksauction.com

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