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Beatlemania was banned by Summerhill Academy schoolmaster in 1963

Summerhill Academy headmaster William Christie banned 'Beatles-inspired' clothing at the height of Beatlemania and barred pupils from the Christmas party for disobeying.

The Beatles were no strangers to making front-page news, but they hit the headlines in December 1963 when an Aberdeen headmaster banned Beatlemania.

The young popstars took the nation by storm that year after debuting hit singles “Please, Please Me” and “She Loves You”.

And more recently the pop legends have been in the news again following the release of candid fly-on-the-wall documentary The Beatles: Get Back.

By October 1963 The Beatles had experience a stratospheric rise to fame and the fanaticism surrounding the Liverpudlian lads was dubbed ‘Beatlemania’ in the press.

But headteacher of Summerhill Academy, William Christie, was far from impressed with Fab Four fever.

Any pupil daring to turn up to school wearing a Beatles-inspired get-up was swiftly disciplined.

Beatlemania in full swing at The Beatles’ Christmas concert in 1963. Photo by Sharok Hatami/Shutterstock

When the festive season came around, The Beatles were truly on the cusp of the big time.

But this mattered not to Mr Christie, and the season of goodwill didn’t inspire a change of heart when it came to his Beatles ban.

In fact the stern schoolmaster was forced to deny “dictatorial” tendencies when he barred pupils from the school Christmas party for wearing fashionable ‘Beatles-style’ clothing.

The Beatles in their Nehru jackets at the BBC Studios in 1963. Photo by Shutterstock

Bandmates John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr made collarless coats fashionable during their stage appearances.

But the Nehru jackets, which were more at home on Chairman Mao than in Mr Christie’s classrooms, were a step too far for the Summerhill head.

And mean Mr Christie made front-page news after banning 14-year-old pupil William Davidson from the school’s festive bash for turning up in one.

John Lennon’s grey wool collarless suit worn on stage in 1963. Photo by Julien’s Auctions/Shutterstock

Young William explained how pupils were told to dress in a “respectable manner” for the Christmas party and that he’d saved up his own money to buy the coat for the bash.

But the groovy garment saw William barred from the party and such was the outrage, that the young pupil’s mum took her plight straight to the board of education.

Linda Davidson branded the move a “disgrace” and added: “My son’s Beatle jacket was bought for over £4 on Tuesday out of his savings.

“None of the rest of his clothes was respectable enough for the party and I couldn’t afford to buy him anything else.”

Mastrick teen William Davidson was banned from Summerhill Academy Christmas party for wearing a Beatles-style jacket.

When the story hit the headlines, the dominie was forced to deny that he had the attitude of a dictator and said he had parents’ financial concerns in mind.

He said: “I would have been failing in my duty if I permitted it.

“Don’t think I’m being dictatorial, it would have been far easier to say ‘wear what you like’, but I feel I have a moral duty.”

Summerhill Academy.

He added: “My own feeling is that Beatle jackets are becoming a sort of status-symbol and whenever one youngster gets one, it seems that other children go home and put pressure on parents who can ill afford to do anything about it.

“For me, to spend £4 on something like a Beatles jacket would be morally unjustifiable.

“I’m in a better financial position than most of the parents and it is less morally justifiable for them.”

After the disappointment and front-page furore of being banned from partying with his pals, William admitted that he wasn’t even a fan of the Fab Four.

He added: “I am not a Beatle fan, I only bought the jacket to keep up with the style I thought all the rest of my friends would have on.”

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