FOLLOWING my piece in this paper commemorating The Beatles’ impromptu call-in at the Pied Piper Restaurant on September 11 1967, I received a letter from Basingstoke resident Ruth Allen/

She directed me to a former employee of the now-legendary establishment and also to a previously-undiscovered set of Beatles autographs that were acquired on that very date.

The Pied Piper restaurant stood throughout the 1960s, on the site currently occupied by Home Bargains. This strip of road was, until the arrival of the M3 and Brighton Hill Roundabout, a congested corner of the town which came to bear the burden of all the traffic between London and the South West.

A lady named Patricia Aitken; now retired to West Sussex, told me that her mother, Annie, known as Ann, was working at the Pied Piper when the Beatles happened by and that she acquired not only a signed photo of the fabled group but also an official Pied Piper letter-head autographed by all four Beatles.

However, it is the signatures of three other members of the cast of Magical Mystery Tour that pin the document precisely to September 11 1967; accordion-player Shirley Evans, Apple Records employee Magic Alex and maverick Scottish poet Ivor Cutler who (not untypically) has signed himself ‘Ivel Cantor’.

Patricia says that the photo and notepaper have been sitting in a writing-desk for fifty years along with other Pied Piper memorabilia, some of it autographed by the likes of Tony Hancock and Sir Billy Butlin.

For more than forty of those years, Pat and her husband lived in Andover. Her mother passed away in 1999. She is in no rush to decide whether to sell the items or pass them on to the grandchildren.

I am delighted that Pat came forward and I hope that our enquiries into the Pied Piper will help to prove the authenticity of her heirloom.